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Mozilla Open Source

Better Open Source Communities Through Data 35

An anonymous reader writes "Using exhaust data from Bugzilla, David Eaves describes how the Mozilla Metrics team is creating dashboards to improve the contributor experience and give open source community managers better situational awareness."
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Better Open Source Communities Through Data

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    welcome our new Star Trek android overlord!

    • Just don't plug your laptop into his brain. You know, the whole positronic-electronic charge carrier annihilation thing.
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:43AM (#35753856) Homepage

    While it's great that Bugzilla is provding this, I'm wondering if anyone can post their experience with Bugzilla alternatives.

    Bugzilla's great ... for developers.

    Is there anything that could be just to allow customers to directly enter bugs? Something Trac-like?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mantis is definitely much better from a user perspective; not sure I'm sold on the tracker itself though.

    • What, customers can't file bugs in Bugzilla?

      Or do you just mean that it's more difficult/daunting for them to use Bugzilla? In that case, what you have there is a feature, not a bug. Make it too easy, you'll get a bug filed for every little thing (and they won't check for duplicates first, either).

      That said, all KDE apps support filing bugs through Help > Report Bug. (I'd tell you what that uses if I were in KDE right now, but I'm not. Sorry.)
      • I'd take a Google-style issues tracker over Bugzilla any day. The problem with Bugzilla is that nobody keeps it up to date properly - take Trillian's Bugzilla, for instance - reporting an issue on the Android app during its beta phase... no appropriate entries for categorization (Android missing from OS, ARM missing from architecture, Android versions missing from app version section, and so on and so forth...).

      • by shish ( 588640 )

        What, customers can't file bugs in Bugzilla?

        I've been programming for 15 years and *I* can't figure out how to do anything useful with bugzilla...

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> on Friday April 08, 2011 @05:14AM (#35754948) Homepage Journal

        If you can't cope with large numbers of bug reports from non-technical people then your bug tracking system is broken. There is no better way to piss off users/customers than by making it impossible for them to report the problems they are having.

        • by dr2chase ( 653338 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @08:15AM (#35755752) Homepage
          I have no trouble reporting bugs. If there's any obstacles along the way to reporting the bug, I bail, and simply post them on my blog []. With snarky commentary, of course, because by then I'm in a bad mood.

          Best of all, is when random strangers with the same bug, find my blogged bug report instead of the bug database, and then start posting comments on it.

          Years ago, a friend of mine showed me the "killer app for Python", and it was the stack traces. When their (Python-based) product crashed in the field, its driver would bundle it all up in a zip file, and ask the user for permission to forward it to the developers, with the usual reassurances that all data discovered in the process would be treated as confidential. Bug report arrives, the stack trace (with variables etc, it's Python, right?) contains all the necessary info, the next interaction with the customer, is to tell them where to download the bug-fixed version of the product. "No time wasted on annoying human interaction, customer thinks we are attentive geniuses, everyone productive and happy."
        • by kmoser ( 1469707 )

          If you can't cope with large numbers of bug reports from non-technical people then your application is broken.


    • by Anonymous Coward

      Redmine is about as user friendly a system as I have come across.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm using Indefero ( It's PHP based, and made to be similar to google code, so very bare bones - but I find that is less intimidating to non-developers. (BTW, the website emphasises prices and planning and stuff, but it is open source - the prices are for their hosted service.)


    • try OTRS, its clean, friendly for users and the developers/agents have also a good interface

    • by bberens ( 965711 )
      I really hate Bugzilla. I used Mantis previously and was quite happy with it. I've also had good experiences with Jira.
  • "exhaust data", "quantitatively asses"... I think these guys need smarter spell checkers. Perhaps they could also remove e-mail addresses from their example screen shots.
    • by BZ ( 40346 )

      If you look at the screenshots, only the first one shows emails. The other ones have them elided.

      That first screenshot is the list of the top 20 or so contributors to the Mozilla project over the past year. Those e-mail addresses are all over the hg log for the project, the public project mailing lists, etc. So they're not exactly a secret...

    • I assumed that "exhaust data" is the data that gets discarded by a lossy compression engine. I mean, that data's gotta go somewhere, right?

      And that's why the air coming out of desktop computers smells faintly of ozone.

    • >>"exhaust data", "quantitatively asses"... I think these guys need smarter spell checkers.

      These guys are dealing with the ass end of customer service. For free.

      I think they're allowed to make fart jokes all they want.

      But then again, they steadfastly refuse to give users the option to disable tabs (AFAICT). At least there's still a status bar, mostly.

  • Bingo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:50AM (#35754164) Homepage Journal

    Does it also leverage state-of-the art paradigms shifts in order to deliver an exponential breakthrough experience?

  • Hey look, Mozilla re-invented [] and it only works for Mozilla. How useful.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann