This section contains information for end-users of Bugzilla. There is a machine with many Bugzilla test installations, called Landfill, which you are welcome to play with (if it's up). However, not all of the Bugzilla installations there will necessarily have all Bugzilla features enabled, and different installations run different versions, so some things may not quite work as this document describes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are available and answered on wiki.mozilla.org. They may cover some questions you have which are left unanswered.
If you want to use Bugzilla, first you need to create an account. Consult with the administrator responsible for your installation of Bugzilla for the URL you should use to access it. If you're test-driving Bugzilla, use an installation on Landfill.
On the home page index.cgi, click the Open a new Bugzilla account link, or the New Account link available in the footer of pages. Now enter your email address, then click the Send button.
If none of these links is available, this means that the administrator of the installation has disabled self-registration. This means that only an administrator can create accounts for other users. One reason could be that this installation is private.
Also, if only some users are allowed to create an account on the installation, you may see these links but your registration may fail if your email address doesn't match the ones accepted by the installation. This is another way to restrict who can access and edit bugs in this installation.
Within moments, and if your registration is accepted, you should receive an email to the address you provided, which contains your login name (generally the same as the email address), and two URLs with a token (a random string generated by the installation) to confirm, respectively cancel, your registration. This is a way to prevent users from abusing the generation of user accounts, for instance by entering inexistent email addresses, or email addresses which do not belong to them.
By default, you have 3 days to confirm your registration. Past this timeframe, the token is invalidated and the registration is automatically canceled. You can also cancel this registration sooner by using the appropriate URL in the email you got.
If you confirm your registration, Bugzilla will ask you your real name (optional, but recommended) and your password, which must be between 3 and 16 characters long.
Now all you need to do is to click the Log In link in the footer at the bottom of the page in your browser, enter your email address and password you just chose into the login form, and click the Log in button.
The core of Bugzilla is the screen which displays a particular bug. It's a good place to explain some Bugzilla concepts. Bug 1 on Landfill is a good example. Note that the labels for most fields are hyperlinks; clicking them will take you to context-sensitive help on that particular field. Fields marked * may not be present on every installation of Bugzilla.
Product and Component: Bugs are divided up by Product and Component, with a Product having one or more Components in it. For example, bugzilla.mozilla.org's "Bugzilla" Product is composed of several Components:
Administration of a Bugzilla installation.
Anything that doesn't fit in the other components, or spans multiple components.
Creating, changing, and viewing bugs.
The Bugzilla documentation, including The Bugzilla Guide.
Anything to do with email sent by Bugzilla.
The installation process of Bugzilla.
Anything to do with searching for bugs and viewing the buglists.
Getting reports from Bugzilla.
Anything about managing a user account from the user's perspective. Saved queries, creating accounts, changing passwords, logging in, etc.
General issues having to do with the user interface cosmetics (not functionality) including cosmetic issues, HTML templates, etc.
Status and Resolution: These define exactly what state the bug is in - from not even being confirmed as a bug, through to being fixed and the fix confirmed by Quality Assurance. The different possible values for Status and Resolution on your installation should be documented in the context-sensitive help for those items.
Assigned To: The person responsible for fixing the bug.
*QA Contact: The person responsible for quality assurance on this bug.
*URL: A URL associated with the bug, if any.
Summary: A one-sentence summary of the problem.
*Status Whiteboard: (a.k.a. Whiteboard) A free-form text area for adding short notes and tags to a bug.
*Keywords: The administrator can define keywords which you can use to tag and categorise bugs - e.g. The Mozilla Project has keywords like crash and regression.
Platform and OS: These indicate the computing environment where the bug was found.
Version: The "Version" field is usually used for versions of a product which have been released, and is set to indicate which versions of a Component have the particular problem the bug report is about.
Priority: The bug assignee uses this field to prioritize his or her bugs. It's a good idea not to change this on other people's bugs.
Severity: This indicates how severe the problem is - from blocker ("application unusable") to trivial ("minor cosmetic issue"). You can also use this field to indicate whether a bug is an enhancement request.
*Target: (a.k.a. Target Milestone) A future version by which the bug is to be fixed. e.g. The Bugzilla Project's milestones for future Bugzilla versions are 2.18, 2.20, 3.0, etc. Milestones are not restricted to numbers, thought - you can use any text strings, such as dates.
