Thursday 10 January 2013
I spend a lot of time processing bugmail and looking at bugs. Interacting with bugzilla.mozilla.org is pretty slow, but I think it could be greatly improved, potentially saving me 15 minutes a day or more. Multiplied across our Bugzilla-using engineers and managers, that could be a large return on investment.
Every day (ideally) I read my bugmail using GMail. This is actually pretty fast. However I often need to load a bug's bugzilla page in the browser, either to re-read the context of a bugmail (earlier comments, or the contents of attachments or patches, etc), or to make changes to the bug --- usually add a comment, but sometimes change flags or other fields. I get bugmail on more than 50 bugs a day usually, and given I often scan my bugmail more than once a day, I reckon I might spend up to an hour on this on many days.
The problem is that loading a Bugzilla bug takes me about 5 seconds under the best circumstances and a lot longer for large bugs or busier networks. Also, every time I commit modifications to a bug I have to wait for about that much time for it to be acknowledged (one has to wait to ensure there wasn't a dreaded "mid-air collision").
Pretty much all that wait time is unnecessary and could be avoided with a different client. For example, we could have a Web app that does the following:
- Tracks which bugs have been modified since I last viewed them
- Preloads the complete data for those bugs
- Lets me instantly move from one bug to the next
- When displaying an updated bug, scrolls automatically to the first update that I haven't already seen
- Lets me make changes in situ
- When committing changes, instantly move to the next bug
- If there's a mid-air collision, alert me even if I happen to be looking at some other bug at the time
- Try to avoid mid-air collisions by receiving notifications of updates by other users while I'm viewing the bug
A client like this could make us a lot more efficient in the way we currently work. We'd probably also use Bugzilla differently and more effectively.