I’ve just finished watching Diederik van Liere’s fascinating presentation (Ogg video, 20 mins), linked to by Mark, about his work with bugzilla.mozilla.org data. Download the full slide deck – you’ll need it to follow along with my comments, which should be of interest to the community-minded.
Slides 9 and 10, the community dynamics slides, are worrying. Diederik explains the decline in the size of the community as “increased product maturity”, but I’m not sure that’s true. If it were, we would expect to see the number of people entering the community decreasing. However, that number has stayed roughly constant, with peaks surrounding a release as we reach out to beta testers, and as new users report bugs. It’s the number of people leaving which seems to be increasing. Fewer people are hanging around once they get here. And I don’t know why.
Slide 11, about what the final resolutions ended up being of bugs filed in each year, is fascinating. It would be really interesting to see that graphed at a greater granularity.
We have made significant progress in reducing the percentage of duplicate bugs filed. People complain about Bugzilla’s search, but the percentage was a flat 25% from 2002-2004, and it’s now a flat 13% – basically half what it was. Also, from a low of 34% of bugs filed being FIXED, we are now up at 56%.
There are no doubt lots of factors involved in this effect, including the reduction in the size of the community mentioned in the earlier slides. I’m really interested in working out what we might have done which has improved the situation. I have an utterly open mind on this. here are some significant events I can think of which may be relevant:
- 2000-10: duplicates.cgi created
- 2002-10: Bugzilla Helper created
- 2003-09: Specific search created
- 2004-12: Hendrix created
Can anyone else think of other events or software deployments which may be relevant? I’m happy to do the research to find out when they happened.