Planet Bugzilla

May 08, 2017

Byron Jones

servo, firefox, and synchronisation

What do you do when you have two very different projects that both want to maintain their independence but developers need to land coordinated changes across them?

a quick introduction

I'm currently working on a project that's outside of my normal realm; "bi-directional" synchronisation between a Mercurial repository and one hosted on GitHub.

But before I dive too deep there's some terms and processes that I should define.


A large mercurial host repository that stores the majority of the Firefox source.

mozilla-integration branches

Called "branches" internally, these are actually separate Mercurial repositories. Reviewed code is landed onto an integration branch (historically mozilla-inbound) which then triggers Firefox's test suite.


They look after the "tree" (the repository). One task they perform is monitoring the test results on the integration branches, and either merge into mozilla-central if it passes, or backout the commit if it causes failures.

servo, gecko, stylo, and quantum

Servo is a browser written in rust under Mozilla's research umbrella. It was designed from the ground up to take advantage of modern CPU and GPU architectures. Gecko is the core engine that drives Firefox, from parsing HTML to rendering the page. Stylo is a project to bring Servo's modern CSS/layout engine into Firefox. Quantum is a large collection of work that plans on delivering significant changes to Firefox's core engine (aka "the Firefox platform" or just "the platform").


These take code that has passed review and land them on the target repository. Servo's autolander "homu" gates landed on a successful run of Servo's tests (continuous integration, or CI), while Gecko's autolander "autoland" just transplants code from the review to the integration repository.

Servo is developed on GitHub, while Gecko's lives in a Mercurial repository. For a multitude of good reasons it was decided that neither moving Servo to Mercurial or Gecko to GitHub would be viable. What we needed was a way for changes made on GitHub be synchronised to Mercurial and vice-versa.

the problem

The core problem at hand is it's fairly common for Stylo patches to touch both Servo and Gecko at the same time. These changes need to land simultaneously on the integration branch in order for the Firefox tests to pass. In the current environment this is not possible. Changes first need to land on Servo via a GitHub pull request, wait for Servo's tests to run and for homu to land the code (~45 minutes), watch the integration branch for the Servo changes to be overlaid, ignore the build/test failures, and finally push the Gecko changes to fix the code and (hopefully) return tests to a passing state.

Needless to say this is a sub-optimal experience for both developers and sheriffs.

in the beginning - unification

Long before I was involved the plan called for unification of the Servo and Firefox autolanders.


Large parts of homu would be rewritten into Gecko's autoland, and changes to both GitHub and Mercurial would funnel through this central autolander. It would kick off tests for both Servo and Gecko, and would land to both repositories only if tests on both repositories passed.

This plan was ambitious and relied Gecko's test suite returning a boolean pass/fail result.

autolander development

As it happens both of the project's autolanders were developed rapidly and grew organically as demands grew. As a result working on them can present issues, especially when implementing non-trivial changes. homu doesn't have any real tests, which adds risk to any large scale changes. Meanwhile autoland's development environment can be a nightmare at times; look at it the wrong way and you might lose the next two hours of your day getting your environment up and running again.

It became clear that somebody from outside of the autoland team was not going to be able to extend it to merge the two landers without heroic efforts.

gps and glob join the party

At the end of last year, gps and I were called in to provide whatever help we could to this project. gps is an expert in all things source control related, and I was familiar with gecko's autoland. While gps dove straight into developing servo-vcs-sync (see below), I acted in a supporting role for the existing engineer, however I wasn't called upon much in that capacity.

My involvement really ramped up when gps took one and a half months of leave at the start of this year, and I was called in to cover for him as best as I could.

servo-vcs-sync is born

gps realised that implementing uni-direction synchronisation from GitHub to Mercurial would be an important first step, and would ease a lot of the issues the Stylo team were having with their manual vendoring in of the servo code. He worked diligently on this and servo-vcs-sync was deployed on the Friday before his long leave.


This system and works well, but it wasn't without some teething problems; in fact it failed on its first weekend, generating ~10k error emails before the server was shutdown (pans out the failure retry interval was accidentally set to 100ms instead of 5 minutes - ouch).

In the time that gps was away I was able to resolve issues and add some missing functionality and it's been stable for some time.

a change of ownership

At the same time it was realised that the existing engineer was unable to work on the project and ownership was transferred to me. Development had not progressed beyond the planning stage, which gave me the opportunity to really look at the plan with a fresh set of eyes.

It also became evident that a critical part of this project - the ability for the Firefox's test suite to return a boolean pass or fail - was much harder than expected, and would not be ready within a reasonable time-frame.

What was needed was a new plan.

a new plan, or two

Being brought into the project late meant was good and bad. I had a lot to learn, but I also didn't have any preconceived notions of how this should be done; I was able to focus on the end goal.

I set up meetings and spoke with anyone who would listen to gather advice. I drew diagrams, we discussed, I discarded and drew more diagrams. At every increment complexity was shaved off.

For example early designs called for a new service to co-ordinate the two autolanders - the idea was for changes to register patches with the coordinator, which gathered results and ensured patches landed in the correct order across both repositories.


and here were are

After much discussion, especially around how best to manage backouts, we've settled on the following plan.

When a change is requested to be landed through autoland the following will happen:

  1. The list of files modified is checked to determine if files in the servo/ directory are touched
  2. If this is the case, the request is not landed by autoland, instead it notes the gecko changes then sends a message to the servo-vcs-sync service
  3. servo-vcs-sync creates a pull request on the servo/servo GitHub repository
  4. Homu tests and lands the pull request as per the existing process
  5. servo-vcs-sync is triggered by the changes to the GitHub repository
  6. Any gecko changes are mixed into the commit before it is pushed to the integration/autoland repository


  1. A sheriff performs a normal backout on the integration/autoland repository
  2. The mercurial server notifies servo-vcs-sync via pulse
  3. servo-vcs-sync creates a pull request on the servo/servo GitHub repository with the highest priority
  4. Homu lands the PR before any other, including those in-flight
  5. The change flows through to gecko via the normal GitHub → Mercurial flow

The following diagrams illustrate the flow of data across the systems.





I'm currently working on implementing this, which thus far mostly involves shaving yaks.

May 08, 2017 02:40 PM

February 07, 2017

Bugzilla Tips


Bugzilla comments are, by default, plain text – so typing <U> will produce less-than, U, greater-than rather than underlined text. However, Bugzilla will automatically make hyperlinks out of certain sorts of text in comments. For example, the text will be turned into a link: Other strings which get linkified in the obvious manner are:

A corollary here is that if you type one or more bug numbers in a comment, you should put the word “bug” before each of them, so they gets autolinkified for the convenience of others.

But also, if you have some text you want linkified in this way, perhaps for use in a blog post, status report, wiki page or other place, you can use the handy linkifier, which will do exactly that for you.

February 07, 2017 11:39 AM

January 05, 2017

Mark Côté

BMO in 2016

Stuff that landed in 2016

Here’s a sampling of improvements to BMO that were launched in 2016.

Improvements to bug-modal

We’ve continued to refine the modal bug view, aka the “experimental UI”. The BMO team fixed 39 bugs relating to the new interface in 2016. We’ve got a couple more blockers before we make the modal view the default, which should happen in the middle of January. We know there are a still a few outstanding bugs and some missing functionality, so we will leave the standard view available for a little while, at least until all the blockers of bug 1273046 are resolved. All future improvements to the bug view will happen only on the modal UI, which is not just more usable but also more hackable.

HTML email

There was actually no real work involved here, as HTML email was added to BMO years ago. At that time, since it was a new feature, we didn’t enable it by default… and then 4 years went by. Just a couple weeks ago a new BMO user suggested that we implement HTML emails, having no idea that the option was already there (buried in many other preferences). That was the prompting we needed to finally enable it by default.

Readable bug statuses

Emma Humphries added readable statuses prominently displayed at the top of the status panel (in the modal UI only). They quickly summarize the status of a bug in a visible place, mainly for triaging and tracking purposes.

A couple examples:

This is part of Emma’s on-going efforts to improve contributors' experiences.

Time zones

One big change we made this year was hopefully completely invisible to everyone: BMO’s database moved to UTC. When BMO was originally deployed in 1998, the database, being based in California, was set to Pacific Time. 6 years later someone suggested that UTC would be a better choice. When I took over management of the BMO team about 4.5 years ago, I was pretty horrified that a major application would be running in any time zone other than UTC, not in the least because of the confusion caused by an hour being repeated every year when PDT switched back to PST, since the presence or absence of DST is not noted in the database. However, we were never able to justify the required effort to move over to UTC, that is, until last year, as we were setting up a failover system in AWS. RDS, the natural choice for a MySQL-based application, supported only UTC, thus giving us a hard requirement to migrate. A heroic effort by dkl got us smoothly switched over in May 2016.

Memory-usage & perf improvements

We’ve known for some time that Bugzilla has a persistent memory leak. It was never a huge issue because the webheads would automatically restart Apache processes when their memory usage got too high, but it is understandably something that lurks in the back of the minds of the developers working on Bugzilla. Dylan finally got frustrated enough to fix a big leak, which resulted in the webheads restarting much less frequently, which in turn led to a performance increase. He’s been investigating and fixing other such leaks when he finds the time.

Stuff we’re wrapping up in 2017

Some of the bigger projects bled over into 2017.

Content Security Policy

We’ve been working on implementing CSP in BMO, starting with the new modal bug view. It was pretty hairy due to generated HTML, inline JavaScript, and other old web-dev techniques that make security harder. After some back and forth, we’re just about there; see bug 1286290 for progress.

Note that CSP can break browser extensions. Since the modal UI is relatively new, there are probably not too many extensions designed for it; however, we’ll be spreading CSP over time. And of course, we’ll be removing the old bug view at some point, which will definitely break some things.

Elastic Quicksearch

In the spring, Dylan hacked up a prototype of a quicksearch alternative powered by an Elasticsearch index. It’s lightning fast, so we explored setting it up in production. Of course a prototype is always easier than the real thing, and we had to do some structural work to BMO to make it possible, although that in turn has had side benefits. The indexing code is just about ready to roll out, and while we’re verifying that it works correctly, we’ll be finishing up the search code. You can also follow the main tracker bug for the whole deployment.

New stuff in 2017

We’re expecting to wrap up the above features in Q1, and we’ve already developed a road map for the first half of 2017 with some fun and long-awaited features. Emma will be going over this in another post, wearing her hat as BMO product manager, a job she has recently, and graciously, taken on herself!

January 05, 2017 04:54 PM

August 06, 2016

Emmanuel Seyman

Installing Bugzilla on RHEL/Centos 7.x

One recurring subject on the bugzilla support mailing list is the installation of the Perl modules that Bugzilla requires to function. When you are installing on a Linux distribution, the recommended course of action is to use the packages supplied by the distribution. But, on some distributions, these can be of a version lower than what is required by Bugzilla.

One such distribution is RHEL. Version 7 came out in 2014 and its long support life cycle make it popular for people to use it as a base for their bugzilla instance. Using Bugzilla 4.4 is easy because all Bugzilla's mandatory Perl packages are available by default but Bugzilla 5.0 came out after RHEL7 was released and a number of Perl modules aren't available or are outdated. Users then try to install the missing modules themselves, which is something easy to get wrong. I decided to see if this could be made simpler.

