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Introducing the new JIRA

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Yoz Linden

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As we described a little while ago, we're taking some major steps to improve our bug-tracker, jira.secondlife.com. We're making it faster and easier to use, more revealing of our ongoing engineering work, and - most importantly - better at helping us find and fix bugs.

Today we completed the largest single milestone on our bug-tracking roadmap: the upgrade to JIRA 4.1. This was more than just a simple upgrade: as well as all the improvements that JIRA 4.1 brings, we've moved to new, more powerful hosting infrastructure. We've integrated the same login system used by the rest of secondlife.com. And we've installed the Greenhopper project management plugin so that open projects, such as Snowstorm, can expose far more of their roadmaps and schedules. It'll take a few days for the first projects to make their Greenhopper pages available, but once a project has one, you can get to it through the "Agile" item on the navigation bar.

If you're interested in our bug-tracking process or already contribute to it, please go take a look. We hope you'll find it significantly better than what we had before. However, there are still tweaks to be done and problems to be fixed. If you find anything in the new setup that doesn't work as it should, you can file an issue about the bug-tracker in the bug-tracker, specifically in the WEB project, jira.secondlife.com component. (Using the bug-tracker to report on itself may seem dangerously recursive, but don't worry; we've hardly ever caused any wormholes in the space-time continuum.)

One more thing, for JIRA regulars: As mentioned previously, we're also making changes to some of the workflows with which we categorise and process issues. Some of those changes were made two weeks ago. With this upgrade, we're moving towards another little tweak: renaming the Priority field to Severity and using it to describe the seriousness of effect that an issue has. This is for a couple of reasons: firstly, to reduce edit-war arguments by making the field topic a little more objective. (You can read the descriptions and criteria for the Severity field values on this wiki page.)  Secondly, because Priority is meaningless as an attribute of a single issue; rather, an issue's Priority is its relative position amongst its peers, which is decided during project backlog review. The renaming of the field hasn't happened yet, since it requires tweaking of the underpinnings to be done after dust has settled on the upgrade, but in the meantime we've renamed the values that the field takes.

Once again, we'd like to thank everyone who works with us through the bug-tracker to report and fix problems. With these and future JIRA improvements, we aim to give you a clearer view of how your contributions make Second Life better for everyone.

Edited to add: Our screencast wizard, Torley, has created a couple of video tutorials which show off some new features that make JIRA use considerably quicker. Check out How to search the bug tracker and How to report a bug.

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What do we do a case like with http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-2555 ?

The jira was closed by the search team with a terse statement it would be fixed in a week. It was not moved to fix pending. just closed before the fix could be verified. Then that fix release wound up being rolled back and the defect continued. Therefore I reopened it and there it sat. Then with the latest search release the defect was indeed corrected. However now I cannot resolve fixed.

What to do? Ruin the stats with a fake will not finish when it was worked and finished?

Thanks in advance.

 

ETA: And Yoz has taken care of the jira with a close. Thanks Yoz!

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Well... It certainly does match the blog and the rest of the SL website in both style and form.

 

Not a good thing.

First thing I noticed when clicking the link to the new Jira is a redirect page. Had to click another link either to go back or go on to the Jira. HUH?

What the heck does Agile mean anyway?? Are people who don't read the blogs expected to know where to go to find the information contained in there?

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First thing I noticed when clicking the link to the new Jira is a redirect page. Had to click another link either to go back or go on to the Jira. HUH?

Whoops - sorry about that. My fault when copying links around to create this blog post. Fixed.


What the heck does Agile mean anyway?? Are people who don't read the blogs expected to know where to go to find the information contained in there?

That could probably be named better - I'll see what we can do.

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Yoz, is there a way to set the subject of the email notifications back to instead of ? I adjusted my mail filters but now also offline notifications like group notices land in my JIRA folder...

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This must be the most badly arranged jira I have ever seen. Very confusing to look at the issue pages.

 

I hope it will be possible to change the layout as a usersetting?

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From sl.com, to help=>issue tracker, Wiki issue tracker=> link to the Jira (i.e. the normal path for us)

Next a big and huuge ultra mega warning from Firefox that I'm enterering an insecure connection. That's new for me. Have to click on I understand risks, and add exception to continue. It doesnt trust the certificate, it belongs to another website?