Reporter: The person who filed the bug.
CC list: A list of people who get mail when the bug changes.
*Time Tracking: This form can be used for time tracking. To use this feature, you have to be blessed group membership specified by the timetrackinggroup parameter.
This field shows the original estimated time.
This field shows the current estimated time. This number is calculated from Hours Worked and Hours Left.
This field shows the number of hours worked.
This field shows the Current Est. - Hours Worked. This value + Hours Worked will become the new Current Est.
This field shows what percentage of the task is complete.
This field shows the number of hours that the bug is ahead of the Orig. Est..
This field shows the deadline for this bug.
Attachments: You can attach files (e.g. testcases or patches) to bugs. If there are any attachments, they are listed in this section.
*Dependencies: If this bug cannot be fixed unless other bugs are fixed (depends on), or this bug stops other bugs being fixed (blocks), their numbers are recorded here.
*Votes: Whether this bug has any votes.
Additional Comments: You can add your two cents to the bug discussion here, if you have something worthwhile to say.
The life cycle of a bug, also known as workflow, is customizable to match the needs of your organization, see Bug Status Workflow. Lifecycle of a Bugzilla Bug contains a graphical representation of the default workflow using the default bug statuses. If you wish to customize this image for your site, the diagram file is available in Dia's native XML format.
The Bugzilla Search page is the interface where you can find any bug report, comment, or patch currently in the Bugzilla system. You can play with it on Landfill.
The Search page has controls for selecting different possible values for all of the fields in a bug, as described above. For some fields, multiple values can be selected. In those cases, Bugzilla returns bugs where the content of the field matches any one of the selected values. If none is selected, then the field can take any value.
After a search is run, you can save it as a Saved Search, which will appear in the page footer. If you are in the group defined by the "querysharegroup" parameter, you may share your queries with other users, see Saved Searches for more details.
Highly advanced querying is done using Boolean Charts.
The boolean charts further restrict the set of results returned by a query. It is possible to search for bugs based on elaborate combinations of criteria.
The simplest boolean searches have only one term. These searches permit the selected left field to be compared using a selectable operator to a specified value. Using the "And," "Or," and "Add Another Boolean Chart" buttons, additional terms can be included in the query, further altering the list of bugs returned by the query.
There are three fields in each row of a boolean search.
Sometimes, a query needs to compare a user-related field (such as ReportedBy) with a role-specific user (such as the user running the query or the user to whom each bug is assigned). When the operator is either "equals" or "notequals", the value can be "%reporter%", "%assignee%", "%qacontact%", or "%user%". The user pronoun refers to the user who is executing the query or, in the case of whining reports, the user who will be the recipient of the report. The reporter, assignee, and qacontact pronouns refer to the corresponding fields in the bug.
Boolean charts also let you type a group name in any user-related field if the operator is either "equals", "notequals" or "anyexact". This will let you query for any member belonging (or not) to the specified group. The group name must be entered following the "%group.foo%" syntax, where "foo" is the group name. So if you are looking for bugs reported by any user being in the "editbugs" group, then you can type "%group.editbugs%".
At first glance, negation seems redundant. Rather than searching for
NOT("summary" "contains the string" "foo"),
one could search for
("summary" "does not contain the string" "foo").
However, the search
("CC" "does not contain the string" "@mozilla.org")
would find every bug where anyone on the CC list did not contain "@mozilla.org" while
NOT("CC" "contains the string" "@mozilla.org")
would find every bug where there was nobody on the CC list who did contain the string. Similarly, the use of negation also permits complex expressions to be built using terms OR'd together and then negated. Negation permits queries such as
NOT(("product" "equals" "update") OR ("component" "equals" "Documentation"))
to find bugs that are neither in the update product or in the documentation component or
NOT(("commenter" "equals" "%assignee%") OR ("component" "equals" "Documentation"))
to find non-documentation bugs on which the assignee has never commented.