My first step was to see if the modules could be supplied in EPEL, a third-party software repository for RHEL and CentOS but some of the modules concerned are in RHEL which makes them impossible to update via EPEL. Another solution is the use of Fedora's COPR, an easy way for Fedora developers to maintain third party repositories for Fedora and/or RHEL.

It took some amount of tweaking to find the package versions that allow you to run Bugzilla 5.0.x without replacing RHEL7's entire Perl stack but the end result is here. Activating a COPR repo is pretty straightforward:

At which point, you can install bugzilla just like any other application:

The bugzilla package will be updated everytime a new version of Bugzilla is released and its support will end when the Bugzilla developers end support for the 5.0 branch.

August 06, 2016 03:13 PM

July 04, 2016

Byron Jones

adding "reviewer delegation" to MozReview


One of the first projects I worked on when I moved to the MozReview team was "review delegation". The goal was to add the ability for a reviewer to redirect a review request to someone else. It turned out to be a change that was much more complicated than expected.

MozReview is a Mozilla developed extension to the open source Review Board product; with the primary focus on working with changes as a series of commits instead of as a single unified diff.  This requires more than just a Review Board extension, it also encompasses a review repository (where reviews are pushed to), as well as Mercurial and Git modules that drive the review publishing process.  Autoland is also part of our ecosystem, with work started on adding static analysis (eg. linters) and other automation to improve the code review workflow.

I inherited the bug with a patch that had undergone a single review. The patch worked by exposing the reviewers edit field to all users, and modifying the review request once the update was OK'd. This is mostly the correct approach, however it had two major issues:

  1. According to Review Board and Bugzilla, the change was always made by the review's submitter, not the person who actually made the change
  2. Unlike other changes made in Review Board, the review request was updated immediately instead of using a draft which could then be published or discarded


Review Board has a simple permissions model - the review request's submitter (aka patch author) can make any change, while the reviewers can pretty much only comment, raise issues, and mark a review as "ready to ship" / "fix it". As you would expect, there are checks within the object layer to ensure that these permission boundaries are not overstepped.  Review Board's extension system allows for custom authorisation and permissions check, however the granularity of these are course: you can only control if a user can edit a review request as a whole, not on a per-field level.

In order to allow the reviewer list to be changed, we need to tell Review Board that the submitter was making the change.

Performing the actions as the submitter instead of the authenticated user is easy enough, however when the changes were pushed to Bugzilla they were attributed to the wrong user. After a few false starts, I settled on storing the authenticated user in the request's meta data, performing the changes as the submitter, and updating the routines that touch Bugzilla to first check for a stored user and make changes as that user instead of the submitter. Essentially "su".

This worked well except for on the page where the meta data changes are displayed - here the change was incorrectly attributed to the review submitter. Remember that under Review Board's permissions model only the review submitter can make these changes, so the name and gravatar were hard-coded in the django template to use the submitter. Given the constraints a Review Board extension has to operate in, this was a problem, and developing a full audit trail for Review Board would be too time consuming and invasive. The solution I went with was simple: hide the name and gravatar using CSS.

Drafts and Publishing

How Review Board works is, when you make a change, a draft is (almost) always created which you can then publish or discard. Under the hood this involves duplicating the review request into a draft object, against which modifications are made. A review request can only have one draft, which isn't a problem because only the submitter can change the review.

Of course for reviewer delegation to work we needed a draft for each user. Tricky.

The fix ended up needing to take a different approach depending on if the submitter was making the change or not.

When the review submitter updates the reviewers, the normal review board draft is used, with a few tweaks that show the draft banner when viewing any revision in the series instead of just the one that was changed. This allows us to correctly cope with situations where the submitter makes changes that are broader than just the reviewers, such as pushing a revised patch, or attaching a screenshot.

When anyone else updates the reviewers, a "draft" is created in local storage in their browser, and a fake draft banner is displayed. Publishing from this fake draft banner calls the API endpoint that performs the permissions shenanigans mentioned earlier.


Overall it has been an interesting journey into how Review Board works, and highlighted some of the complications MozReview hits when we need to work against Review Board's design. We've been working with the Review Board team to ease some of these issues, as well as deviating where required to deliver a Mozilla-focused user experience.

July 04, 2016 07:20 AM

May 19, 2016

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.4.12, 5.0.3, and 5.1.1

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the
Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 5.0.3 is our latest stable release. It contains various
useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.4.12 is a security update for the 4.4 branch:

Bugzilla 5.1.1 is an unstable development release.
This release has not received QA testing from the Bugzilla Project, and should not
be used in production environments. Development releases exist as previews of the
features that the next major release of Bugzilla will contain. They also exist for
testing purposes, to collect bug reports and feedback, so if you find a bug in this
development release (or you don’t like how some feature works) please
tell us.

Note:Make sure ImageMagick is up-to-date if the BmpConvert extension is enabled.
If no updated ImageMagick version is available for your OS, we recommend to disable the BmpConvert
extension for now (bug 1269793).

May 19, 2016 07:04 PM

May 16, 2016

Mark Côté

BMO's database takes a leap forward

For historical reasons (or “hysterical raisins” as gps says) that elude me, the BMO database has been in (ughhh) Pacific Time since it was first created. This caused some weirdness on every daylight savings time switch (particularly in the fall when 2:00-3:00 am technically occurs twice), but not enough to justify the work in fixing it (it’s been this way for close to two decades, so that means lots of implicit assumptions in the code).

However, we’re planning to move BMO to AWS at some point, and their standard db solution (RDS) only supports UTC. Thus we finally had the excuse to do the work, and, after a bunch of planning, developing, and reviewing, the migration happened yesterday without issues. I am unreasonably excited by this and proud to have witnessed the correction of this egregious violation of standard db principles 18 years after BMO was originally deployed.

Thanks to the BMO team and the DBAs!

May 16, 2016 12:52 AM

March 23, 2016

Byron Jones

mozreview and inline comments on the diff view

when a comment is left on a review in review board/mozreview it is currently displayed as a small square in the left column.


our top reviewers have strongly indicated that this is suboptimal and would prefer to match what most other code review systems do in displaying comments as an inline block on the diff. i agree — review comments are important and deserve more attention in the user interface; they should be impossible to miss.

while the upstream review board team have long said that the current display is in need of fixing, there is minimal love for the inline comments approach.

recently we worked on a plan of attack to appease both our reviewers and upstream's requirements.  :smacleod, :mconley and i talked through a wide assortment of design goals and potential issues.  we have a design document and i've started mocking up the approach in html:


we also kicked off discussions with the upstream review board development team, and are hopeful that this is a feature that will be accepted upstream.

March 23, 2016 03:39 PM

February 08, 2016

Bugzilla Update

Bugzilla Project Meeting Wednesday, July 17th, at 14:00 UTC

Much of this post is taken from a message I posted to the developers list a few days ago, so my apologies in advance to anyone reading it again. I’ve expanded on a few things and added the information about the upcoming meeting, so it’s probably worth re-reading.

For those unaware of the context, Frédéric Buclin last week announced that he was stepping down from his Assistant Project Manager position after 9 years.

To Frédéric: Thanks again (and again!) for all your hard work over the years! As stretched as I’ve been for time myself it has been a true godsend to have you picking up my slack the last few years. You will be missed!

To everyone else: For the time being, I’ll be handling approval requests, so if you have something up for approval and it’s not getting attention, I’m the one to pester.

This is sort of the end of an era for the Bugzilla project… Both Frédéric and Max (who left to work at Google a couple years ago and stepped down from his position earlier this year for lack of time) have been with the project for much longer than most people ever stick with a single employer in IT-related jobs (of which an open source project of this magnitude has a lot of similarities). For an open source project, that’s outright amazing, as people tend to come and go a lot in most projects. It’s kind of surprising that I’ve been around longer than them, but I’m kind of a “lifer” in some ways, and in reality I’ve had a good break from the project for the last few years because Max and Frédéric have been mostly taking care of everything while I’ve been busy with other things.

So it’s time to begin a new era. Since I’ve had a good break to clear the monotony I’m going to be trying to get more involved myself again (which I’ve been saying ever since Max left, but I have a lot more incentive now). I’d also like to kickstart a new team to lead the project, and kind of re-organize if you will. We have a number of positions within the project for various functions, which we’ve never really paid attention to as people moved on. So some questions we’ll be asking at our upcoming meeting are:

We also have some other “reinventing the project” type topics while we’re at it. There’s a number of things we’ve been talking about doing for a long time that we never really moved on, and some of the big elusive dreams (the big UI overhaul!) have actually been making progress as well, lately. When we’re in the middle of big changes like this, I think it’s a good time to review where we are, get everyone on the same page, and tackle some of these things we keep talking about.

We also have a lot of new useful technology at our disposal since the last time we had a project meeting. We’re going to experiment with using Google Hangouts for the meeting this time, and using their feature to stream the Hangout via YouTube for those who want to watch without participating. We’ll also keep our usual meeting IRC channel open so people who don’t have a Google+ account and don’t want to get one can still participate and ask questions via IRC.

The preliminary agenda and participation instructions have been posted at The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17th, at 14:00 UTC. And before anyone complains about the time, this was the best time to avoid inconveniencing the largest number of people. The Bugzilla Project has a global pool of contributors, and we have active contributors in a wide variety of time zones. The time chosen puts the meeting in the middle of the night for the fewest number of people. Those on the west coast in the US will probably have to get up a little early, and those in eastern Australia will be up a little later.

A lot of the emails and comments I’ve gotten since Frédéric’s announcement have been really positive, so I’m encouraged by the number of people who are still committed to keeping Bugzilla vibrant! We’ll see you at the meeting on Wednesday!

February 08, 2016 12:30 AM

February 02, 2016

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1243246] Attachment data submitted via REST API must always be base64 encoded
  • [1213424] The Bugzilla autocomplete dropdown should expand the width to show the full text of a match
  • [1241667] Trying to report a bug traps the user in an infinite loop
  • [1188236] "Congratulations on having your first patch approved" email should be clearer about how to get the patch landed.
  • [1243051] Create one off script to output cpanfile with all modules and their current versions to be used for version pinning
  • [1244604] configure nagios alerting for the bmo/reviewboard connector
  • [1244996] add a script to manage a user's settings
discuss these changes on

February 02, 2016 07:23 AM

January 20, 2016

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1236161] when converting a BMP attachment to PNG fails a zero byte attachment is created
  • [1231918] error handler doesn't close multi-part responses
discuss these changes on

January 20, 2016 07:33 AM

January 11, 2016

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1233878] tracking flags don't show up in the view of the bug right after filing
  • [1224001] Add push connector for
  • [1237188] add support for servicenow to the 'see also' field
  • [1236955] [form.mdn] Please add component drop-down to custom form
  • [1232913] The attachment links don't look like links
  • [1237185] hide 'cab review' custom field behind a "click through" to direct people to servicenow
discuss these changes on

January 11, 2016 03:13 PM

January 08, 2016

Mark Côté

BMO in 2015

It’s been a whole year since my last BMO update, partly because I’ve been busy with MozReview (and blogging a lot about it), and partly because the BMO team got distracted from our goals by a few sudden priority changes, which I’ll get to later in this post.

Plans from 2014

Even with some large interruptions, we fully achieved three of our five goals for the year and made good progress on a fourth.

Alternative Bug Views

Have you tried out the new modal UI? Although not completely finished (it lacks a few features that the standard UI has), it’s very usable. I don’t remember the last time I had to switch back, and I’ve been using it for at least 6 months. Bonus: gone is the intermediate page when you change a bug’s product, a gripe from time immemorial!

