It has been almost 6 months since the project started so I thought it was way overdue to recap how things have been going.  I am excited about the interest this project is receiving from both active Mozilla Contributors (employees and volunteers) and the academic community.  I’m working hard to deliver on your hopes for direct access to the results of this project.

Update on the Interviews

The Bugzilla Anthropology project has been moving along well when it comes to the interview work.  We have completed 20 interviews plus 2 write-ins during the first quarter of this year.  The raw transcripts are posted at the following link:

Work has been ongoing to parse through and summarize the results of these interviews into a digestible form.  We have had considerable help from Olga Baysal and Reid Holmes from the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo who are working tirelessly to parse through all the data we collected.  They are categorizing the 1,213 comments gathered over the course of the interviews.  This will result in two documents, the first is a 3 page summary that available at the following link:

This initial document discusses how the final longer summary will be categorized and how much activity was seen in each one.

Thank you very much Olga and Reid, this is a huge effort and we really appreciate your work so far.  I eagerly await seeing the final 25-30 page summary.

Update on the Metrics

We have been working with the Mozilla Metrics team to surface information that can help us better visualize macro trends as they play out in Bugzilla.  This will help us measure change over time and see problems coming before they reach a critical point.  To help deal with the massive scope of the information stored in Mozilla’s Bugzilla, we are copying some of this data into an Elastic Search database that only includes the meta data of each bug.  This lets us do massive queries without hindering production by bringing Bugzilla’s DB to a standstill.  Progress on this work has been slower than I would like but we are making gradual progress.

We are working to make this data public via a REST interface but in the mean time, for those that have LDAP level access at Mozilla, you can see some of the visualization prototypes we have been working on at the following link:

Several of these prototypes are in use in production already.  However, work is still ongoing and here is what stands between us and a public REST interface:

1. Complete schema modification to make sure that the database can handle queries relating to review queues.

2. Insure that proper automated testing is in place to verify that the data in the ES database is consistent with that found in Bugzilla’s DB.  We have seen issues here so this is important.

3. Address the remaining security concerns around the meta data associated with open security bugs.

None of these are that large in scope, however, the metrics team has been very tied up and has had difficulty finding time to work on them.  Last week saw a jump in progress on the first item and I’m hopeful we will see that crossed off the todo list soon.  I have also attended very constructive meetings that show this rising in priority for the Metrics team which is also a positive sign we will see this done sooner than later.

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