The terms within a single row of a boolean chart are all constraints on a single piece of data. If you are looking for a bug that has two different people cc'd on it, then you need to use two boolean charts. A search for
("cc" "contains the string" "foo@") AND ("cc" "contains the string" "@mozilla.org")
would return only bugs with "email@example.com" on the cc list. If you wanted bugs where there is someone on the cc list containing "foo@" and someone else containing "@mozilla.org", then you would need two boolean charts.
First chart: ("cc" "contains the string" "foo@") Second chart: ("cc" "contains the string" "@mozilla.org")
The bugs listed will be only the bugs where ALL the charts are true.
Quicksearch is a single-text-box query tool which uses metacharacters to indicate what is to be searched. For example, typing "foo|bar" into Quicksearch would search for "foo" or "bar" in the summary and status whiteboard of a bug; adding ":BazProduct" would search only in that product. You can use it to find a bug by its number or its alias, too.
You'll find the Quicksearch box in Bugzilla's footer area. On Bugzilla's front page, there is an additional Help link which details how to use it.
Bugzilla queries are case-insensitive and accent-insensitive, when used with either MySQL or Oracle databases. When using Bugzilla with PostgreSQL, however, some queries are case-sensitive. This is due to the way PostgreSQL handles case and accent sensitivity.
If you run a search, a list of matching bugs will be returned.
The format of the list is configurable. For example, it can be sorted by clicking the column headings. Other useful features can be accessed using the links at the bottom of the list:
Years of bug writing experience has been distilled for your reading pleasure into the Bug Writing Guidelines. While some of the advice is Mozilla-specific, the basic principles of reporting Reproducible, Specific bugs, isolating the Product you are using, the Version of the Product, the Component which failed, the Hardware Platform, and Operating System you were using at the time of the failure go a long way toward ensuring accurate, responsible fixes for the bug that bit you.
The procedure for filing a bug is as follows:
Click the New link available in the footer of pages, or the Enter a new bug report link displayed on the home page of the Bugzilla installation.
If you want to file a test bug to see how Bugzilla works, you can do it on one of our test installations on Landfill.
You first have to select the product in which you found a bug.
You now see a form where you can specify the component (part of the product which is affected by the bug you discovered; if you have no idea, just select General if such a component exists), the version of the program you were using, the Operating System and platform your program is running on and the severity of the bug (if the bug you found crashes the program, it's probably a major or a critical bug; if it's a typo somewhere, that's something pretty minor; if it's something you would like to see implemented, then that's an enhancement).
You now have to give a short but descriptive summary of the bug you found. My program is crashing all the time is a very poor summary and doesn't help developers at all. Try something more meaningful or your bug will probably be ignored due to a lack of precision. The next step is to give a very detailed list of steps to reproduce the problem you encountered. Try to limit these steps to a minimum set required to reproduce the problem. This will make the life of developers easier, and the probability that they consider your bug in a reasonable timeframe will be much higher.
Try to make sure that everything in the summary is also in the first comment. Summaries are often updated and this will ensure your original information is easily accessible.
As you file the bug, you can also attach a document (testcase, patch, or screenshot of the problem).
Depending on the Bugzilla installation you are using and the product in which you are filing the bug, you can also request developers to consider your bug in different ways (such as requesting review for the patch you just attached, requesting your bug to block the next release of the product, and many other product specific requests).
Now is a good time to read your bug report again. Remove all misspellings, otherwise your bug may not be found by developers running queries for some specific words, and so your bug would not get any attention. Also make sure you didn't forget any important information developers should know in order to reproduce the problem, and make sure your description of the problem is explicit and clear enough. When you think your bug report is ready to go, the last step is to click the Commit button to add your report into the database.
You do not need to put "any" or similar strings in the URL field. If there is no specific URL associated with the bug, leave this field blank.
If you feel a bug you filed was incorrectly marked as a DUPLICATE of another, please question it in your bug, not the bug it was duped to. Feel free to CC the person who duped it if they are not already CCed.
Starting with version 2.20, Bugzilla has a feature that allows you to clone an existing bug. The newly created bug will inherit most settings from the old bug. This allows you to track more easily similar concerns in a new bug. To use this, go to the bug that you want to clone, then click the Clone This Bug link on the bug page. This will take you to the Enter Bug page that is filled with the values that the old bug has. You can change those values and/or texts if needed.
