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Re: Draft email to maintainers regarding Priority / Severity in Bugzilla

On Mon, 2009-04-20 at 12:37 -0700, Adam Williamson wrote:
> Bugzilla is a tool whose function is improving the efficiency of
> development of software. It is not there to massage the ego of those who
> submit reports to it.

I take your point, but it's obviously better if bug reporters are
treated politely and fairly and have a positive view of the process,
since this encourages more participation and better bug reports.

Leaving the Severity field up to the reporter (or the triager, if the
reporter is timid) is way to avoid insult if Priority is set low, since
it can be recorded that the bug is Severe in context but low Priority in
the maintainer's queue due to project-wide context.  On the other hand,
it's probably even more insulting to channel such input to a field
that's essentially ignored.  So the question is, how many developers
would bother looking at it in an ideal world where it was set sensibly?
If this is one factor that goes into scheduling the fix, should it be
explicit, or should the maintainer evaluate their own sense of Severity
in the narrow context of the user experiencing the bug?  The best way to
answer that is just to poll maintainers, by finally getting this email
posted to their mailing list.  8)

We could also change the dimensions of analysis to be more useful.  For
example, we could have "Type" which might be {"crasher", "install
problem", "malfunction", "usability", "cosmetic", "enhancement"} plus
"exposure" as the product of number of user affected times frequency of
encounter: {"narrow", "moderate", "wide"}.  Combining these two less
subjective measures might actually produce a useful ranking of which
bugs should be handled first.  (Is that a problem worth solving better
than the status quo?)


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