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Re: Bugzilla dupes attack

At 01:46 PM 2/14/2006, you wrote:
On Tuesday 14 February 2006 10:39, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Regardless of that bugzilla doesnt search closed reports by
> default. Search them by default would waste a lot of time and users
> generally care only about open bug reports.

I'm not so sure of that. I *always* search the closed bugs also. You can often
find similar issues, or possibly something that was just closed... If the
user isn't constantly updating their installed software, they may be running
into a bug that was already closed as resolved in a recent release.

It's a general guideline that the default search request should turn up *everything* that's possibly relevant. Yes, it's bad to get 50 items, 5 of which are relevant, but it's much worse to get 0 items when 7 are relevant... The latter is what you often see on site-specific search engines because people set the defaults too tight; people are so used to getting 0 results when they do a search on a site that they often don't even try search features embedded in a site.

As for the problem of open vs. closed bugs, there is a simple answer...

(i) Have a display,  either on top or on the side,  that says something like

13 bugs unassigned
17 bugs assigned
104 bugs resolved

people can click on the link to be directed to just a list of bugs with the above status.

(ii) Make sure that casual (and serious) users can instantly scan the status of a bug with a minimum amount of cognitive effort. (iii) Order the bugs in order of closed status (open first) unless you've got a much more compelling ranking function (suppose you have some indication of how many people are interested in a bug, you might put the popular bug at the top)

RH's bugzilla faces a problem that many sites have: multiple populations of users. (1) There's a group of RH employees and serious Fedora contributors who look at bugzilla every day. (2) There's a group of hardcore Fedora enthusiasts who put bugs into bugzilla on a regular basis. (3) There's a group of Fedora enthusiasts who use bugzilla only occasionally, but they've found a problem that concerns them and that they're passionate about getting fixed.

Since people of class (1) are in charge of maintaining Bugzilla, they aren't going to have trouble getting their needs met. On the other hand, making it easy for people to join group (3) and move to (2) is critical for the success of the project.

It may make sense to make the interface for bugzilla bimodal: have one interface that's designed to be foolproof for the casual user, and another one that's customizable so that people who use Bugzilla continuously don't have their attention distracted by irrelevant stuff (closed bugs) and don't wear out their wrists with excessive pointing and clicking.

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