I just sent an email to dev-planning proposing a new keyword format. Nothing earth-shattering, but I think the upside is huge. I’ll reproduce it here, but feel free to comment in the dev-planning thread.

Proposal

[cc]
#(namespace)/…./(leafnode keyword)
[/cc]

That’s it, pretty simple. Examples:
[cc]
#relman/triage/needs-info
#relman/triage/defer-to-group

#ux/papercuts/user-control
#ux/papercuts/useful-error-messages

#crashkill/watching
#crashkill/blocklist-candidate
#crashkill/3rd-party/adobe
#crashkill/3rd-party/adobe/contacted

#gfx/bugkill/too-old
#gfx/bugkill/bitrot
[/cc]
…etc

Why?

  • “#” denotes a keyword that doesn’t widely apply across the project
    1. Humans and tools can skip over easily
    2. Trivial bugzilla patch to make it sort at the bottom / last (I’ll attach it to the bug in a bit). We can even filter them out of the autocomplete entirely if desired
    3. Trivial to make a watchdog script that enforces states and makes sure only certain people are adding / removing certain groups of keywords (which can be eventually expanded to a bz extension)
    4. Easy to let anyone with editbugs create them with a bugzilla patch (if desired)
  • “#” denotes a keyword in this system
    1. Tools can rely on the format and process it, unlike current keywords (is ‘-‘ part of the keyword or a namespace/separator? Depends!)
  • Hierarchical structure of tags
    1. Tools can query for keywords lists at the proper depth easily
    2. Humans can easily group keywords at a glance
    3. Humans can query easily through the existing bugzilla interface (e.g “show me everything Release Management is triaging”)
  • Keyword subsections can use whatever rules they like, only “#” in the 1st position and “/” anywhere is special (spaces obviously don’t work)
  • (ab)using the current keyword system. This is essentially a small step to moving keywords into a tree model, rooted via component. I need something NOW and can’t wait for bugzilla improvements (and already have enough of them assigned to me).

Why not use the whiteboard?

The whiteboard is junk! I can’t do historical queries for when a whiteboard substring was removed. The bugmail isn’t explicitly clear and I have to take time to scan the string, fun regex stuff in scripts, etc.

If bugzilla had a decent keyword or tag system the whiteboard would go away…it’s a kludge.

Future plans?

  • Make anyone able to grab a “#” namespace and then create as many keywords as they want inside without having the current heavy-weight keyword access. This should actually be easy to do in bugzilla
  • Release Management may migrate this sort of stuff to our web system outside Bugzilla, but for now we’re (ab)using current tools
  • We need to replace Bugzilla’s keyword system. Yesterday.

Please let me know what you think and if you or your group would find such a change useful. The goal would be for it to be invisible to anyone who isn’t using it and wildly useful to those who do.

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