Even though there are still a large number of controls, the new UI is a lot more streamlined. glob gave a brief presentation at a Mozilla Project Meeting in November if you’d like to learn more.

The part we haven’t yet undertaken is building on this new framework to provide alternate views of bug data depending on what the user is trying to accomplish. We want to experiment with stripping down the presented data to only what is needed for a particular task, e.g. developing, triaging, approving, etc. The new UI is a lot more flexible than the old, so in 2016 we’ll build out at least one new task-centric view.

GitHub Authentication

If you haven’t noticed, you can log into BMO via GitHub. If you’ve never used BMO before, you’ll be prompted to set up an account after authenticating. As with Persona, only users with no special privileges (i.e. not admins nor people in security groups) can log in via GitHub.

Auth Delegation

Originally designed to smooth the process of logging into Review Board, auth delegation for API keys is actually a general-use feature that greatly improves the user experience, not to mention security, of third-party apps by allowing them to delegate authentication to BMO. There’s now no reason for apps to directly ask for your BMO credentials!

MozReview Details

There’s now a panel just above the attachments table that shows all the MozReview commits associated with the displayed bug along with a bit of other info:

We’re currently sorting out a single method to display other relevant information, notably, status of reviews, and then we’ll add that to this table.

Improved Searchability

This is the big item we haven’t made much progress on. We’ve got a plan to mirror some data to an Elasticsearch cluster and wire it into Quick Search. We’ve even started on the implementation, but it’s not going to be ready until mid-2016. It will increase search speeds, understandably one of the more common complaints about BMO.

Curve balls

We had two sets of surprises in 2015. One was work that ended up consuming more time than we had expected, and the other was important work that suddenly got a big priority boost.

BMO Backup in AWS

The first is that we moved the BMO failover out of a data center in Phoenix and into the cloud. IT did most of the work, but we had to make a series of changes to BMO to facilitate the move. We also had a lot of testing to do to. The upside is that our new failover system has had more testing than our old one had for quite some time!

Hardened Security

In August we found out that an attacker had compromised a privileged BMO account, using a combination of a weak, reused password and an exploit in another web site. In addition to a huge forensics effort from the great security folks at Mozilla, the BMO team implemented a number of security enhancements to BMO, most notably two-factor authentication. This work naturally took high priority and is the main reason for the slippage of our big 2015 goals. Here’s to a more secure 2016!

Other Stuff

As usual, the BMO team rolled out a pile of smaller fixes, enhancements, improvements, and new features. A few notable examples include

You can always find the exhaustive list of recent changes to BMO on the wiki or on the group/mailing list.

January 08, 2016 01:20 AM

December 22, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 5.0.2, 4.4.11, and 4.2.16

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain two security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 5.0.2 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.4.11 is a security update for the 4.4 branch:

Bugzilla 4.2.16 is a security update for the 4.2 branch:

December 22, 2015 10:38 PM

October 22, 2015

Byron Jones

moving from bugzilla to mozreview

for the next couple of quarters (at least) i'll be shifting my attention full time from bugzilla to mozreview. this switch involves a change of language, frameworks, and of course teams. i'm looking forward to new challenges.

one of the first things i've done is sketch out a high level architectural diagram of mozreview and its prime dependencies:


mozreview exists as an extension to reviewboard, using bugzilla for user authentication, ldap to check commit levels, with autoland pushing commits automatically to try (and to mozilla-central soon).  there's mecurial extensions on both the client and server to make pushing things easer, and there are plans to perform static analysis with bots.

October 22, 2015 07:53 PM

October 13, 2015

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1172418] user fields are cleared when navigating back to a page (eg. after an error)
  • [1211703] help docs not available for User Preferences
  • [1212721] gravatar container for comment 0 can be too wide
  • [1207379] Button edges are hard to see at most zoom-levels, with bmo "experimental user interface"
  • [1204410] Buttons besides 'User Story' overflow if the user story is a one-liner
  • [1181044] linkification isn't applied to the user-story field
  • [1200765] Make login UX mobile friendly to assist mobile authentication workflow
  • [1202281] BMO login being reset for every browser session
  • [1213033] make the TOTP MFA code field type=number on mobile
  • [1029800] Release Tracking Report doesn't return bugs with tracking flags set to --- when searching for "not fixed" values
  • [1178094] Update crash signatures to match new Socorro signature generation
  • [1150358] cannot remove other people from the cc list
  • [1149899] Remember expanded/collapsed sections
  • [1197805] Always show "never email me about this bug" checkbox
  • [1211891] needinfo requests where the current user is the requestee shouldn't be editable
  • [1199089] add support for duo-security

discuss these changes on

October 13, 2015 06:03 AM

October 06, 2015

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1209332] Make the master kick-off bug "Confidential Mozilla Employee Bug" by default
  • [1209971] Suggested reviewers should exclude the current user from the list displayed
  • [1200958] group owners should always be able to view group membership reports for their groups
  • [1196620] support automatic removal of inactive users from groups
  • [1210654] "MozReview Requests" is not shown in the page after submitting a change
  • [1210762] User stories aren't saved as part of the "remember values as bookmarkable template"
  • [1198519] Add link to bug history page to the top-right drop-down menu
  • [1210246] help link is busted
  • [1210690] Display only commits and only relevant data
  • [1205748] Can't mark inaccessible bug dependent on a regression it caused
  • [1164063] show a warning near the attachments table for sec-high/sec-crit bugs without sec-approval? on patches
  • [1211750] Changing password with MFA turned on will not work
discuss these changes on

October 06, 2015 07:28 AM

September 30, 2015

Byron Jones

happy bmo push day!

the following changes have been pushed to

  • [1207926] change treeherder@bots.tld to orangefactor@bots.tld
  • [1204683] Add whoami endpoint
  • [1208135] security not being mailed when bugs change core-security-release state
  • [1199090] add printable recovery 2fa codes
  • [1204623] timestamp on flags should reference the latest updated activity, not the first
  • [1209745] Update get_permissions.html.tmpl to reflect new self-canconfirm process
discuss these changes on

September 30, 2015 07:42 AM

September 10, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 5.0.1, 4.4.10, and 4.2.15

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 5.0.1 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.4.10 is a security and bug fix update for the 4.4 branch:

Bugzilla 4.2.15 is a security and bug fix update for the 4.2 branch:

September 10, 2015 08:47 PM

September 08, 2015

Bugzilla Tips

Better Bugzilla Documentation

The recent release of Bugzilla 5.0 was the first release sporting the new, improved Bugzilla documentation, which has been moved from DocBook XML to reStructuredText to make it easier to edit and so more likely to be up-to-date :-).

Readers of this blog may be particularly interested in the User Guide. Feedback on the new docs is welcome, particularly suggestions for where it is lacking – please use the bug filing link at the bottom of each docs page.

September 08, 2015 12:50 PM

August 07, 2015

Bugzilla Tips

New Modal UI for show_bug on BMO

For the past few months, a new experimental modal bug view has been available on This hides a lot of complexity both through being read-only initially, and also through having expandable and collapsible sections. It is also quicker and less resource-intensive to load. It requires you to click an “Edit” button, which reveals much more UI, when you want to do more than the common operations – add a comment, CC/NI people, or change the Status or Resolution. It is also more dynamic – for example, there are no more interstital pages when moving bugs between Products, because when you change the Product, the new lists of Components, Milestones etc. load into the widgets automatically.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s the initial view:


And here’s the Edit view:


You can enable it in the Preferences – change “Use experimental user interface” to “On”.

Thanks to glob for doing the hard work on making this happen. This view has not yet made it upstream to Bugzilla itself.

August 07, 2015 02:35 PM

July 30, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Bugzilla 4.2 will be EOL on 2015/11/30

As discussed on the Bugzilla developers mailing list/newsgroup and confirmed by project leads, Bugzilla’s new release policy is to end-of-life the oldest supported major version four months after a new major release. Since this is the first time we’re enacting this policy, we’ve extended the date to be 4 months from today rather than from Bugzilla 5.0’s exact release date (July 7th).

Thus Bugzilla 4.2 will be end-of-lifed on 30 November 2015. This means no fixes of any kind will be issued for Bugzilla 4.2 from that date onwards. As usual, all Bugzilla admins are encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of Bugzilla as soon as possible, especially those running 4.2 or earlier.

To expand a bit further on our new EOL process, after a new major release, we will support three major releases (including the new one) for four months.  After four months, we will drop support for the oldest one.  We will continue to support the remaining two until four months after the next release.

For example, currently we support 4.2, 4.4, and 5.0.  In four months’ time we will drop support for 4.2 and support only 4.4 and 5.0.  When the next major version comes out, perhaps 5.2*, we will support 4.4, 5.0, and 5.2.  Four months later, we will drop support for 4.4 and support only 5.0 and 5.2.

Mark Côté
Assistant Project Lead, Bugzilla

* It may be 6.0 if there are major and/or breaking changes.

July 30, 2015 06:13 AM

July 07, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 5.0

Today the Bugzilla Project is extremely proud to announce the release of Bugzilla 5.0!

It has been slightly over two years since we released Bugzilla 4.4 on May 2013. This new major release comes with many new features and improvements to WebServices and performance.

We hope that you enjoy and appreciate the results of the past two years of hard work by our entirely-volunteer community.

EOL for 4.0.x

Please note that the release of Bugzilla 5.0 also marks End Of Life for the Bugzilla 4.0 series, meaning that there will be no further updates for the 4.0.x series, even if there are serious security
issues found in that series. We recommend that all installations running the 4.0 series upgrade as soon as possible to 5.0.

July 07, 2015 09:20 PM

April 21, 2015

Bugzilla Update

VCS updates: bzr moving, cvs ending

At the Bugzilla project meeting on 2015-03-25 the project lead and assistant leads agreed on two major changes to Bugzilla’s source-code hosting:
  1. CVS support is officially dropped as of now. 4.0 is the last version that was released on CVS, and it will be EOLed when 5.0 comes out (very soon; rc3 was just released). In the event of a release on the 4.0 branch before it is EOLed, any Bugzilla installations that have not migrated to bzr or git will have to apply patches to upgrade, which will continue to be distributed as usual. Bugzilla site admins are strongly encouraged to migrate to pulling from as soon as possible.
  2. Bazaar hosting has been officially switched from to is already active and syncing changes from is no longer syncing changes and will soon be shut down. Any sites upgrading from must do one of the following to apply any future upgrades, in order of preference: will continue to mirror changes from for the 4.0, 4.2, and 4.4 branches as long as they are supported. Note that, at the moment, master/trunk is being mirrored as well, but no other branches, including and subsequent to 5.0, will be mirrored to, and trunk mirroring may cease at any time.

Note that is waiting on a proper certificate; please use plain http until this is resolved.

The Bugzilla team apologizes for any inconvenience. Please see our support options if you have trouble migrating.

Mark Côté
Assistant Project Lead, Bugzilla

April 21, 2015 09:13 PM

April 15, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 5.0rc3, 4.4.9, 4.2.14, and 4.0.18

Today we have several new releases for you!

Bugzilla 5.0rc3 is our third Release Candidate for Bugzilla 5.0. This release has received QA testing, and should be considerably more stable than the development releases before it. It is still not considered fully stable, and so you should understand that if you use it, you use it at your own risk.