You should use attachments, rather than comments, for large chunks of ASCII data, such as trace, debugging output files, or log files. That way, it doesn't bloat the bug for everyone who wants to read it, and cause people to receive fat, useless mails.
You should make sure to trim screenshots. There's no need to show the whole screen if you are pointing out a single-pixel problem.
Bugzilla stores and uses a Content-Type for each attachment (e.g. text/html). To download an attachment as a different Content-Type (e.g. application/xhtml+xml), you can override this using a 'content_type' parameter on the URL, e.g. &content_type=text/plain.
Also, you can enter the URL pointing to the attachment instead of uploading the attachment itself. For example, this is useful if you want to point to an external application, a website or a very large file. Note that there is no guarantee that the source file will always be available, nor that its content will remain unchanged.
Another way to attach data is to paste text directly in the text field, and Bugzilla will convert it into an attachment. This is pretty useful when you do copy and paste, and you don't want to put the text in a temporary file first.
Viewing and reviewing patches in Bugzilla is often difficult due to lack of context, improper format and the inherent readability issues that raw patches present. Patch Viewer is an enhancement to Bugzilla designed to fix that by offering increased context, linking to sections, and integrating with Bonsai, LXR and CVS.
Patch viewer allows you to:
The main way to view a patch in patch viewer is to click on the "Diff" link next to a patch in the Attachments list on a bug. You may also do this within the edit window by clicking the "View Attachment As Diff" button in the Edit Attachment screen.
To see the difference between two patches, you must first view the newer patch in Patch Viewer. Then select the older patch from the dropdown at the top of the page ("Differences between [dropdown] and this patch") and click the "Diff" button. This will show you what is new or changed in the newer patch.
To get more context in a patch, you put a number in the textbox at the top of Patch Viewer ("Patch / File / [textbox]") and hit enter. This will give you that many lines of context before and after each change. Alternatively, you can click on the "File" link there and it will show each change in the full context of the file. This feature only works against files that were diffed using "cvs diff".
To view only a certain set of files in a patch (for example, if a patch is absolutely huge and you want to only review part of it at a time), you can click the "(+)" and "(-)" links next to each file (to expand it or collapse it). If you want to collapse all files or expand all files, you can click the "Collapse All" and "Expand All" links at the top of the page.
To go to Bonsai to get blame for the lines you are interested in, you can click the "Lines XX-YY" link on the section header you are interested in. This works even if the patch is against an old version of the file, since Bonsai stores all versions of the file.
To go to LXR, you click on the filename on the file header (unfortunately, since LXR only does the most recent version, line numbers are likely to rot).
If the patch is not in a format that you like, you can turn it into a unified diff format by clicking the "Raw Unified" link at the top of the page.
This section distills some Bugzilla tips and best practices that have been developed.
Bugzilla stores comments unwrapped and wraps them at display time. This ensures proper wrapping in all browsers. Lines beginning with the ">" character are assumed to be quotes, and are not wrapped.
On the Dependency tree page linked from each bug page, you can see the dependency relationship from the bug as a tree structure.
You can change how much depth to show, and you can hide resolved bugs from this page. You can also collaps/expand dependencies for each bug on the tree view, using the [-]/[+] buttons that appear before its summary. This option is not available for terminal bugs in the tree (that don't have further dependencies).
Users who belong to the group specified by the timetrackinggroup parameter have access to time-related fields. Developers can see deadlines and estimated times to fix bugs, and can provide time spent on these bugs. Users who do not belong to this group can only see the deadline, but not edit it. Other time-related fields remain invisible to them.
At any time, a summary of the time spent by developers on bugs is accessible either from bug lists when clicking the Time Summary button or from individual bugs when clicking the Summarize time link in the time tracking table. The summarize_time.cgi page lets you view this information either per developer or per bug, and can be split on a month basis to have greater details on how time is spent by developers.
As soon as a bug is marked as RESOLVED, the remaining time expected to fix the bug is set to zero. This lets QA people set it again for their own usage, and it will be set to zero again when the bug will be marked as CLOSED.
Once logged in, you can customize various aspects of Bugzilla via the "Preferences" link in the page footer. The preferences are split into five tabs:
This tab allows you to change several default settings of Bugzilla.
