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Copyright 1998-2021, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

July 2002


 Dear Mr. Know-It-All 

Mr. Know-It-All has the answers to even the really tough questions.


Question:

I think I've found a bug in Mozilla. Someone told me to report it with Bugzilla, but I don't really understand what to do. Can you help me?

Answer:

Bugzilla is an Open Source Bug Tracking system. It's used by a large number of Open Source projects including the Mozilla project. As the name implies, it's a tool for tracking bugs through the various stages of a bug's life: reporting, verification, resolution and closure.

Bugzilla is pretty flexible so that it can be used for some aspects of project management in addition to just bug tracking.

You can find out more about Bugzilla at the Bugzilla Home Page. Most of the information is oriented toward someone who wants to install Bugzilla, but it's a good site to scan to get an idea of the scope of what Bugzilla can do.

For Mozilla specific Bugzilla information, the Bugzilla for Mozilla page is the place to start. There are links to the various query and bug entry pages along with lots of helpful usage guidelines.

When you are ready to report the bug, the best place to start is the Mozilla OS/2 Port Home Page. Use the Report a Bug link to get to the Bugzilla Helper page. This will step you through the process of

  • Creating a Bugzilla account ID.
  • Searching for your bug.
  • Entering the bug report.
  • Monitoring progress.

You must create a Bugzilla account for yourself if you want to report bugs and vote on bugs. If you only want to enter queries, you don't need an account.

Before entering a bug report, it's a good idea to check if your bug has already been reported. The Mozilla team has stated that it prefers duplicate reports to an unreported bug. Even so, you can save them some effort if you try to avoid reporting duplicates.

If your bug has already been reported, you will want to vote for it. Bugs with the most votes have a better chance of getting fixed sooner. That's the way it works.

If the simple search on the Report a Bug page does find your bug, either submit a report or try the Bugzilla Query page. This is powerful query tool. Don't let the multiple options overwhelm you. Just leave the entries that don't matter blank. You can always refine your search later.

When using the query page, I find it useful to clear the status field. This will query on all bugs, ignoring their status. To do this, click on any item to select it. Then Ctrl-click on the item to clear the selection. This will leave you with no items selected.

When you enter a bug report, try to enter all the information that someone else might need to create it. If the bug is intermittent, be sure to state this.

When you enter a bug report, don't identify it as OS/2 only, unless you are sure this is the case. The reverse is also true. If it's an OS/2 only bug, be sure to note this. This is because OS/2 specific bugs are only fixed by the Mozilla for OS/2 team. Cross platform bugs are fixed by other teams.

Don't worry too much about selecting the wrong category for a bug. Some of the categories, like Evangelism, are not intuitively obvious. The developers will change the category if needed.

If you are still not quite sure how to enter the bug, or you want to verify that the bug exists on more than just your system, or you want someone to check if the bug is cross-platform, the best place to ask is the Mozilla OS/2 Newsgroup. Mozilla support is available from users on several other mailing lists, but this newsgroup is the only one specifically monitored by the Mozilla for OS/2 developers.

That's really all there is to reporting a bug.

Once you get comfortable with the process, you might want to try the more direct Enter Bug form.

After you've entered a bug report you will receive e-mail as it moves toward closure. When the bug is resolved and a fix has been implemented, you are supposed to mark the bug as closed. This is not as clear as it might be in the documentation at Mozilla Bugs.

Happy hunting.


Curious or in doubt, you can ask Mr. Know-It-All
OS/2 is his specialty and sharing solutions is his passion
Mr. Know-It-All lives in Southern California.


The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 2002 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.