If feedback from this release candidate indicates that it is mostly stable, then Bugzilla 5.0 will be released in a few weeks. If feedback indicates that more extensive fixes are needed, there may be another release candidate after this one.

Bugzilla 4.4.9 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes:

Bugzilla 4.2.14 is a bugfix update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.18 is a bugfix update for the 4.0 branch:

April 15, 2015 08:22 PM

February 18, 2015

Gervase Markham


Complaining about (BMO) is a Mozilla project activity as old as the hills. Back in 2009, it was realised by the Foundation that to make everyone happy was (and still is) an impossible task, and I was given a mandate to “help people solve their own problems”. So around September 2009, I released the first version of my Bugzilla API proxy software, BzAPI. This software presented a clean, well-documented RESTful interface on the front end, and did all sorts of things on the back end (XML, CSV, RPC, HTML scraping) that developers no longer had to worry about. We made a dev server VM for it so people could try it out –

It was popular. Extremely popular. People started building things, and then more things, all of which depended on this server for Bugzilla data. For various reasons, IT never got around to building a production instance, and so over the last five years, I’ve been maintaining this core piece of Mozilla project infrastructure, which was depended on by TBPL and many, many other tools which interfaced with Bugzilla. At its peak, it serviced 400,000 requests per day.

Over the intervening years, BMO itself acquired a REST API which slowly became more capable, and then a BzAPI-compatible API shim was implemented on top of it by the excellent dkl, so people could change their code to access BMO directly just by updating the endpoint URL. After a few false starts, requests to are now served directly by BMO, via that shim code. Earlier today, the api-dev VM was finally powered down.

Here’s to you, api-dev. Good job.

February 18, 2015 04:04 PM

Bugzilla Tips

Bugzilla Has New Documentation

The Bugzilla team recently finished a big project to update, rewrite, improve and centralize Bugzilla’s documentation. You can find it at In particular, there’s a User Guide which will be useful to, er, Bugzilla users.

If you have suggestions for further improvements to the documentation, please let the team know.

February 18, 2015 02:36 PM

January 27, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 5.0rc2, 4.4.8, 4.2.13, and 4.0.17

Sorry for the new release so soon, but we found a regression in the release last week and felt it would be best to get the fix out now rather than wait.

Bugzilla 5.0rc2 is our second Release Candidate for Bugzilla 5.0. This release has receive QA testing, and should be considerably more stable than the development releases before it. It is still not considered fully stable, and so you should understand that if you use it, you use it at your own risk.

If feedback from this release candidate indicates that it is mostly stable, then Bugzilla 5.0 will be released in a few weeks. If feedback indicates that more extensive fixes are needed, there may be another release candidate after this one.

Bugzilla 4.4.8 is our latest stable release. It contains an important bug fix:

Bugzilla 4.2.13 is a bug fix update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.17 is a bug fix update for the 4.0 branch:

January 27, 2015 08:23 PM

January 21, 2015

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.4.7, 4.2.12, 4.0.16, and 5.0rc1

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 5.0rc1 is our first Release Candidate for Bugzilla 5.0. This release has received QA testing, and should be considerably more stable than the development releases before it. It is still not considered fully stable, and so you should understand that if you use it, you use it at your own risk.

If feedback from this release candidate indicates that it is mostly stable, then Bugzilla 5.0 will be released in a few weeks. If feedback indicates that more extensive fixes are needed, there may be another release candidate after this one.

Bugzilla 4.4.7 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.2.12 is a security and bugfix update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.16 is a security and bugfix update for the 4.0 branch:

January 21, 2015 11:00 PM

January 19, 2015

Mark Côté

BMO 2014 Statistics

Everyone loves statistics! Right? Right? Hello?

tap tap

feedback screech

Well anyway, here are some numbers from BMO in 2014:

BMO Usage:

33 243 new users registered
45 628 users logged in
23 063 users performed an action
160 586 new bugs filed
138 127 bugs resolved
100 194 patches attached

BMO Development:

1 325 bugs filed
1 214 bugs resolved

Conclusion: there are a lot of dedicated Mozillians out there!

January 19, 2015 01:09 AM

January 07, 2015

Mark Côté

BMO 2014 update part II

The second half of 2014 was spent finishing up some performance work and shifting into usability improvements, which will continue into 2015.

More performance!

By the end of 2014, we’d managed to pick most of the low-to-medium-hanging fruit in the world of Bugzilla server-side performance. The result is approximately doubling the performance of authenticated bug views. Here are graphs from January 2014 and October 2014:

The server now also minifies and concatenates JavaScript and CSS files. This affects cold loads mostly, since these files are cached, but even on reload it saves a few round trips.

As mentioned above, we’re shifting focus away from performance work and towards usability/work-flow improvements, but there will still be perf benefits, both by reducing and delaying loading of content and by making it easier for users to accomplish common tasks.

New, better documentation

We’ve converted the upstream Bugzilla documentation to reStructuredText, massively updated and reorganized it, and, perhaps of most interest to anyone reading this, completely rewrote the API docs, which were very hard to grok.

For BMO specifically, we’ve fixed up the wiki page. We’ve also started a user guide, but it’s just a skeleton at the moment. There are lots of users out there who know the ins and outs of BMO, so feel free to contribute a section!

GMail support

To support Mozilla’s transition to GMail, we added two features. First, we now limit the number of emails sent to a user per minute and per hour, since GMail will temporarily disable accounts that receive too much mail, and some BMO users receive a lot of bugmail. Second, since GMail’s ability to filter mail by headers is limited compared to other email servers, users can now include the X-Bugzilla-* headers in the body via General Preferences.

Other things


As I’ve said a few times now, in 2015 we’re going to do a lot of work on improving general BMO-user productivity: usability, UX, work flows, whatever you want to call it. I’ll write more about this later, but here are a few things we’re looking into:

As usual, if you have questions or comments, you can leave them here, but an even better place is the mailing list, also available as a Google Group and via NNTP.

January 07, 2015 07:31 PM

December 06, 2014

Bugzilla Tips

Making Bugzilla Searches Faster

People often wonder how to make searches in Bugzilla faster on large installations. Two things will give you the most bang for the buck:

Do those two things, and your searches will be much faster.

Coincidentally enough, Bugzilla’s “Simple Search” (BMO version) allows you to specify precisely those two things.

December 06, 2014 10:14 PM

December 01, 2014

Gervase Markham

Search Bugzilla with Yahoo!

The Bugzilla team is aware that there are currently 5 different methods of searching Bugzilla (as explained in yesterday’s presentation) – Instant Search, Simple Search, Advanced Search, Google Search and QuickSearch. It has been argued that this is too many, and that we should simplify the options available – perhaps building a search which is all three of Instant, Simple and Quick, instead of just one of them. Some Bugzilla developers have sympathy with that view.

I, however, having caught the mood of the times, feel that Mozilla is all about choice, and there is still not enough choice in Bugzilla search. Therefore, I have decided to add a sixth option for those who want it. As of today, December 1st, by installing this GreaseMonkey script, you can now search Bugzilla with Yahoo! Search. (To do this, obviously, you will need a copy of GreaseMonkey.) It looks like this:

In the future, I may create a Bugzilla extension which allows users to fill the fourth tab on the search page with the search engine of their choice, perhaps leveraging the OpenSearch standard. Then, you will be able to search Bugzilla using the search engine which provides the best experience in your locale.

Viva choice!

December 01, 2014 12:01 AM

November 28, 2014

Gervase Markham

Bugzilla for Humans, II

In 2010, johnath did a very popular video introducing people to Bugzilla, called “Bugzilla for Humans“. While age has been kind to johnath, it has been less kind to his video, which now contains several screenshots and bits of dialogue which are out of date. And, being a video featuring a single presenter, it is somewhat difficult to “patch” it.

Enter Popcorn Maker, the Mozilla Foundation’s multimedia presentation creation tool. I have written a script for a replacement presentation, voiced it up, and used Popcorn Maker to put it together. It’s branded as being in the “Understanding Mozilla” series, as a sequel to “Understanding Mozilla: Communications” which I made last year.

So, I present “Understanding Mozilla: Bugzilla“, an 8.5 minute introduction to Bugzilla as we use it here in the Mozilla project:

Because it’s a Popcorn presentation, it can be remixed. So if the instructions ever change, or Bugzilla looks different, new screenshots can be patched in or erroneous sections removed. It’s not trivial to seamlessly patch my voiceover unless you get me to do it, but it’s still much more possible than patching a video. (In fact, the current version contains a voice patch.) It can also be localized – the script is available, and someone could translate it into another language, voice it up, and then remix the presentation and adjust the transitions accordingly.

Props go to the Popcorn team for making such a great tool, and the Developer Tools team for Responsive Design View and the Screenshot button, which makes it trivial to reel off a series of screenshots of a website in a particular custom size/shape format without any need for editing.

November 28, 2014 11:52 AM

November 25, 2014

Bugzilla Tips

Email Filtering on

Vanilla Bugzilla lets you decide which bugmail you receive based on what changed about a bug. But there are a couple of extensions which give you even more control, and both are installed on So the new email filtering pipeline is as follows:

Firstly, ComponentWatching, as the name implies, lets you “watch” particular products or components, so you get put on the list to receive bugmail for all changes to any bugs in those products or components. This is very useful if you have an interest in a particular area of the project. You can also watch particular users – that function is built-in.

Secondly, the normal email filters run, which exclude or include you from emails based on the particular fields which have been changed in the bug update.

Lastly, the BugmailFilter extension allows you to define “include” or “exclude” rules based on any one of:

Using these three capabilities in tandem, it should be possible to carefully control how much bugmail you receive, even if you are using a system like Gmail which does not have good client-side filtering.

November 25, 2014 05:40 PM

November 19, 2014

Gervase Markham

BMO show_bug Load Times 2x Faster Since January

The load time for viewing bugs on has got 2x faster since January. See this tweet for graphical evidence.

If you are looking for a direction in which to send your bouquets, glob is your man.

November 19, 2014 10:42 AM

October 06, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.4.6, 4.2.11, 4.0.15, and 4.5.6

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 4.4.6 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.2.11 is a security update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.15 is a security update for the 4.0 branch:

Bugzilla 4.5.6 is an unstable development release. This release has not received QA testing from the Bugzilla Project, and should not be used in production environments. Development releases exist as previews of the features that the next major release of Bugzilla will contain. They also exist for testing purposes, to collect bug reports and feedback, so if you find a bug in this development release (or you don’t like how some feature works) please tell us.

October 06, 2014 07:33 PM

Gervase Markham

New Class of Vulnerability in Perl Web Applications

We did a Bugzilla security release today, to fix some holes responsibly disclosed to us by Check Point Vulnerability Research, to whom we are very grateful. The most serious of them would allow someone to create and control an account for an arbitrary email address they don’t own. If your Bugzilla gives group permissions based on someone’s email domain, as some do, this could be a privilege escalation.

(Update 2014-10-07 05:42 BST: to be clear, this pattern is most commonly used to add “all people in a particular company” to a group, using an email address regexp like .*$. It is used this way on to allow Mozilla Corporation employees access to e.g. Human Resources bugs. Membership of the Mozilla security group, which has access to unfixed vulnerabilities, is done on an individual basis and could not be obtained using this bug. The same is true of BMO admin privileges.)