This tab allows you to enable or disable email notification on specific events.
In general, users have almost complete control over how much (or how little) email Bugzilla sends them. If you want to receive the maximum amount of email possible, click the Enable All Mail button. If you don't want to receive any email from Bugzilla at all, click the Disable All Mail button.
A Bugzilla administrator can stop a user from receiving bugmail by clicking the Bugmail Disabled checkbox when editing the user account. This is a drastic step best taken only for disabled accounts, as it overrides the user's individual mail preferences.
There are two global options -- Email me when someone asks me to set a flag and Email me when someone sets a flag I asked for. These define how you want to receive bugmail with regards to flags. Their use is quite straightforward; enable the checkboxes if you want Bugzilla to send you mail under either of the above conditions.
If you'd like to set your bugmail to something besides 'Completely ON' and 'Completely OFF', the Field/recipient specific options table allows you to do just that. The rows of the table define events that can happen to a bug -- things like attachments being added, new comments being made, the priority changing, etc. The columns in the table define your relationship with the bug:
Some columns may not be visible for your installation, depending on your site's configuration.
To fine-tune your bugmail, decide the events for which you want to receive bugmail; then decide if you want to receive it all the time (enable the checkbox for every column), or only when you have a certain relationship with a bug (enable the checkbox only for those columns). For example: if you didn't want to receive mail when someone added themselves to the CC list, you could uncheck all the boxes in the CC Field Changes line. As another example, if you never wanted to receive email on bugs you reported unless the bug was resolved, you would un-check all boxes in the Reporter column except for the one on the The bug is resolved or verified row.
Bugzilla adds the X-Bugzilla-Reason header to all bugmail it sends, describing the recipient's relationship (AssignedTo, Reporter, QAContact, CC, or Voter) to the bug. This header can be used to do further client-side filtering.
Bugzilla has a feature called Users Watching. When you enter one or more comma-delineated user accounts (usually email addresses) into the text entry box, you will receive a copy of all the bugmail those users are sent (security settings permitting). This powerful functionality enables seamless transitions as developers change projects or users go on holiday.
The ability to watch other users may not be available in all Bugzilla installations. If you don't see this feature, and feel that you need it, speak to your administrator.
Each user listed in the Users watching you field has you listed in their Users to watch list and can get bugmail according to your relationship to the bug and their Field/recipient specific options setting.
On this tab you can view and run any Saved Searches that you have created, and also any Saved Searches that other members of the group defined in the "querysharegroup" parameter have shared. Saved Searches can be added to the page footer from this screen. If somebody is sharing a Search with a group she or he is allowed to assign users to, the sharer may opt to have the Search show up in the footer of the group's direct members by default.
On this tab, you can change your basic account information, including your password, email address and real name. For security reasons, in order to change anything on this page you must type your current password into the Password field at the top of the page. If you attempt to change your email address, a confirmation email is sent to both the old and new addresses, with a link to use to confirm the change. This helps to prevent account hijacking.
This is a purely informative page which outlines your current permissions on this installation of Bugzilla.
A complete list of permissions is below. Only users with editusers privileges can change the permissions of other users.
For more information on how permissions work in Bugzilla (i.e. who can change what), see Customizing Who Can Change What.
As well as the standard buglist, Bugzilla has two more ways of viewing sets of bugs. These are the reports (which give different views of the current state of the database) and charts (which plot the changes in particular sets of bugs over time.)
A report is a view of the current state of the bug database.
You can run either an HTML-table-based report, or a graphical line/pie/bar-chart-based one. The two have different pages to define them, but are close cousins - once you've defined and viewed a report, you can switch between any of the different views of the data at will.
Both report types are based on the idea of defining a set of bugs using the standard search interface, and then choosing some aspect of that set to plot on the horizontal and/or vertical axes. You can also get a form of 3-dimensional report by choosing to have multiple images or tables.
So, for example, you could use the search form to choose "all bugs in the WorldControl product", and then plot their severity against their component to see which component had had the largest number of bad bugs reported against it.