Erm, I didn't enter Jira, I entered Red Hat Linux Test page at https://jira.secondlife.com/.. hehe.. You need to bang some harder Yoz.

Sorry about that - we had a problem where the HTTPS service was using a bad cert. It's fixed now, and both HTTP and HTTPS should work fine.

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Yoz, is there a way to set the subject of the email notifications back to instead of ? I adjusted my mail filters but now also offline notifications like group notices land in my JIRA folder...

Whoops, sorry about that - fixed! All emails will have a subject prefix of from now.

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From sl.com, to help=>issue tracker, Wiki issue tracker=> link to the Jira (i.e. the normal path for us)

Next a big and huuge ultra mega warning from Firefox that I'm enterering an insecure connection. That's new for me. Have to click on I understand risks, and add exception to continue. It doesnt trust the certificate, it belongs to another website?

Erm, I didn't enter Jira, I entered Red Hat Linux Test page at https://jira.secondlife.com/.. hehe.. You need to bang some harder Yoz.

Yoz banged on something. It's fixed now. Ty Yoz. Looks cool! Ty Torley for the amzing Jira tuts!

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Agreed. Horrible layout. Very inefficient use of space. Ridiculous big font reducing how much the screen can hold. Very poor discrimination of jumbled up sections. BUT there is a way out! Change view to printable and it's almost the same as the old jira. Much more readable.

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Yes I noticed. But it is not really a way out.

As soon as you change to another page you are back to the messy appearance.

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Wow - thank you for mentioning that "Released" is the new "Resolved". I didn't realize that this button - being the only one in the row of buttons up there with no helping mouseover text - is meant to close an issue as fixed. Especially because the form that comes up then looks _exactly_ like the "Assign" form. I don't know if it's only me, but I was rather irritated.

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The under-the-hood and backend changes are great. Anything to make the JIRA more efficient is awesome.

But ... why does there always have to be a string of "buts" regarding frivolous items?

"Released" is now "resolved?" Really? What IS is with you people and changing things that don't need changing? How does "released" make sense with a bug in something that's already released? You don't release a bug, you resolve a bug. You release a bug fix, and just because a fix is in doesn't mean it's been released, does it? Why add confusion to an already fairly complex thing? WHY?

The old JIRA had a very business-like look to it. This looks like ... well, the rest of the web properties. Not business-like. More, social-networky-like, except harder to read. Not everything needs this goofy green and ultra-thin font, you know.

Changed the emails too? Now I get to change my filters? Thanks! Not.

Best of all, my bookmarks to specific issues now take me to ... the dashboard! Very helpful! Especially when the issue I bookmarked isn't on it! Awesome.

I'm NOT A FAN, Yoz. I don't mean you, I think you're alright   ... but these cosmetic changes were unnecessary, and are not an improvement. Can't you guys ever accept that when something isn't broke, you don't need to "fix" it?

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I like very much that the databases were merged -- that's really nice. I just looked at my pet bug, which I thought was in limbo, and can now see that the team has been following it and updating its status. That is very encouraging, and I think it qualifies as "more transparency." I'm sure when the nay-sayers get over their dislike of anything that sports a newer appearance, they'll start to notice and appreciate the improved content as well.

BTW, the last status update on my pet bug was done on my birthday a couple weeks ago. :-)

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I like it. Good clean design. Usable. And hopefully it reflects the new way of working.

I love the use of whitespace. Whitespace is good. One point of "advice" if I may?

The sections on the left (like "Description" and "Environment") sort of blend into the background. They don't stand out well enough. This could be improved either by using a different font or font color, or by introducing a vertical divider, or something like that.

Other than that. Great job!

ok, one more remark ;-)  Consider moving related and duplicate issues to the right column in a smaller font?

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@Vick You're welcome, more vidtuts will be coming to help with frequently asked questions as they arise in time — they always do.

To stem future confusion, I'm going to update the wiki help pages to reflect the new specific name of our public JIRA = "Bug Tracker" because that's its primary focus. Although you can continue to create New Feature requests, the word "Issue" can be too vague and has had a lot of historical misunderstanding, since there are "support issues" meant to go to http://secondlife.com/support By itself, this renaming isn't a severe deal, but in time, I hope increasing education — including the ongoing awesomeness of Resis who regularly help out on the Bug Tracker — will continue to spread awareness.