These bugs are actually quite interesting, because they seem to represent a new Perl-specific security problem. (At least, as far as I’m aware it’s new, but perhaps we are about to find that everyone knows about it but us. Update 2014-10-08 09:20 BST: everything old is new again; but the level of response, including changes to, suggest that this had mostly faded from collective memory.) This is how it works. I’m using the most serious bug as my example. The somewhat less serious bugs caused by this pattern were XSS holes. (Check Point are going to be presenting on this vulnerability at the 31st Chaos Communications Congress in December in Hamburg, so check their analysis out too.)

Here’s the vulnerable code:

my $otheruser = Bugzilla::User->create({
    login_name => $login_name, 
    realname   => $cgi->param('realname'), 
    cryptpassword => $password});

This code creates a new Bugzilla user in the database when someone signs up. $cgi is an object representing the HTTP request made to the page.

The issue is a combination of two things. Firstly, the $cgi->param() call is context-sensitive – it can return a scalar or an array, depending on the context in which you call it – i.e. the type of the variable you assign the return value to. The ability for functions to do this is a Perl “do what I mean” feature.

Let’s say you called a page as follows, with 3 instances of the same parameter:


If you call param() in an array context (the @ sigil represents a variable which is an array), you get an array of values:

@values = $cgi->param('foo');
['bar', 'baz', 'quux']

If you call it in a scalar context (the $ sigil represents a variable which is a scalar), you get a single value, probably the first one:

$value = $cgi->param('foo'); 

So what context is it being called in, in the code under suspicion? Well, that’s exactly the problem. It turns out that functions called during hash value assignment are evaluated in a list context. However, when the result comes back, that value or those values are assigned to be part of uthe hash as if they were a set of individual, comma-separated scalars. I suspect this behaviour exists because of the close relationship of lists and hashes; it allows you to do stuff like:

my @array = ("foo", 3, "bar", 6);
my %hash = @array;
{ "foo" => 3, "bar" => 6 }

Therefore, when assigning the result of a function call as a hash value, if the return value is a single scalar, all goes as you would expect, but if it’s an array, the second and subsequent values end up being added as key/value pairs in the hash as well. This allows an attacker to override values already in the hash (specified earlier), which may have already been validated, with values controlled by them. In our case, real_name can be any string, so doesn’t need validation, but login_name most definitely does, and it already has been by the time this code is called.

So, in the case of the problematic code above, something like:


would end up overriding the already-validated login_name variable, giving the attacker control of the value used in the call to Bugzilla::User->create(). Oops.

We found 15 instances of this pattern in our code, four of which were exploitable to some degree. If you maintain a Perl web application, you may want to audit it for this pattern. Clearly, param() calls are the first thing to look for, but it’s possible that this pattern could occur with other modules which use the same context-sensitive return feature. The generic fix is to require the function call to be evaluated in scalar context:

my $otheruser = Bugzilla::User->create({
    login_name => $login_name, 
    realname   => scalar $cgi->param('realname'), 
    cryptpassword => $password});

I’d say it might be wise to not ever allow hash values to be assigned directly from functions without a call to scalar.

October 06, 2014 07:13 PM

August 28, 2014

Bugzilla Update Disclosure

UPDATE: We have reset all passwords on all Landfill test Bugzilla systems. All users will be required to set a new password the next time they access the test Bugzilla systems.

One of our developers discovered that, starting on about May 4th, 2014, for a period of around 3 months, during the migration of our testing server for test builds of the Bugzilla software, database dump files containing email addresses and encrypted passwords of roughly 97,000 users of the test build were posted on a publicly accessible server.  As soon as we became aware, the database dump files were removed from the server immediately, and we’ve modified the testing process to not require database dumps.

Generally, developers who use our test builds have told us they understand that these builds are insecure and may break, so they do not use passwords they would reuse elsewhere.  However, because it is possible that some users could have reused their passwords on other websites or authentication systems, we’ve sent notices to the users who were affected by this disclosure and recommended that they change any similar passwords they may be using. It’s important to note that, unless users reused the password they used on, this does not affect email addresses or passwords.

We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you.


Mark Côté

Assistant Project Lead, Bugzilla

August 28, 2014 08:11 PM

July 24, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.0.14, 4.2.10, 4.4.5, and 4.5.5

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain a security fix. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 4.4.5 is our latest stable release and contains a security fix.

Bugzilla 4.2.10 is a security update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.14 is a security update for the 4.0 branch:

Bugzilla 4.5.5 is an unstable development release. This release has not received QA testing from the Bugzilla Project, and should not be used in production environments. Development releases exist as previews of the features that the next major release of Bugzilla will contain. They also exist for testing purposes, to collect bug reports and feedback, so if you find a bug in this development release (or you don’t like how some feature works) please tell us.

July 24, 2014 09:40 PM

May 03, 2014

Gervase Markham

Bugzilla 1,000,000 Bug Sweepstake Results

Milestone bug 1,000,000 was filed on 2014-04-23 at 01:10 ZST by Archaeopteryx (although rumour has it he used a script, as he also filed the 12 previous bugs in quick succession). The title of the bug was initially “Long word suggestions can move/shift keyboard partially off screen so it overflows” (a Firefox OS Gaia::Keyboard bug, now bug 1000025), but has since been changed to “Celebrate 1000000 bugs, bring your own drinks.”

The winner of the sweepstake to guess the date and time is Gijs Kruitbosch, who guessed 2014-04-25 05:43:21 – which is 2 days, 4 hours, 33 minutes and 5 seconds out. This is a rather wider error, measured in seconds, than the previous sweepstake, but this one had a much longer time horizon – it was instituted 9 months ago. So that’s an error of about 0.95%. The 800,000 bug winner had an error of about 1.55% using the same calculation, so in those terms Gijs’ effort is actually better.

Gijs writes:

I’m Dutch, recently moved to Britain, and I’ll be celebrating my 10th “mozversary” sometime later this year (for those who are counting, bugs had 6 digits and started with “2” when I got going). Back in 2004, I got started by working on ChatZilla, later the Venkman JS debugger and a bit of Firefox, and last year I started working on Firefox as my day job. Outside of Mozilla, I play the piano every now and then, and try to adjust to living in a nation that puts phone booths in its cycle paths.

The two runners-up are Håvard Mork (2d 14h 50m 52s out) and Mark Banner (8d 8h 24m 36s out). Håvard writes:

My name is Håvard Mork. I’m a Java software developer, working with Firefox and web localization to Norwegian. I’ve been involved with localization since 2003. I think localization is rewarding, because it is a process of understanding the mindset of the users, and their perception of IT.

I’m surprised that my estimate came that close. I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how much bug numbers grow, and estimate the exponential components. Unfortunately I lost the equation, so need to start over for the 2,000,000 sweepstakes…

Mark writes:

I’m Mark Banner, also known as Standard8 on irc, I work from home in the UK. I came to Mozilla through volunteering on Thunderbird, and then working at Mozilla Messaging. I still manage Thunderbird releases. Alongside those, I am working on the Loop project (formally Talkilla), which is aiming to provide a real time communications service for Mozilla products, built on top of WebRTC.

Gijs will get a Most Splendid Package, and also a knitted thing from Sheeri as a special bonus prize! The other winners will receive something a little less splendid, but I’m sure it’ll be worth having nevertheless.

May 03, 2014 07:57 PM

April 28, 2014

Gervase Markham Stats At 1,000,000

Thanks to glob, we’ve got some interesting stats from BMO as it crosses the 1M bug mark.


NEW          103655
ASSIGNED       8826
REOPENED       3598
RESOLVED     640326
VERIFIED     220235
CLOSED         1628



DUPLICATE    119242
EXPIRED       10677
FIXED        303099
INVALID       58096
MOVED            27
WONTFIX       36179


DUPLICATE     64702
EXPIRED          27
FIXED        108935
INVALID       17099
MOVED           150
WONTFIX        6105

Bugs Filed Per Day (April)

2014-04-01    519
2014-04-02    531
2014-04-03    620
2014-04-04    373
2014-04-05    133
2014-04-06    132
2014-04-07    544
2014-04-08    622
2014-04-09    597
2014-04-10    571
2014-04-11    467
2014-04-12    156
2014-04-13    170
2014-04-14    573
2014-04-15    580
2014-04-16    574
2014-04-17    619
2014-04-18    356
2014-04-19    168
2014-04-20    118
2014-04-21    445
2014-04-22    635
2014-04-23    787
2014-04-24    562
2014-04-25    498
2014-04-26    173

Busiest Days Ever

2013-12-30    1360 (bulk import from another tracker)
2013-12-29    1081 (bulk import from another tracker)
2008-07-22    1037 (automated security scanner filing bugs)
2012-10-01    1013 (Gaia bugs import)
2014-02-11    805
2014-04-23    787
2014-02-04    678
2013-01-09    675
2013-11-19    647
2014-04-22    635

User Activity

(You can find these stats about yourself by going to your own user profile. If you are logged in, you can search for other users and see their stats.)

Top 10: Assignees         349671          16385      15056             13350        11974         10995         4768             4697            4672    4273

Top 10: Reporters          8037          6129      5032            4789             4351      4348     4038            3680            3651         3528

Top 10: Commenters          347695           148481     65552           58588            50560         48840            48704           47453           43596         42885

Top 11: Patches Attached             8080            4879            4502            4397        4079                3930    3890          3739          3659               3530               3411

Top 11: Reviews           15581            14869                9424              8352            8103        7272    6198          5983              5499        5346        5126

April 28, 2014 12:38 PM

April 19, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.5.4, 4.4.4, 4.2.9, and 4.0.13

There are four new releases today. All of today’s releases contain an important bug fix discovered since the last release.

Bugzilla 4.4.4 is our latest stable release. It is a bug fix update for the 4.4 branch:

Bugzilla 4.2.9 is a bug fix update for the 4.2 branch:

Bugzilla 4.0.13 is a bug fix update for the 4.0 branch:

Bugzilla 4.5.4 is an unstable development release. This release has not received QA testing from the Bugzilla Project, and should not be used in production environments. Development releases exist as previews of the features that the next major release of Bugzilla will contain. They also exist for testing purposes, to collect bug reports and feedback, so if you find a bug in this development release (or you don’t like how some feature works) please tell us.

April 19, 2014 02:08 PM

April 18, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.5.3, 4.4.3, 4.2.8, and 4.0.12

Today we have several new releases for you!

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend that all Bugzilla administrators read the Security Advisory that was published along with these releases.

Bugzilla 4.4.3 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes and security improvements:

Bugzilla 4.2.8 is a security update for the 4.2 branch as well as contains several bug fixes:

Bugzilla 4.0.12 is a security update for the 4.0 branch:

Bugzilla 4.5.3 is an unstable development release. This release has not received QA testing from the Bugzilla Project, and should not be used in production environments. Development releases exist as previews of the features that the next major release of Bugzilla will contain. They also exist for testing purposes, to collect bug reports and feedback, so if you find a bug in this development release (or you don’t like how some feature works) please tell us.

April 18, 2014 02:34 AM

March 27, 2014

Bugzilla Update

(re)introducing Mark Côté, Bugzilla Assistant Project Lead

I’ve invited Mark Côté to step up to fill the Assistant Project Lead position vacated by Simon Green two months ago. He’ll also be taking on a role as a “Community Coordinator” to try to step up efforts to make new community members feel welcome and encourage more involvement.

