With the recent Bugzilla 4.0 rollout on bugzilla.mozilla.org comes a small but useful usability improvement. It’s so small you may not have noticed (I wrote it but didn’t notice for weeks!), so I decided to blog about it. The bug I filed and fixed was:

  • Bug 585802 – Change the cc/user autocomplete (and backend) usermatching to ignore spaces / search on space separated names

Previously, searching for “Christian L” returned all users with “Christian” in the first or last name as well as all users with “L” in the first or last name. As you can imagine, this was a long list to search through (lots of names have an “L” somewhere) and made searching by name useless–especially when you didn’t know how to spell someone’s name.

Most people work around this bug by searching just for a IRC nick using “:[ircnick]“.  IRC nicks are generally unique which produces a smaller list, and inserting the colon assures that there are little to no substring matches.

The search behavior really annoyed me so I dug in, patched Bugzilla, and changed the behavior:

Notice the only people shown match "Christian L" rather than everyone with an "L" in their first or last name

I now find myself searching for irc nicks less and less and just using a person’s name. This is one less mental step for me as I no longer have to map from a person to an irc nick in my head.

This was my first Bugzilla patch and the first improvement I wrote that got rolled out on bugzilla.mozilla.org. Special thanks to Max for guiding me through the patch / Bugzilla codebase.

I hope that this small change made Bugzilla a little more usable for everyone.

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