Once you've defined your parameters and hit "Generate Report", you can switch between HTML, CSV, Bar, Line and Pie. (Note: Pie is only available if you didn't define a vertical axis, as pie charts don't have one.) The other controls are fairly self-explanatory; you can change the size of the image if you find text is overwriting other text, or the bars are too thin to see.
A chart is a view of the state of the bug database over time.
Bugzilla currently has two charting systems - Old Charts and New Charts. Old Charts have been part of Bugzilla for a long time; they chart each status and resolution for each product, and that's all. They are deprecated, and going away soon - we won't say any more about them. New Charts are the future - they allow you to chart anything you can define as a search.
Both charting forms require the administrator to set up the data-gathering script. If you can't see any charts, ask them whether they have done so.
An individual line on a chart is called a data set. All data sets are organised into categories and subcategories. The data sets that Bugzilla defines automatically use the Product name as a Category and Component names as Subcategories, but there is no need for you to follow that naming scheme with your own charts if you don't want to.
Data sets may be public or private. Everyone sees public data sets in the list, but only their creator sees private data sets. Only administrators can make data sets public. No two data sets, even two private ones, can have the same set of category, subcategory and name. So if you are creating private data sets, one idea is to have the Category be your username.
You create a chart by selecting a number of data sets from the list, and pressing Add To List for each. In the List Of Data Sets To Plot, you can define the label that data set will have in the chart's legend, and also ask Bugzilla to Sum a number of data sets (e.g. you could Sum data sets representing RESOLVED, VERIFIED and CLOSED in a particular product to get a data set representing all the resolved bugs in that product.)
If you've erroneously added a data set to the list, select it using the checkbox and click Remove. Once you add more than one data set, a "Grand Total" line automatically appears at the bottom of the list. If you don't want this, simply remove it as you would remove any other line.
You may also choose to plot only over a certain date range, and to cumulate the results - that is, to plot each one using the previous one as a baseline, so the top line gives a sum of all the data sets. It's easier to try than to explain :-)
Once a data set is in the list, one can also perform certain actions on it. For example, one can edit the data set's parameters (name, frequency etc.) if it's one you created or if you are an administrator.
Once you are happy, click Chart This List to see the chart.
You may also create new data sets of your own. To do this, click the "create a new data set" link on the Create Chart page. This takes you to a search-like interface where you can define the search that Bugzilla will plot. At the bottom of the page, you choose the category, sub-category and name of your new data set.
If you have sufficient permissions, you can make the data set public, and reduce the frequency of data collection to less than the default seven days.
A flag is a kind of status that can be set on bugs or attachments to indicate that the bugs/attachments are in a certain state. Each installation can define its own set of flags that can be set on bugs or attachments.
If your installation has defined a flag, you can set or unset that flag, and if your administrator has enabled requesting of flags, you can submit a request for another user to set the flag.
To set a flag, select either "+" or "-" from the drop-down menu next to the name of the flag in the "Flags" list. The meaning of these values are flag-specific and thus cannot be described in this documentation, but by way of example, setting a flag named "review" to "+" may indicate that the bug/attachment has passed review, while setting it to "-" may indicate that the bug/attachment has failed review.
To unset a flag, click its drop-down menu and select the blank value. Note that marking an attachment as obsolete automatically cancels all pending requests for the attachment.
If your administrator has enabled requests for a flag, request a flag by selecting "?" from the drop-down menu and then entering the username of the user you want to set the flag in the text field next to the menu.
A set flag appears in bug reports and on "edit attachment" pages with the abbreviated username of the user who set the flag prepended to the flag name. For example, if Jack sets a "review" flag to "+", it appears as Jack: review [ + ]
A requested flag appears with the user who requested the flag prepended to the flag name and the user who has been requested to set the flag appended to the flag name within parentheses. For example, if Jack asks Jill for review, it appears as Jack: review [ ? ] (Jill).
You can browse through open requests made of you and by you by selecting 'My Requests' from the footer. You can also look at open requests limited by other requesters, requestees, products, components, and flag names from this page. Note that you can use '-' for requestee to specify flags with 'no requestee' set.
Whining is a feature in Bugzilla that can regularly annoy users at specified times. Using this feature, users can execute saved searches at specific times (i.e. the 15th of the month at midnight) or at regular intervals (i.e. every 15 minutes on Sundays). The results of the searches are sent to the user, either as a single email or as one email per bug, along with some descriptive text.