@Pentasis We do have various possibilities to tweak the layout; early on, I felt the new "Votes" and "Watchers" was kind of passive and didn't stand out enough. Definitely keep the feedback coming and we'll iterate.

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How do I get back a list of issues I've voted on?

Can you do something about the colour scheme, the green font works ok where it's infrequently used but as the Jira has lots of links it's a bit hard on the eye.

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"Released" is now "resolved?" Really? What IS is with you people and changing things that don't need changing? How does "released" make sense with a bug in something that's already released? You don't release a bug, you resolve a bug. You release a bug fix, and just because a fix is in doesn't mean it's been released, does it? Why add confusion to an already fairly complex thing? WHY?

I didn't explain this very well the first time, so let me clarify: There are multiple resolution types for issues, and always have been; examples are "Fixed", "Cannot Reproduce", "Duplicate" etc. So "Resolved" is still there, and means exactly what it did before. "Fixed" is still there too. What we've done is change the arrangement of statuses and resolutions. Choosing the "Released" action sets the status to "Released" and the resolution to "Fixed". For more information, take a look at this wiki page. These changes were driven by problems with the existing workflow; we're not just shuffling this stuff around for the sake of it.


The old JIRA had a very business-like look to it. This looks like ... well, the rest of the web properties. Not business-like. More, social-networky-like, except harder to read. Not everything needs this goofy green and ultra-thin font, you know.

I'll see what we can do about the light green links on a white background (both on JIRA and elsewhere). As for the font weight, it's standard, though the point size is a little bigger.


Changed the emails too? Now I get to change my filters? Thanks! Not.

Nope, it was a temporary glitch and is now back to previous settings. See my comment above.


Best of all, my bookmarks to specific issues now take me to ... the dashboard! Very helpful! Especially when the issue I bookmarked isn't on it! Awesome.

We try to ensure that all existing inbound issue links continue to work. I thought we had this covered, but if you have a repro example, we'll take a look.


I'm NOT A FAN, Yoz. I don't mean you, I think you're alright   ... but these cosmetic changes were unnecessary, and are not an improvement. Can't you guys ever accept that when something isn't broke, you don't need to "fix" it?

As said above and previously, we've made these changes to bring about multiple improvements, many of which had been long-requested both internally and externally. The major changes are part of JIRA 4.1, an upgrade that was necessary for much of what we're doing to improve our bug-fixing efficiency. The new UI is faster and cleaner; certainly, the new UI and keyboard shortcuts make a big speed difference when working with issues. Bear in mind the #1 reason why we're doing this: we want to fix more bugs faster and more transparently. This is far from the only work that needs to happen for that, but it's a big step towards it.

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Thanks for pointing that issue out - I've marked it Released (which is the new "Resolved - Fixed"). (Edited to clarify: "Fixed" is still a resolution, and applies here. "Released" is the workflow action and status.)

For the moment we're limiting the ability to resolve issues, but we may open it up wider in the future.

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How do I make a feature suggestion for Snowstorm?

There's now Snowstorm option in the "Affects Version" lists, nor any other place to select or indicate Snowstorm anywhere I've found in the new Jira system.

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Wow! I really like the new "All" view, not to mention the whole thing overall. Feels a lot smoother, although it may take some time to get used to some of the new UI stuff. I don't mind the size of it all personally, but i can see where it could feel oversized.

I'm being further and further convinced that some definite headway is being made. I'm getting a renewed vigor to do things "with" us and in a meaningful and productive way. Not that there aren't some current grudge points, generally speaking... but overall, i expect the work to quickly outweigh the sentiment that LL doesn't listen, especially with both the accountability and opportunity that the more transparent workflow brings with it.

Basically... we're heading a truer north.

(even if the compass does use a really big font)

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Best of all, my bookmarks to specific issues now take me to ... the dashboard! Very helpful! Especially when the issue I bookmarked isn't on it! Awesome.

Ah, this may be the problem you're experiencing - the first page view of a session will redirect you to the dashboard, but all later links in that session should work. Fix in progress.

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