I didn’t go with Bugzilla

I was looking for a good bug tracking system, for my personal use. Of course the first thing I turned to was Bugzilla. But I decided instead to go with Mantis. Here’s what I was looking for:

  • Streamlined UI, fast quick bug posting
  • Simplicity
  • Good Sorting
  • Good Control over data

Mantis has by far the better UI at this point. It’s a bit more intuitive than Bugzilla. But then again, bugzilla was designed by/for the developer. The pretty good use of HTML/CSS allows for me to get people to report issues with Mantis without me walking them through it, or tons of mistakes.

Simplicity. Bugzilla is much more complex (both good and bad, as I’ll get to in a moment). Mantis was simple.

Good Sorting. Bugzilla had a bit of an edge there, but the UI in Mantis made it easier to access than Bugzilla. Bugzilla has the better sorting, but Mantis has enough for me… for now.

Good Control over data. I think Bugzilla gets this one as well. But both are good.

In the end I went with Mantis. Since I primary use it as a way to organize/index issues with, and other online activities, I’m the main person using it. A few people will on occasion be using it to provide some feedback on something, but it’s mostly myself. It’s my online organizer in a sense. I find it much more effective than a text based todo list.

So what do I recommend as a bug tracking system?

For open source projects, or medium to large projects, hands down bugzilla. It’s more robust, powerful, and flexible. It’s a great product, despite looking a bit ugly and unimpressive at first. There’s so much there. I’m sure eventually someone will come around and rework that UI a bit, to make it intuitive, and bring all the features to the surface. And it has gotten better in that regard over the years.

But for a small bugtracking instance, I have to recommend Mantis. While it seems like it would be capable of larger things (custom fields, LDAP integration, multiple projects etc.), I just don’t see something like Mantis managing something as large as Mozilla’s Bug database… but then again, it’s sub 1.0.

Is Bugzilla bad? No, just not perfect for all jobs. I think it’s the perfect tool for Mozilla, SpamAssasin has a nice instance of it as well. So does Apache. Great for them. But for a shareware developer, or some other small time gig. I’d have to push Mantis at this time. It’s lighter, and better designed for such instances. No need for Bugzilla’s super powers, and Mantis’s UI allows for complete control over available facilities with ease.


Anyone else think some dev’s don’t blog enough

I say this because all to often, Ben Goodger’s checkin’s make me curious πŸ˜‰

XPInstall UI… Not done just yet but getting closer.

That’s about all we see. No screenshots, no blogging.

Some of the Bugzilla bugs are rather vague as to whats being done. Not to much details. IMHO it would be nice to start seeing some more documentation of the day to day changes, in more understandable terms. The Burning Edge is a great website for day to day stuff, but not to much information on each thing. Just a mention.

Not a “complaint”, or a “criticism”, or intended to start a flame war, or a giant thread over at Mozillazine . It’s purely intended as a suggestion for anyone looking for a good way to unite the community a bit.

I think since the Mozilla Foundation formed, the communication went down a bit. Not sure if that’s because more contributions are coming from remote computers, rather than Netscape. Or perhaps it’s pure overload of work over at Mozilla Foundation Headquarters as Asa notes.

In any regard, I hope after the holidays, when things settle down a bit, we see some more. First David Hyatt got sporadic with posting, then many followed.

I’d say one of the best sources right now is Henrik Germal’s Blog. A real quality job in keeping everyone informed on what’s what.

Mozillazine is of course great as well, but not as nitty gritty on the dev work as Henrik can be. With good reason, they tend to orient more toward the general community, rather than the ubergeeks.


New AIM Beta Kicks Ass

New AIM Beta Kicks some serious butt:
– Video Chat (yes that’s right, AOL finally caught up).
– Multiple SN’s at once. Just like DeadAIM was doing (for pay). Multiple buddy lists.

I’ve got a few issues though:

With multiple profiles online at once, that leaves some serious spam/harassment potential. Think about it. multiple chances to be a jerk, without even switching signing off your main SN.

My second, is that if a buddy is on more than one buddy list, and they sign on, you get multiple buddy popup’s. Now if they are on XP, and come out of hibernation, they not only sign on, but they are away initially. Meaning 2X popups for each buddylist they are on. If they are on 2 buddy lists. That’s 4 popups. You get the idea, it gets ugly. I’ve already covered the entire right side of my monitor more than once.

Get Info button moved above text field (make way for video chat button). Interface looks more cluttered than ever. Oh yea, they put Video support in (only XP), yet no support for working behind firewalls (UPnP). Not great. Very not great. IIRC AOL is very involved with UPnP as well.

Overall, nice new features, but a ton of refinement is needed for this bloatware. Not to mention, some bug cleanup, and some essential upgrades (UPnP).

Hope the Mac version keeps up.

And doesn’t no mention of compatibility with iChat? Anyone know why?


Nvu Progress

If your not checking Daniel Glazman’s blog on a daily basis, you really should be. I wish more developers would blog like he does. Checkout the latest screenshot. I hope that color picker makes it to Mozilla soon. That’s real sweet.

Seriously. Keep an eye on that blog. It’s great stuff. Often screenshots, and daily updates, with lots of detail. And it’s not to technical.



As undoubtably, everyone will blog in the next 24 hours… New has been launched. Looks great. Also has a wonderful end user focus.

One thing I would do, is make a subdomain for corporate customers. Gear the same information, but corporate advantages (why Mozilla is good for an organization). How to deploy? Security? Updating? Customizing? Branding? etc. These corporate users involve thousands of users per company. And remember. Convince 1 company, and potentially thousands of users are exposed to Mozilla. That means some will undoubtedly, download for home use.

