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Where our bugzilla needs improvement

April 15th, 2011 by

update 2012-02-07: Success: after bnc#732504 you can now open Advanced Search and find RESOLVED/DUPLICATE bugs by default. When bugs are finally solved and fixes released, those can then be moved to CLOSED state to no more appear in search results.


bugzilla.novell.com aka bnc is the central tool to track bugs of openSUSE.

It has a guided bug submission form that helps & encourages reporters to search for existing reports on an issue.

However, the integrated search function only shows open bugs. In principle that is nice, but bugs marked as duplicates of open bugs do not count as open. Also it is common that developers mark a bug as RESOLVED/FIXED as soon as they uploaded a patch into the OBS devel-project. Such a patch then needs some days until it gets into Factory or the Update repos where normal users would benefit from the fix. During that time, there will still be people with all regular updates installed hitting the bug and not finding it on bugzilla because it is no more marked open. Of course, one could also search for RESOLVED bugs, but this brings up a huge list of issues that are long solved, but never were marked CLOSED (e.g. openSUSE-11.3 has 453 CLOSED vs 2727 RESOLVED).

This wastes time of reporters writing a duplicate bug-report and wastes time of developers having to figure out that it really is a dup. This is probably why other projects recommend setting bugs to ASSIGNED/FIXED until the patch is released. Unfortunately bnc lacks this state.

Also bugzilla has an UNCONFIRMED state for new bugs that need triaging to get into the NEW state (named “Reproducible but not assigned” in other projects). Such a state is unavailable on bnc, so that people can not tell apart bugs that have been forgotten from bugs that are known to exist, but just wait for a developer to fix.

There was also little integration between OBS and bnc. I have therefore written scripts to update bugzilla entries with links to submit requests on OBS mentioning e.g. bnc#685133 (<=see link for how it looks like). But it still could be made a lot more useful.

Overall, there is some room for improvement to make people’s lives easier, and allow us having a lot of fun…

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One Response to “Where our bugzilla needs improvement”

  1. extended OBS-integration to include package name and distribution (because sometimes there are 10+ submitrequests e.g. mozilla also needing xulrunner updates)
    example: https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=627617