You probably all know him most recently for his leadership in the project to move our source control from bzr to git. He’s a long-time developer outside of Bugzilla, and has been heavily involved with Bugzilla the last year or so via his participation in maintaining He’s mainly been in the role of a project manager for BMO, and that’s really what Bugzilla needs right now. We haven’t had a really good project manager or community coordinator in a long time, and the state of the project kinda shows it. In another first (in recent history), “approval” rights aren’t initially coming with the job. Any patches that need commit approval can continue to be directed towards Byron (glob) or myself (justdave).

I’ve had a long-standing policy of trying to avoid having the entire senior leadership team being employed by Mozilla, in order to try to keep it a real community project and not feel like it was being controlled by Mozilla, but the reality is that nobody else from outside of Mozilla has been involved enough to step into this kind of role in the recent past, and it’s better to have it filled and get things done than to leave it vacant and let the project stagnate even further. If he’s an effective community builder, that problem will probably solve itself eventually.

We’re going to try to set up another real-time project meeting soon either on IRC or Air Mozilla or in Google Hangouts again (that wasn’t too bad when we did it) so we can regroup on where we are and where we plan to go. Expect to be hearing from Mark on that soon.

For more information about Mark, see his Mozillians profile at or his LinkedIn profile at or find him in the #bugzilla channel on IRC as mcote.

March 27, 2014 03:12 AM

February 17, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Git Migration Scheduled

A migration of Bugzilla and related code from to will be perfomed on Tuesday, 11 March 2014, starting at 17:00 UTC.  At this time, all Bazaar branches on will be made read-only (aside from a few admin accounts), and the migration to git repos on will commence.  It should take around 1.5 hours to migrate everything, after which point write access will be enabled on the git repos for all users previously authorized on  A script will periodically mirror changes from git to bzr for all currently supported Bugzilla branches (4.0, 4.2, and 4.4).  Changes will not be mirrored for any other branches of Bugzilla nor any other related branches (extensions, misc, etc.).

We will start mirroring changes to read-only repos on GitHub at some point (to be determined) after the migration to will remain the repository of record, meaning the only place to which changes should be committed by developers.  All mirroring, e.g. to GitHub and, will be unidirectional.

We’ve already done one test migration; see  It was successful aside from some missed file deletions, resulting in extra files on a handful of git repos after the migration.  I manually deleted the superfluous files after migration, and I also fixed the migration script to account for this oddity in Bazaar’s fast-export output, so it won’t happen during the real migration.

I would like to open up testing to all developers, starting with another complete, fresh migration, on Tuesday, 18 February 2014, around 17:00 UTC.  To test the git-to-bzr mirroring script, we’ll create a new branch, “migration-test”, off of Bugzilla trunk and run the mirroring script on it after the migration.  We’ll leave it running until the real migration, and I invite anyone with commit access to to commit changes to the test-migration branch on git and ensure that they are mirrored properly to bzr.

The full migration and testing plan, along with other details, is at

Post reprinted from Mark  Côté’s post on

February 17, 2014 08:23 AM

January 28, 2014

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.5.2 and 4.4.2

Today we are releasing 4.4.2 and the unstable development snapshot 4.5.2.

Bugzilla 4.4.2 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes for the 4.4 branch.

Note that 4.5.2 is an unstable development release and should not be used in production environments. We are not yet feature-frozen at this time so the features you see in 4.5.2 might not accurately represent the behavior that 5.0 will have.

Note that when Bugzilla 5.0 is released, the Bugzilla 4.0.x series will reach end of life. If you are using that series, we encourage you to upgrade to 4.4.2 now.


Bugzilla is available at:


982ef341c55795e02388bb15bdc07ccf    bugzilla-4.5.2.tar.gz
4aae9730d8187d13a133874f3dd5cc2b    bugzilla-4.4.2.tar.gz

Release Notes & Changes

Before installing or upgrading, you should read the Release Notes for the new version of Bugzilla:


It is VERY IMPORTANT to read the Release Notes if you are upgrading from one major version to another (like 3.6.x to 4.4.x).

To see a list of all changes between your version of Bugzilla and the current version of Bugzilla, you can use the chart at:

The Bugzilla Update

You can see the latest updates from the Bugzilla Project and the status of Bugzilla development on The Bugzilla Update:

Also, you can follow the Bugzilla Project on Twitter for frequent updates on new features being developed in Bugzilla, our current release plans, and much more:!/bugzilla

Report Bugs

If you find a bug in Bugzilla, please report it! Instructions are at this URL:


You can ask questions for free on the mailing lists (or in IRC) about Bugzilla, or you can hire a paid consultant to help you out:

Free Support:
Paid Support:

About Bugzilla

Bugzilla is a “Defect Tracking System” or “Bug-Tracking System.” Defect Tracking Systems allow individuals or groups of developers to keep track of outstanding bugs in their product effectively. Most commercial defect-tracking software vendors charge enormous licensing fees. Despite being “free”, Bugzilla has many features its expensive counterparts lack. Consequently, Bugzilla has quickly become a favorite of thousands of organizations across the globe, and is widely regarded as one of the top defect-tracking systems available.

See for more details.

January 28, 2014 04:53 AM

January 22, 2014

Gervase Markham

BzAPI App Author?

Have you written an app or system of some sort which uses the Bugzilla REST API (BzAPI)? If so, please do as the docs have long recommended and make sure you are a member of the discussion forum. There are several upcoming announcements in the next few weeks and months which you will need to be aware of, and that is where they are going to be posted.

January 22, 2014 02:24 PM

November 26, 2013

Bugzilla Update

Bugzilla considering moving to git

The Bugzilla Project is currently considering moving our source code repository from Bazaar (bzr) to git.  Part of the impetus for this is that Mozilla is trying to get out of the business of hosting every version control system known to man (which they currently do, or close to it anyway) and bzr is one of the low-hanging fruit (Bugzilla is the only Mozilla project using it).  There’s also a lot of feeling out there that mirroring to github may make contributions easier for new contributors. The general consensus on the thread so far is that we should do it; the main point of contention is how long to keep it mirrored in bzr after it moves.

What’s your take on it?  We’d appreciate anyone who currently works on Bugzilla or is contemplating it to join in on the discussion.

The main discussion thread is in a thread on our developers list, and the metabug to track it is bug 929685.

November 26, 2013 03:18 AM

October 17, 2013

Bugzilla Update

Release of Bugzilla 4.5.1, 4.4.1, 4.2.7, and 4.0.11

Today we are releasing 4.4.1, 4.2.7, 4.0.11, and the unstable development snapshot 4.5.1.

Initially, we released new tarballs and diffs for these releases to the download site but found a new bug shortly after. New tarballs and diffs have been uploaded to the site which we recommend everyone update to if you downloaded the first version. To make sure you have the fixed version, md5sum values are provided further down in the announcement.

All of today’s releases contain security fixes. We recommend all Bugzilla administrators to read the Security Advisory linked below.

Bugzilla 4.4.1 is our latest stable release. It contains various useful bug fixes, performance improvements and security fixes for the 4.4 branch.

Bugzilla 4.2.7 and 4.0.11 are security updates for the 4.2 branch and the 4.0 branch, respectively.

Note that 4.5.1 is an unstable development release and should not be used in production environments. We are not yet feature-frozen at this time so the features you see in 4.5.1 might not accurately represent the behavior that 5.0 will have.

Note that when Bugzilla 5.0 is released, the Bugzilla 4.0.x series will reach end of life. If you are using that series, we encourage you to upgrade to 4.4.1 now.


Bugzilla is available at:


53d0bffc3055f7d5af1c754f177de4ad  bugzilla-4.5.1.tar.gz
fd9d6dcc85bb359536be52e34ad20dfd  bugzilla-4.4.1.tar.gz
ebf0a75d1037f09994660d3958fc66fb  bugzilla-4.2.7.tar.gz
48402a4a105de3f00962dca244cd7569  bugzilla-4.0.11.tar.gz

Security Advisory

There is a security advisory describing the security issues fixed in these releases, at:

Release Notes & Changes

Before installing or upgrading, you should read the Release Notes for
the new version of Bugzilla:


It is VERY IMPORTANT to read the Release Notes if you are upgrading from one major version to another (like 3.6.x to 4.4.x).

To see a list of all changes between your version of Bugzilla and the current version of Bugzilla, you can use the chart at:

October 17, 2013 03:36 PM

August 01, 2013

Gervase Markham

Bugzilla 1,000,000 Bug Sweepstake

[Note: The closing date for entries was midday ZST on Thursday 5th September 2013, i.e. a long time ago :-).]

Some of you may have noticed that, after a long history of contests, there was no competition to predict the time of arrival of the 900,000th bug on This was because we were preparing for the big 1M.

Now we are over 9000,00 (can that really be right?), I can reveal that the prize for the Millionth Bug Sweepstake will be the top-of-the-range Most Splendid Package from the Mozilla Gear Store, which includes a black hoodie, a drawstring tote bag, a Moleskine notebook, and a Rickshaw laptop bag, all Firefox or Mozilla-branded.

The aim of the contest is simple – you need your guess to be the closest to the actual filing date of the one millionth bug in our Bugzilla installation.

To enter, email me a plain text email at, ideally using this link, filling in the date and time you think the one millionth bug will be filed, along with your Bugzilla ID or email address. As the link suggests, your entry should be on the first line of your email, and formatted as follows:

2010-09-08 06:54:32

All times are in ZST (‘Zilla Standard Time, a.k.a. Pacific Time, as displayed in Bugzilla timestamps unless you’ve changed a pref). If you prefer to be contacted on a different address, add that as well, in brackets on the end of the same line. We have ample graphs and charts (requires editbugs) to help you with your assessment. But if you can’t be bothered to do any research and analysis, just guess optimistically and hope!

This is a Mozilla community event. To keep it that way, entrants must have either a Bugzilla account on created before the end of July 2013, and which has done something useful in the past six months, or a Mozillians account vouched for before the same date. Anyone who meets those criteria can (and is encouraged to) enter, including Mozilla employees. Once the bug is filed, I’ll check those entries who are closest, and keep discarding them until I find one which meets these criteria. Therefore, there’s no point posting this to Slashdot or any other non-Mozilla-focussed news source. But please do post it in Mozilla news sources!

Badly-formatted entries may be discarded. The judge’s decision is final, and any funny business regarding the filing of bugs on or around the one million mark will be frowned upon. The closing date for entries is midday ZST on Thursday 5th September 2013.

August 01, 2013 11:26 AM

March 08, 2013

Gervase Markham

Bugzilla API 1.3 Released

I am proud to announce the release of version 1.3 of the Bugzilla REST API. This maintenance release has a bug fix or two, and fully supports the version of Bugzilla 4.2 which has just been deployed on For smooth interaction with BMO, you should be using this version.

The installation of BzAPI 1.1 on will go away in 4 weeks, on 4th April. There is a limit to the number of old versions we can support on the server, particularly as the older ones can put a larger load on Bugzilla and may not work correctly. Please use either the /1.3 or the /latest endpoints. Now that BzAPI has been stable for some time, tools which earlier rejected using the /latest endpoint may want to reconsider.

File bugs | Feedback and discussion

March 08, 2013 11:47 AM

January 23, 2013

Gervase Markham

Persona Login Now Fully Enabled On

[Update 2013-01-23 18:35 GMT – turns out there are a couple of Persona features we still need to be absolutely certain that this is a good thing. The change has been reverted until we’ve got those. Sorry for any confusion.]

