comment tagging deployed to bmo

i’ve been working on a bugzilla enhancement which allows you to tag individual comments with arbitrary strings, which was deployed today.

comment tagging features:

automatic collapsing of comments

the bugzilla administrator can configure a list of comment tags which will result in those comments being collapsed by default when a bug is loaded.

this allows obsolete or irrelevant comments to be hidden from the information stream.

comment grouping/threading

bugzilla shows a list of all comment tags in use on the bug, and clicking on a tag will expand those comments while collapsing all others.

this allows for simple threading of comments without diverging significantly from the current bugzilla user interface, api, and schema. you’ll be able to tag all comments relating to the same topic, and remove comments no longer relevant to that thread by removing the tag.

highlighting importing comments

on bugs with a lot of information, it can be time consuming for people not directly involved in the bug to find the relevant comments.  applying comment tags to the right comments assists this, and may negate the need for information to be gathered outside of bugzilla.

for example:

    • tagging a comment with “STR” (steps to reproduce) will help the qa team quickly find the information they need to verify the fix
    • writing a comment summarising a new feature and tagging it with “docs” will help the generation of documentation for mdn or similar

implementation notes

  • the “add tag” input field has an auto-complete drop-down, drawing from existing tags weighted by usage count
  • by default editbugs membership is required to add tags to comments
  • comment tags are not displayed unless you are logged in to bugzilla
  • tags are added and removed via xhr, changes are immediately visible to the changer without refreshing the page
  • tagging comments will not trigger bugmail, nor alter a bug’s last-modified date
  • tags added by other users (or on other tabs) will generally not be visible without a page refresh

2 responses to “comment tagging deployed to bmo

  1. Andrew Sutherland December 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

    This is awesome! Is it okay to use structured tagging/this as a mechanism for putting meta-data on a comment, or would that have negative performance implications? For hypothetical example, marking the checkin of a specific attachment id by doing “landed-attachment=42″. While the presence of that in “comment tags” is sub-optimal in many cases, for this specific example it could be a useful TOC thing if the wide variety of tag names isn’t going to explode the database.

    • glob December 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      i can’t think of any issues with that sort of meta-data. be aware, however, there’s a maximum length of 24 character on comment tags.

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