Category Archives: Gmail

Using Gmail filters to identify important Bugzilla mail in 2014

Many email filtering systems are designed to siphon each email into a single destination folder. Usually you have a list of rules which get applied in order, and as soon as one matches an email the matching process ends.

Gmail’s filtering system is different; it’s designed to add any number of labels to each email, and the rules don’t get applied in any particular order. Sometimes it’s really useful to be able to apply multiple labels to an email, but if you just want to apply one in a fashion that emulates folders, it can be tricky.

So here’s a non-trivial example of how I filter bugmail into two “folders”. The first “folder” contains high-priority bugmail.

  • Review/feedback/needinfo notifications.
  • Comments in bugs that I filed or am assigned to or am CC’d to.
  • Comment in secure bugs.
  • Comments in bugs in the DMD and about:memory components.

For the high priority bugmail, on Gmail’s “Create a Filter” screen, in the “From:” field I put:

bugzilla-daemon@mozilla.org

and in the “Has the words:” field I put:

“you are the assignee” OR “you reported” OR “you are on the CC list” OR subject:”granted:” OR subject:”requested:” OR subject:”canceled:” OR subject:”Secure bug” OR “Product/Component: Core :: DMD” OR “Product/Component: Toolkit :: about:memory” OR “Your Outstanding Requests”

For the low priority bugmail, on Gmail’s “Create a Filter” screen, in the “From:” field put:

bugzilla-daemon@mozilla.org

and in the “Doesn’t have:” field put:

(“you are the assignee” OR “you reported” OR “you are on the CC list” OR subject:”granted:” OR subject:”requested:” OR subject:”canceled:” OR subject:”Secure bug” OR “Product/Component: Core :: DMD” OR “Product/Component: Toolkit :: about:memory” OR “Your Outstanding Requests”)

(I’m not certain if the parentheses are needed here. It’s otherwise identical to the contents in the previous case.)

I’ve modified them a few times and they work very well for me. Everyone else will have different needs, but this might be a useful starting point.

This is just one way to do it. See here for an alternative way. (Update: Byron Jones pointed out that my approach assumes that the wording used in email bodies won’t change, and so the alternative is more robust.)

Finally, if you’re wondering about the “in 2014″ in the title of this post, it’s because I wrote a very similar post four years ago, and my filters have evolved slightly since then.

Gmail and Bugzilla: an update

I recently wrote about Gmail’s threading not handling Bugzilla emails nicely.  Thanks to a patch from Byron Jones, bugzilla.mozilla.org now lets you set an option so that Gmail’s threading will work nicely with Bugzilla.  Just go to “User Preferences”, and in the “General Preferences” tab, enable “Make email subjects compatible with Gmail’s threading.”  Thanks, Byron!

Gmail and Bugzilla

I use Gmail.  I like the way it manages conversations, with one exception.  New bugs reported in Bugzilla cause an email with a title like “New: Fix the bug” to be sent.  All subsequent changes to that bug cause an email with a title like “Fix the bug” to be sent.  So that first email doesn’t get included in the same conversation as the rest of the emails because the subject line has the “New: ” at the start.

This is annoying.  Does anyone know how to fix it, either on the Gmail side or the Bugzilla side?

Using Gmail filters to identify important Bugzilla mail

Like most Mozilla developers, I get a lot of bugmail. Maybe 10% of that is important, e.g. bugs I filed, bugs I have to review patches for, etc. The other 90% of that is stuff I have a passing interest in.

I have a couple of Gmail filters that I use to separate these two streams of email.  They’re non-obvious, so I promised Paul Biggar that I would blog about these so that he and others could do the same thing.

To catch interesting bugmail, on Gmail’s “Create a Filter” screen, in the “From:” field put:

bugzilla-daemon@mozilla.org

and in the “Has the words:” field put:

"review?(nnethercote" OR "you are the assignee" OR "you reported" OR "you are on the CC list" OR subject:"review granted" OR subject:"review requested" OR subject:"review canceled" OR subject:"feedback requested" OR subject:"feedback granted" OR subject:"feedback canceled"

To catch less interesting bugmail, on Gmail’s “Create a Filter” screen, in the “From:” field put:

bugzilla-daemon@mozilla.org

and in the “Doesn’t have:” field put:

("you are the assignee" OR "you reported" OR "you are on the CC list" OR subject:"review granted" OR subject:"review requested" OR subject:"review canceled" OR subject:"feedback requested" OR subject:"feedback granted" OR subject:"feedback canceled")

I’ve modified them a few times and they work very well for me.  It’s possible there are some cases that they miscategorize but I haven’t seen that happen for a long time.

Update: In the first “Has the words:” field, you’ll obviously need to change nnethercote to something else.