In April last year, we enabled Persona logins on using a Bugzilla extension I wrote. However, we restricted this login method to low-privilege accounts only while Persona and the extension both matured.

I’m pleased to say that, as of now, unless you are a member of the administrative Bugzilla groups “admin”, “editusers” or “editgroups”, or the “legal” group, then you can now use Persona to log in to :-) In particular, this means all Mozilla employees and security group members can now log in this way.

Make sure you use the correct email address; if you pick a different one to your usual one, Bugzilla will auto-create a Bugzilla account for it.

If for some reason you want b.m.o. not to accept Persona logins for your account, you can do so; file a bug to have your account manually added back to the “no-browser-id” group.

January 23, 2013 04:24 PM

January 18, 2013

Gervase Markham

Support for Users

BMO is a core tool in the Mozilla project. There is now a shared, curated space for people’s tips, ideas, best practices, FAQs and so on relating specifically to BMO:

This includes Things Every BMO User Really Should Do, and a BMO FAQ (currently in its infancy).

Suggestions for additional content would be very welcome.

January 18, 2013 01:27 PM

December 21, 2012

Bugzilla Tips

Quicksearch Reference

“Quicksearch” is a way of searching Bugzilla using simple yet powerful syntax. The search box at the top of every page supports it.

Jesse Ruderman has written a wonderful Quicksearch Reference – a must-read if you search Bugzilla a lot.

December 21, 2012 11:25 AM

December 07, 2012

Bugzilla Tips

Even Faster Quicksearches

To speed up quicksearches, limit the search by product or component. Add “comp: <string>” to your query to limit it to components whose names contain that string. As an abbreviation, you can simply use “:” instead of “comp:”, although that also searches in products whose names which contain the string.

By analogy with the use of “:”, there are abbreviations for some other common fields as well.

(Thanks to Ben Hearsum and Ed Morley)

December 07, 2012 06:20 PM

December 01, 2012

Bugzilla Tips

Faster Quicksearches

Another guest post from Stefan Arentz:

“If you do a lot of quick searches to find bugs by summary and you don’t care about also looking into the comments of those bugs, flip the “Include comments when performing quick searches (slower)” to NO in your preferences.

A search for ‘radio antenna’ just went down from 30+ seconds to just a few seconds.”

December 01, 2012 02:12 PM

November 29, 2012

Bugzilla Tips

HTML Email

Guest tip from Stefan Arentz:

“Bugzilla actually does have HTML emails! [As of version 4.2, but it’s been backported to’s 4.0 installation – Ed.] I always though that it did not because I did not look further than the “Email Preferences” tab. But there actually is a “Preferred email format” under the “General Preferences” tab.

This makes Bugzilla emails 100x easier to read on a phone.”

November 29, 2012 02:08 PM

November 21, 2012

Gervase Markham

Bugzilla API 1.2 Released

I am proud to announce the release of version 1.2 of the Bugzilla REST API. This maintenance release has a bug fix or two, and some features useful to the admins of Bugzillas which BzAPI is pointed at.

The installation of BzAPI 1.0 on will go away in 4 weeks, on 19th December. There is a limit to the number of old versions we can support on the server, particularly as the older ones can put a larger load on Bugzilla. Please use either the /1.2 or the /latest endpoints. Now that BzAPI has been stable for some time, tools which earlier rejected using the /latest endpoint may want to reconsider.

File bugs | Feedback and discussion

November 21, 2012 04:16 PM

April 05, 2012

Gervase Markham Now Supports BrowserID

You can now log in to using BrowserID, courtesy of a Bugzilla extension I wrote. Log out and then click the “Login” link in the header and then the orange “Sign in” button to try it.

You can do this – unless, that is, you are a member of certain particularly sensitive groups. While Mozilla has great confidence in the BrowserID technology, it does not have perfect confidence in my coding ;-) Therefore, we are restricting who can log in until we get a little more experience with my extension. Eventually, it’s possible that we might go the other way and require BrowserID for certain sensitive groups, once BrowserID primaries appear with 2-factor authentication. But that’s a little way off yet.

If you visit your permissions page, you can see if you should be able to log in using BrowserID. If you are listed as a member of the “no-browser-id” group, you shouldn’t. Otherwise, you should. The no-browser-id group is currently made up of members of the following groups: admin, bz_sudoers, autoland, generic-assignees, hr, infrasec, legal, and anything with “security” in its name.

April 05, 2012 10:31 AM

Maintaining Multiple Versions of Documentation in a Wiki

Dear Lazyweb,

I know of some software, and it has documentation. I want to be able to maintain this documentation, for the general good of its userbase. At the moment, its documentation is XML files in a VCS, with their own special build procedure with prerequisites. That makes them hard to modify, and as a consequence they are often out of date and certainly not as good as they could be.

Requirement A): I’d like the documentation to be web-editable, because that makes it really easy for anyone to edit quickly, which makes it much more likely the documentation will actually be up-to-date. I want the URL for the “latest version” to always be the same URL.

Requirement B): My software has multiple versions. Once I release a version, I’d like to keep a copy of the documentation in the state that it applies to that version. It may not change much again, but needs to be able to accept bug fixes. However, trunk documentation development must continue. In other words, I need to be able to branch the documentation, check in independently to each branch, and give people URLs to either a branch or the trunk. Each version should have a URL containing the software version number.

Is there any software out there, ideally already in use by the Mozilla project, which can meet both A) and B)? A) is met by all wiki software. B) is met by all version control software. But I haven’t found wiki software with the concept of branches, and I haven’t found a VCS which can display documents prettily and has a web-based interface for editing.

These requirements don’t seem uncommon. Proprietary software solves them. Is there anything open source?

April 05, 2012 10:15 AM

March 25, 2012

Emmanuel Seyman

Cleaning up Bugzilla

RPMFusion's Bugzilla has gathered a number of bugs over the years and, for lack of maintainance, bugs filed against EOL-ed versions of Fedora have never been closed. The result is a number of open bugs:

Fedora 8 2
Fedora 9 2
Fedora 10 13
Fedora 11 8
Fedora 12 10
Fedora 13 6
Fedora 14 45

I've added a new resolution, EXPIRED, in and I'll be using it over the next few weeks to close bugs filed against Fedora 8 through 14. Once a week, I'll be taking one version's bugs and closing them with the EXPIRED resolution and adding a comment on the next version's bugs warning that they will be closed a week later. Once we're done with those, it will probably be time to do the same thing to the Fedora 15 bugs. At that point, we'll probably join the Fedora bug triage cycle, doing this every 6 months.

March 25, 2012 08:44 AM

May 04, 2011

David Miller

The hardware behind

I recently did up a diagram of how our Bugzilla site was set up, mostly for the benefit of other sysadmins trying to find the various pieces of it.  Several folks expressed interest in sharing it with the community just to show an example of how we were set up.  So I cleaned it up a little, and here it is:

Bugzilla Physical Layout DiagramClick the image for a full-size (readable) version

At first glance it looks somewhat excessive just for a Bugzilla, but since the Mozilla Project lives and dies by the content of this site, all work pretty much stops if it doesn’t work, so it’s one of our highest-priority sites to keep operating at all times for developer support.  The actual hardware required to run the site at full capacity for the amount of users we get hitting it is a little less than half of what’s shown in the diagram.

We have the entire site set up in two different datacenters (SJC1 is our San Jose datacenter, PHX1 is our Phoenix datacenter).  Thanks to the load balancers taking care of the cross-datacenter connections for the master databases, it’s actually possible to run it from both sites concurrently to split the load.  But because of the amount of traffic Bugzilla does to the master databases, and the latency in connection setup over that distance, it’s a little bit slow from whichever datacenter isn’t currently hosting the master, so we’ve been trying to keep DNS pointed at just one of them to keep it speedy.

This still works great as a hot failover, though, which got tested in action this last Sunday when we had a system board failure on the master database server in Phoenix.  Failing the entire site over to San Jose took only minutes, and the tech from HP showed up to swap the system board 4 hours later.  The fun part was that I had only finished setting up this hot failover setup about a week prior, so the timing couldn’t have been any better for that system board failure.  If it had happened any sooner we might have been down for a long time waiting for the server to get fixed.

When everything is operational, we’re trying to keep it primarily hosted in Phoenix.  As you can see in the diagram, the database servers in Phoenix are using solid-state disks for the database storage. The speed improvement when running large queries that is gained by using these instead of traditional spinning disks is just amazing.  I haven’t done any actual timing to get hard facts on that, but the difference is large enough that you can easily notice it just from using the site.

May 04, 2011 06:40 PM

July 09, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Prepare yourself for some changes people!

Bugzilla 4.0 has frozen and soon it will be released. There are a bunch of exciting changes that you can expect which I will try to highlight over the next few posts. The big ones that I'm sure will get a lot of attention, for better or worse, are:
  • the autocompletes for user fields and keywords
  • redesigned advanced search page
  • the redesigned attachments page.
  • create page validation
We've also got a patch in the works that will redo the homepage and make it much prettier and professional looking thanks to Jon Pink. You can also look forward to that in 4.0!

I've attached images of the 3 new pages which will hopefully encourage you all to play around with landfill!

As always we'd love to hear your feedback about this and the other changes that are coming in 4.0 (there are a lot of them, jsonp, better extension support, new default workflow, more webservices... it's a long list).

July 09, 2010 06:40 PM

March 09, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Bugzilla Extensions: Gravatar and Inline Images

There are 2 bugs which I have been paying some attention to recently.

The first one is Bug 222861 which requests that images are displayed when they are mentioned in comments. This bug was important to me because I often found myself and others referring to images and attachments in comments and then having to open them up in a new window. I really wanted developers to just see the mocks i made along with my comments about them. It was determined that this bug makes more sense as an extension. So I wrote one. I've posted it here: Hopefully you guys like it!

The second one is Bug 395802 which requests to be able to support gravatar images. This is something Aza Raskin specifically mentioned by saying make it easier to know "who is this guy". Step 1 is adding a human face to a comment via the gravatar, Step 2 might be about grabbing their stats.

There were 2 mocks that I made as suggestions for how this should look. The first is:

Here is the other mock:

My hope is that we're finally to the point where many of Aza's and other's ideas might be possible thanks to the new extension system and the jsonp bug 550727. Both of which wouldn't be possible if mkanat didn't work so hard to add this kind of mash-up and extensibility, so thanks!

Any feedback about either of these extensions or anything else I mentioned is very welcomed.

March 09, 2010 02:43 PM

February 28, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

New Advanced Search UI V2

Here is the second version trying to take into account the suggestions given.

This UI would remember whatever is expanded and collapsed based on the user's cookies.

Another option that isn't displayed here is the column layout would change from 3 to X based on how wide the screen is (aka elastic).

I tried to increase the information density as well.

For saved/editable searches we might try to use the text description from the search UI.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback about the changes and improvements.

February 28, 2010 12:49 AM

February 27, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

A new layout for the Attachments page

There were some comments today about the attachments page and how wonky it is. Bug 101770 has become the place where I've decided to post a response and possible solution to the problem but since I'm sure folks don't want to bother going to the bug here are the images that I posted. Let me know what you think. My hope is that we'll be able to implement this new UI quickly and make a big improvement without making anyone too upset about losing the current Attachments UI.

Things to note. The comments box and the attachment iframe would be elastic so they would grow with the width of the page. Clicking edit attachment as comment would cause the comment box to go away and the big area would turn into a comment.

