Bugzilla Online Offline Training

Bugzilla is a web-based general-purpose bugtracker and testing tool originally developed and used by the Mozilla project, and licensed under the Mozilla Public License.

Bugzilla was originally devised by Terry Weissman in 1998 for the nascent Mozilla.org project, as an open source application to replace the in-house system then in use at Netscape Communications for tracking defects in the Netscape Communicator suite. Bugzilla was originally written in TCL, but Weissman decided to port it to Pearl before its release as part of Netscape's early open source code drops, in the hope that more people would be able to contribute to it, given that Perl seemed to be a more popular language at the time.

While the potential exists in the code to turn Bugzilla into a technical support ticket system, task management tool, or project management tool, Bugzilla's developers have chosen to focus on the task of designing a system to track software defects. Mandated design requirements include:

  • The ability to run on freely available, open-source tools. While Bugzilla development includes work to support commercial databases, tools, and operating systems.
  • The maintenance of speed and efficiency at all costs. One of Bugzilla's major attractions to developers is its lightweight implementation and speed, so calls into the database are minimized whenever possible, data fetching is kept as light as possible, and generation of heavy HTML is avoided.
  • Tickets. For instance, Mozilla.org uses it to track feature requests as well. In this case items (called bugs) can be submitted by anybody, and will be assigned to a particular developer. Various status updates for each bug are allowed, together with user notes and bug examples.

In practice, most Bugzilla projects allowing the public to file bugs—such as the Bugzilla bug database for Bugzilla itself—assign all bugs to a gatekeeper, whose job it is to assign responsibility and priority level.

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