An ISP targeted subdomain may not be a bad idea either.

While not technically end users. These customers will advertise for the Mozilla project. All have reason to consider Mozilla. For example licensing. Mozilla is free distro for all OS’s. Great for ISP’s. Can be customized, etc.

Food for thought.

Apple Security Software

Apple’s Life Cycle and Security

I don’t think I need to say I’m a Mac lover. I’ve been very satisfied with my Macs, and love OS X. But I got to agree with CNET about Apple’s recent trends.

Product Life Cycle
Apple’s been pretty firm about the 5 year rule for hardware. After that period, your not really getting hardware support. It’s a pretty solid rule, and one you can depend on (for good or bad). Developers, both hardware and software are well aware of it.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of an official product life cycle for software. Microsoft has a clear product life cycle. I sincerely hope Apple matches Microsoft and adopts a similar policy. For at least that length of time (if not longer), and sticks to it. The mystery involving product life is a real turn off for companies. How can you evaluate what Macs will cost? A good security issue may require the entire office upgrade their OS version. In such cases, a product cycle would allow an IT department to know very well what it will cost to keep Macs afloat. And dispel some cost myths.

I would like to propose a Security/Product Cycle Policy for Apple to adopt:
A product will be officially supported for 5 years after general availability. During this time, full support will be provided. This is the same as Microsofts policy. During this time. All security and bug fixes are available. No new features are required (though could be offered). For example, a WebCore update would fall in this category. Keeping Safari up to date and fixing rendering bugs. New OS X features such as Exposé, would not. That’s for a new product, and new product cycle.

A Security Phase would proceed for a period of minimum 2 years, during this time, only security bugs will be fixed. Keeping Safari up to date, and fixing crashes wouldn’t qualify. Only bugs that provide a security risk.

So in theory, a company can have a system for 7 years, and be able to maintain it for the original cost. Of course they will most likely want new features, and would upgrade in that time. But they have a buffer up to 7 years. This compares with Windows XP’s current product cycle.

A very inclining offer for IT departments. Buy a pretty powerful computer, and know for 5 years you have hardware support for new OS versions. For 7 years, your current OS will be secure. And we mean Mac OS X secure. Not Windows Secure πŸ˜‰

Apple needs to use it’s strong point. A solid UNIX security model. Take advantage of the fact that it can do so. Security is a big advantage the Mac platform has. It will cost more to support older OS’s. But in the end, will make the OS much more attractive than it is now.

Tech (General)

The eternal disk scans

Decided this would be a good day to scan and defrag my harddrives (you do that monthly right?) PC desktop took about 5 hours (it was bad). Laptop took about 2hrs. Bender, my Mac file server, has the largest and most fragmented drive (thanks to several fun new things I installed, with billions of files). I took it offline at aprox. 2:30 PM EST. It’s now 11:14 PM EST. And it’s not done.

Boy. And I wanted to play with some new toys on Bender. Not today.


POP3 Mail Checker

Looking for a good POP3 Mail checker for Windows, and for Mac OS X. Ideally, it should meet the following:

  • Free (open source preferable, but not required)
  • Unobtrusive unless it finds mail (then it should notify me)
  • Fast, Silent, Low CPU/RAM
  • Bonus if I could have it ask to open up a specified URL, rather than my POP3 email client (Mozilla).

I’m mobile most of the week, and not at my primary computer. As a result, I use webmail for quite a bit. I don’t like leaving webmail open. So a pop3mail checker would be nice. I keep my personal mail on my laptop. But I like my business stuff on my Mac, as that’s where I work mostly.

AOL Instant Messenger appears to have one, but because my login contains the full username, it apparently doesn’t work, even if replacing “@” with “%”, or “&” as some have suggested in the past.

So my question is. What do you use? What product works good for you?


AOL Bloopers

This is just to great:

From page:

Q: Can I delete one of my old AIM screen names?
A: No, you cannot delete old AIM screen names at this time. However, you can prevent other users from finding one of your screen names by performing the following steps:

Windows: Select the My AIM menu, click My Options, and then click Edit Preferences. After the window appears, click the Controls tab, and click Nothing about me.

Macintosh: Select the Edit menu, and click Preferences. After the window appears, click the Controls tab, and click Nothing about me.

You can also and remove any information from your profile that would lead other users to find your screen name. You can access your profile from My AIM menu on Windows or the People menu on Mac OS. (NOTE: AVOID “WIZARD.” IT’S BASICALLY WINDOWS-ONLY AND IT’S VERY HARD TO TRANSLATE WITHOUT GETTING BURNED AT THE STAKE ALSO AVOID MAC. SAY MACINTOSH OR MAC OS.)

(Emphasis mine.)

Apparently they do think of Mac users. Which is nice.

Unfortunately, nobody edits for the editors.


A+ for quality.

Not sure if this has been noticed before, if it has, I’m sorry. But it’s new for me.


Firebird 0.7 is amazing, Palm Sync Again

First of all Firebird 0.7 is amazing. If you haven’t downloaded it already. Download NOW!. A great product. Much more polish since last release. Fine tuned, clean. More stable. Me likes. Thunderbird 0.3 is getting close as well.

Palm Sync is still in the works. Can’t get it working. Although there seems to be some drive behind getting it working. So perhaps next weekend, if I can get a few minutes of downtime, I shall try some more to get it working. It’s the missing feature before I switch to Thunderbird/Firebird as my Mail/Web product of choice.