My hope for this layout is to 1 give more realestate to the comment box that is equal to the area on the current bug page as well as make it easier for people editing the patches directly to have more room.

This UI also puts the focus where it belongs, on the attachment itself.

Things to note. I'm not at all happy with the placement of the patch and obsolete checkboxes. Any suggestions on where those should go is greatly appreciated.

February 27, 2010 06:59 PM

February 25, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Bugzilla JSON-RPC Webservice with JQuery

I already posted how you can use YUI to use the Bugzilla web services available on the head. But lots of people don't like using YUI and prefer using JQuery. I haven't used JQuery much, but this experiment seems to have gotten the job done and should supply a basis for how to do more complex stuff with JQuery and the JSON-RPC interface.

Please note the JSON serialization capability isn't part of JQuery so I used a plug-in. The plugin doesn't seem to be as powerful as YUI's JSON serialization, but maybe it is and I haven't explored it enough. Anyway, here goes!

First you'll need JQuery and the JSON serialization parser. I added it under YUI but you should be able to add it before or after the YUI in the header.

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Next comes the actual code which is very similar to the previous post.

First you create the JSON-RPC object:

var myObject = { "method": "Bug.add_comment",
"params": [ { "id": 1,
"comment":"I am using bugzilla's webservices with jQuery! YAY"
} ],
"id": 1 };

Then we encode it into a string:
var enc = $.toJSON(myObject);

Lastly we send it on its way using the JQuery ajax method:

"data": enc,
"dataType": "json",
"url": "jsonrpc.cgi",
"type": "post",
success: function(d, ts){

Just like in YUI we need to make sure we set the contentType to application/json and use a post (get is still disabled due to cross site scripting concerns). I set the dataType to JSON so Jquery would deserialize the response for me.

And now we've got a basic JSON-RPC message being sent. Now we'll still need to handle errors etc, but for now this is enough to get any eager JavaScript developer going.

Another example is getting bug info which might be equally helpful is available below. This method gets information about 2 bugs. I'm not going to explain it as much but it follows the same pattern.

var myObject = {
"method": "Bug.get",
"params": [{ "ids": [1,2]}],
"id": 1
var enc = $.toJSON(myObject);
success:function(d, ts){
console.log('w00t', d);

The hope is eventually to release some JavaScript plugins for YUI (2 and 3) and JQuery that will make this sort of stuff much easier, like handle the serialization, and errors. But for now these examples will have to do.

For more info about what Bugzilla web services are available check out:

Next experiment... Jetpack! Any ideas on a cool bugzilla jetpack app?

February 25, 2010 10:03 PM

February 18, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Make it like's bug tracker

For a while we've been having discussions about tags and Bugzilla on the dev mailing list. To boil down a lot of the suggestion it consists of "we could do away with most of our fields/flags and replace them with tags, it would make the UI way better".

We've also had other discussions about how the bug edit page should change. Many of the suggestions consist of moving the non-comment data about a bug to the left or right side of the page and letting the comments take up most of the page.

Today (for the first time) i went into the (cgc) bug tracker to see what the status of tagging was in chrome. Turns out both of these UI suggestions are exactly how chrome is implemented. I event went to the advanced search page to see if the suggestions i received from the advanced search page were the same (they weren't).

Anyway, i've received the message loud and clear "we like how google did it".

I'm tempted to make a jetpack that makes the BMO UI act/look a lot more like cgc. What do you guys think? Is it worth it or is TidyBug more the direction people prefer?

If you haven't seen cgc here is the URL i looked at today:

February 18, 2010 10:22 PM

February 17, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Tidy Bugzilla for Jetpack... kinda

So I saw the post for TidyBug and noticed someone commented that they switched back to Greasemonkey from Jetpack. I really like the idea of Jetpack, so i was bummed to see that someone had switch away from it because they wanted this feature so... I tried copying some of the features of tidyBug over to Jetpack.

Here is the URL for the jetpack in the gallery:

and an image to see what it does to the edit page...

For those of you who are not familiar with tidy bug here is the original post:

I'm still working on moving over all the features (like keyboard shortcuts). But the minimizing (what seems to be the best part) is part of this. Plus this version works with ANY version of Bugzilla running 3.4 onward, not just BMO.

For those using Chrome I might try to port this over as a chrome extension next weekend.

I'll also try using jetpack to prototype some other desired features, like prototyping the quicksearch helper mentioned in my previous post.

Feedback is always appreciated.

February 17, 2010 05:48 PM

February 16, 2010

Guy Pyrzak

Update to the Advanced Search UI

We've been working on fixes from our usability research and surveys. With the recent post of Bugzilla for Humanity, I was inspired to work on the Advanced Search UI because as Johnathan put it, "it is complete and terrible" and for "99% of searches you don't need it". However the other search, the simple search he doesn't bother to mention and of course he <3's quicksearch. I've filed bug 544404 to help quicksearch magic become more discoverable.

So the solution to make the advanced search page less complicated is a multi-parter as always in the Bugzilla world. Here are the steps which may or may not happen in the order they appear.

Step 1. Make the big summary box at the top of the page use quicksearch instead of a summary search.

Step 2. Make the other boxes on the advanced search page work as a helper to the quicksearch

Step 3. Make the advanced search page less complicated.

1 and 2 are more or less out of my area expertise so I'll leave those to mkanat and jjclark. But making the advanced search page less complicated, I can help with.

The approach I took was inspired by the redesign we did at work, basically apply a grid and hide the stuff that doesn't matter most of the time.

I've posted mocks up on bug 450301 but since I'm sure no one wants to read through the bug I'll post the images here:

and the expanded version

What do you all think?

February 16, 2010 04:08 AM

November 11, 2009

David Miller

Upgrading to version 3.4.3

We’re finally at the point where I can say we’re ready to upgrade Bugzilla @ Mozilla this weekend.  We’re aiming for Sunday evening (probably 6pm PST).  I’ll post again when I know how long it’ll be down for (and that’ll be included in the eventual downtime notice on the IT blog as well).

There’s a staging copy set up at and I would appreciate people playing around with it and finding anything that might be broken before we get it to production.  Before filing bugs, make sure to check the detailed status linked from the red box at the top of every page to make sure it’s not already listed (and you can also see my progress on cosmetic issues and so forth, there).

It will be down for a while at some point tonight when I reload it with an up-to-date snapshot of the production server (and that’ll be my test to find out how long it’ll take to upgrade it, too).  I’m super excited because this has been a long time coming. 🙂

November 11, 2009 08:41 PM

April 24, 2009

Guy Pyrzak

Lots of Design Feedback and Bugzilla Usability Data

There has been a lot of interest in the Bugzilla UI recently, which I'm super excited about. Attending usability conferences like CHI, I'd often hear about how hard it is to get any interest in usability or design in the open source community for various reasons (1, 2, 3, 4).

However, thanks to the post that LpSolit posted, many designers at Mozilla have stepped up with improvements to the Bugzilla UI, there is Boriss's suggestions for a new UI as well as Fligtar's new skin. Even a graphic designer from Spread Mozilla, graphicguru, stepped up to help improve my pathetic attempt at graphics(1,2,3). We've gotten some developers, like SS, to give some very useful feedback about how he'd prefer a more minimalist skin in general. And to top it off there has been feedback about new ways to think about the workflow from Jesse. Not to mention the meeting we had with the some of the Mozilla designers about future directions for Bugzilla, as documented by Aza. And today we had a small meeting with even more Mozilla folks about how they thought the tool could be improved. We're hoping to have more meetings in the future with Mozilla developers and get even more thanks to Jono.

It's been extremely exciting it is to see so many people interested in the Bugzilla UI. I'm hoping that with all these ideas you all can expect to see many design and usability improvements in future versions of Bugzilla.

But as my professor Bonnie John would say, one shouldn't design or develop without data. Turns out Mkanat, and many of the Mozilla folks feel the same way! And thanks to a very dedicated and smart group of HCII Carnegie Mellon students we've got usability data. This data was collected this past fall on Bugzilla 3.0, and I've attempted to post their research more or less unedited from their project to the Bugzilla wiki.

I haven't had a chance to look through and write an executive summery/conclusion to all their great data, but I thought to post it without one and perhaps let you all peruse the data and supply me with your important take aways from the data. This research was not based on how people use Mozilla's Bugzilla, but how people use bug trackers in general at software companies and other domains.

Let me know what you think of the data, what takeaways you find and what conclusions you draw from the data and maybe I can crowd source this task conclusion writing task.

Unfortunately Bugzilla 3.4 is going to be out the door pretty soon, and we won't be able to get many of these improvements into this version, but maybe we will see some of the improvements suggested this past week as well as ideas from the usability research appear in 3.6 or later versions of Bugzilla.

Again thanks to everyone who has become interested in redesigning Bugzilla, keep the designs and ideas coming! Feel free to email me when you've got ideas or designs and maybe we can work together to get the ideas into the source.

April 24, 2009 05:38 AM

April 17, 2009

Guy Pyrzak

A new Login Form for Bugzilla

So we've gotten lots of great feedback on the homepage, it's been really helpful and we're talking to folks about redoing the icons, making sure that the big icons are the right choice and much more. Wait for a post to find out more about the future of the homepage!

But we're also working on the log in process, attempting to make that easier as well!

Here is a view of the current log in form as it exists on the head.

One of the problems with this UI is that you can't reset your password very easily from this page, or any other page really. The nice part is, you can log in from any page, and not have to go through some intermediate page.

So here is the solution we've though of to make it easier to reset your password or log in from any page in Bugzilla.

How it appears if you've never come to the page

What happens when you click on log in, cursor focused on the log in. This is also what happens if the browser auto fills in your username and password.

This is what you'll see if you click on the forgot password link.

I omitted a close icon for now because it didn't seem necessary, but maybe you guys think it is. Let me know!

We're also adding a link to the reset password on the bad username/password error page.

One more thing to note about how this form will work. If the browser auto-fills your username and password, we'll make sure the javascript on the page detects your username and password and displays them to you, so you don't have to click the login hyperlink to login. We're hoping this will maintain the 1 click to login capability that so many people like.

This isn't something that will magically make Bugzilla super easier to use, but hopefully this will take us one step closer to a more usable Bugzilla.

As always feedback is really appreciated and unlike my previous post, I'll get emailed when you guys comments, so hopefully i can respond to your feedback in a more timely manner. Can't wait to hear your opinions.

April 17, 2009 04:14 AM

January 30, 2009

Guy Pyrzak

Bugzilla's new UI for Index.cgi

Bug 475063 is an enhancement to "Make the logged-out index.cgi simpler". After a few chats with Max Kanat, I've mocked up and submitted a patch to do just that.

Right now the patch looks like this.

Since this is a major change to the Bugzilla UI I'd love to get some feedback about this!

A few things to note:

There have been some discussions about how Buggy should look, with a pupil or without, more recongnizable or less, or even if we should use him at all. So that's in a state of flux.

Also for the dusk skin this UI will look the same, just set to the monocrome of Dusk.

For those wondering "what about the login box on the homepage?". There is another bug to improve that and make it easier to log in from any page! Bug 476090 will allow users to login directly from any page without needing to leave the context that they are in. Hopefully in the future we'll be able to do this ajax style to avoid having to leave the page at all.

Can't wait to hear your feedback about both of these bugs.

January 30, 2009 02:39 AM