> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter B. West [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: June 20, 2002 11:00 PM
> To: fop-dev
> Subject: Using bugzilla
> Foplings,
> I'm only just beginning to realise how useful bugzilla is, in spite of
> having watched numerous mozilla bugs over a long period.  I can see it
> complementing the dev list very nicely, both for bug fixing and some
> redesign work.  The beauty of it is that it provides a focus for
> discussions on particular issues, and lets the relationships and
> dependencies between issues be directly specified.
> A simple example of its usefulness would be the changes to the Xalan1
> dependencies in the build.  The procedure would be to initiate
> discussion on fop-dev, and it the feeling is to go ahead, raise a RFE in
> bugzilla.  Then whenever anything is done in connection with the change,
> note it in bugzilla.  All of the bugzilla FOP activity echos in fop-dev,
> so everyone can see what is happening, and join in on bugzilla with any
> direct comments.  That way all of the discussion about a particular
> topic can be found in the one place, without having to trawl through the
> mail archives to follow the argument.
> (Anyone who is lurking on fop-dev and wants to make a comment could do
> it on the list anyway.  If he wants to get more involved, a bugzilla
> login is a minute away.)
> ??

Preaching to the converted... :-) Sort of.

We use Merant PVCS Tracker at work, which is a nice piece of gear. It does
defect tracking and issue management.

Bugzilla is a capable enough system also, as you've noted.

The major stumbling block to all of these systems is that users subvert
them. Not maliciously, but the effect is the same. Everything turns out to
be high priority...there is no change control board so everything gets sent
to developers as it arrives, with no screening. Developers apply their own
notions of what the requirements are and frequently decide that reported
behaviour is OK. If they _do_ accept that it's a bug, developers often close
the defect before QA ever has a chance to verify. :-) And on and on it goes.

I've never seen a commercial issue tracking system successfully used for
issues, and I have now seen a few. Mostly they get ignored...people prefer
mailing lists. I think there is some psychology there that I have not quite
fathomed; partially it's also due to the fact that folks are most familiar
with email.

So I am not disagreeing with you, so much as I am suggesting that 75% of
this is process, and if you can get people to buy into the process then any
system will work, whether it's mailing lists, defect/issue tracking
software, or even shared ASCII files (assuming access). The main thing is
that there need to be some immediate rewards: 1) better feedback, 2) more
feeling of having contributions noticed, and 3) tangible results.

I happen to think mailing lists are pretty poor for issue management, so I
think it is worth a shot. I am amost completely engaged with the other
project at the moment but I haven't left FOP but temporarily; my main
problem at the moment is keeping abreast of the lists and maintaining a clue
as to what is occurring, and maybe your idea would help. I'd certainly make
the attempt.


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