Considering a new keyword for Bugzilla

Bug databases track issues at several levels.

There’s the level of the specific problem. For example: this sequences of graphics calls causes a crash.

Then there’s the level of the meta-bug: a bug tracking a number of different issues in some genre. For example, there might be a bug tracking, say, crashes involving some particular feature: graphics drawing functionality, for example. In Bugzilla this is known as a “meta-bug”, because it isn’t really a bug but rather a bug about bugs. In b.m.o such bugs are given the meta keyword.

Last, there’s the level consisting of bugs which track meta-bugs. For example, you might have a bug tracking a bug for crashes involving graphics drawing functionality, a bug for rendering glitches involving graphics drawing functionality, a bug for unimplemented functionality in the specification, a bug for performance problems involving graphics drawing functionality, and a bug tracking progress at investigating the relative stability of graphics functionality run on hardware with various graphics cards and driver versions. The logical progression is to call this a “meta-meta-bug”.

Therefore, shouldn’t Bugzilla have a meta-meta keyword to associate with such bugs? But let’s not be over-hasty: let’s have a fair discussion first. Perhaps people should comment or blog about this idea a bit. What do readers think?


  1. Curiously I just happened to stumble across a couple posts from others concerning blogging about bugs. What a coincidence!

    Comment by Jeff — 09.03.11 @ 00:47

  2. I would call them spheres rather than meta-meta myself. What are the tradeoffs to adding any new keywords?

    Comment by Havvy — 09.03.11 @ 01:29

  3. I am, of course, in favor of this new keyword… You know I’ve never meta keyword I didn’t like.

    Comment by Justin Dolske — 09.03.11 @ 01:55

  4. Can you give an example (like, an actual bug in the Mozilla bugzilla) of a meta-meta-bug?

    Comment by njn — 09.03.11 @ 02:36

  5. Can you also give an example of a meta-blug or meta-meta-blug?

    Comment by njn — 09.03.11 @ 02:46

  6. I’d file a bug to make it easier for us to track the keyword addition but I fear it would be a meta-meta-meta bug…

    Comment by Neil Rashbrook — 09.03.11 @ 02:54

  7. Well you could just use the Tracking component in the Core product, then it wouldn’t matter how you wanted to tag it, not that I see why it really matters if its a meta-meta or not.

    Comment by Standard8 — 09.03.11 @ 02:56

  8. Sounds like keyword metastasization to me…

    Comment by njn — 09.03.11 @ 03:04

  9. Ugh, no. Meta bugs about meta bugs are still, themselves, meta bugs, so “meta” is still accurate. Also, if you want “meta-meta”, then by the same arguments you need “meta-meta-meta” for the even-fewer third-level bugs, which is clearly silly.

    There are few enough of these multi-level meta bugs that I don’t see why a separate keyword is valuable.

    Comment by Peter Kasting — 09.03.11 @ 23:19

  10. Followup: Reading more Plat Mozilla posts I am becoming suspicious that this is a snarky reaction to bz’ “blug” post.

    Comment by Peter Kasting — 09.03.11 @ 23:21

  11. Not so much “snarky reaction” as “taking it to the next level of awesome”, I think, with a meta-blug. You must also have missed my “who, me?” first comment here. :-D

    bz’s idea seems quite reasonable, actually. That’s no reason not to have fun with it at the same time.

    Comment by Jeff — 09.03.11 @ 23:24

  12. [...] Considering a new keyword for Bugzilla (whereswalden.com) [...]

    Pingback by Business Analysis Technique #20 – Problem Tracking « TAPUniversity — 21.04.11 @ 06:41

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