Throughout this section it will be assumed that all users are members of the bz_canusewhines group, membership in which is required in order to use the Whining system. You can easily make all users members of the bz_canusewhines group by setting the User RegExp to ".*" (without the quotes).
Also worth noting is the bz_canusewhineatothers group. Members of this group can create whines for any user or group in Bugzilla using a extended form of the whining interface. Features only available to members of the bz_canusewhineatothers group will be noted in the appropriate places.
For whining to work, a special Perl script must be executed at regular intervals. More information on this is available in Whining.
This section does not cover the whineatnews.pl script. See The Whining Cron for more information on The Whining Cron.
The whining system defines an "Event" as one or more queries being executed at regular intervals, with the results of said queries (if there are any) being emailed to the user. Events are created by clicking on the "Add new event" button.
Once a new event is created, the first thing to set is the "Email subject line". The contents of this field will be used in the subject line of every email generated by this event. In addition to setting a subject, space is provided to enter some descriptive text that will be included at the top of each message (to help you in understanding why you received the email in the first place).
The next step is to specify when the Event is to be run (the Schedule) and what searches are to be performed (the Searches).
Each whining event is associated with zero or more schedules. A schedule is used to specify when the search (specified below) is to be run. A new event starts out with no schedules (which means it will never run, as it is not scheduled to run). To add a schedule, press the "Add a new schedule" button.
Each schedule includes an interval, which you use to tell Bugzilla when the event should be run. An event can be run on certain days of the week, certain days of the month, during weekdays (defined as Monday through Friday), or every day.
Be careful if you set your event to run on the 29th, 30th, or 31st of the month, as your event may not run exactly when expected. If you want your event to run on the last day of the month, select "Last day of the month" as the interval.
Once you have specified the day(s) on which the event is to be run, you should now specify the time at which the event is to be run. You can have the event run at a certain hour on the specified day(s), or every hour, half-hour, or quarter-hour on the specified day(s).
If a single schedule does not execute an event as many times as you would want, you can create another schedule for the same event. For example, if you want to run an event on days whose numbers are divisible by seven, you would need to add four schedules to the event, setting the schedules to run on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th (one day per schedule) at whatever time (or times) you choose.
If you are a member of the bz_canusewhineatothers group, then you will be presented with another option: "Mail to". Using this you can control who will receive the emails generated by this event. You can choose to send the emails to a single user (identified by email address) or a single group (identified by group name). To send to multiple users or groups, create a new schedule for each additional user/group.
Each whining event is associated with zero or more searches. A search is any saved search to be run as part of the specified schedule (see above). You start out without any searches associated with the event (which means that the event will not run, as there will never be any results to return). To add a search, press the "Add a search" button.
The first field to examine in your newly added search is the Sort field. Searches are run, and results included, in the order specified by the Sort field. Searches with smaller Sort values will run before searches with bigger Sort values.
The next field to examine is the Search field. This is where you choose the actual search that is to be run. Instead of defining search parameters here, you are asked to choose from the list of saved searches (the same list that appears at the bottom of every Bugzilla page). You are only allowed to choose from searches that you have saved yourself (the default saved search, "My Bugs", is not a valid choice). If you do not have any saved searches, you can take this opportunity to create one (see Bug Lists).
When running searches, the whining system acts as if you are the user executing the search. This means that the whining system will ignore bugs that match your search, but that you cannot access.
Once you have chosen the saved search to be executed, give the search a descriptive title. This title will appear in the email, above the results of the search. If you choose "One message per bug", the search title will appear at the top of each email that contains a bug matching your search.
Finally, decide if the results of the search should be sent in a single email, or if each bug should appear in its own email.
Think carefully before checking the "One message per bug" box. If you create a search that matches thousands of bugs, you will receive thousands of emails!
Once you have defined at least one schedule, and created at least one search, go ahead and "Update/Commit". This will save your Event and make it available for immediate execution.
If you ever feel like deleting your event, you may do so using the "Remove Event" button in the upper-right corner of each Event. You can also modify an existing event, so long as you "Update/Commit" after completing your modifications.