I could also title this, What Needs to be Done to Ensure this Works.
I’ll try to summarize in a few short paragraphs.
Mozilla Needs Official Triagers
Instead of relying on a community to handle all the bug triage, Mozilla needs to hire several people to work full-time, who’s job it is to triage. I think that a Firefox/Toolkit, a Core, and a Thunderbird/Seamonkey triager are the minimum. By hiring triagers, Mozilla will help eliminate several problems.
- The Mozilla triagers will be able to coordinate the community. Instead of relying on individual uncoordinated effort, the Mozilla triage team can focus the community on areas of BMO where their efforts would be most effective at the time.
- Instead of each person having their own ways to handle different types of bugs (how long should a closeme bug wait before being closed), the Mozilla Triagers could lay out guidelines for all bugs in their product(s). they would be able to coordinate with developers on how they want specific bugs treated, and ensure the community followed the guidelines.
- Mozilla Triagers would ensure there were always people to provide cover of UNCO bugs. By ensuring there are people who are paid to work on triage, the chances of having 13,000+ bugs would be far less.
The community is a very powerful tool if used effectively. But Mozilla has never learned how to harness the triage community. Bugdays have been of limited effectiveness. They are useful, but not coordinated enough to have long term impact. The QA team tried to assist with Triage, but they are divided between so many projects that devoting alot of time to triage is understandably difficult.
By centrally organizing and assisting triage, the Mozilla Triage team would improve our current triage process dramatically. And that is an understatement. Without Official Mozilla recognition and assistance of triagers, I see the community totally disappearing within two years.
And I know there will be various forms of “why do we need triage” in the comments. If you feel that way, please think about what Bugzilla would look like without the triage community right now. I plan on posting about this shortly, on why we need triage, and why it is so difficult.