Another “limitation” of Bugzilla is that you can’t edit comments after you’ve submitted them. Someone who wants this ability usually puts forward one or more of the following arguments:
- What if the comment turns out to be factually wrong?
- What if I change my mind about something?
- What about confidential info accidentally added?
- What if I make a typo?
Editing comments is a bad idea because it is altering history. You said that stuff and, even if you wish you hadn’t, it had an effect on things other people had said. If you revise what you said, and they don’t, then there’s potential for confusion and inconsistency.
I sometimes use another bug tracking system whose comments are basically big textboxes. If you have something to say, you just add it at the bottom and hit Save – but you can also edit, remove or rearrange anything anyone else has said before. (Admittedly, this is an extreme case of comment editing.)
This system has several undesirable effects. The rationale for decisions often gets lost by people “tidying up”. You can’t be certain that you are reading what someone else read before they said what they said.
But what about those initial reasons for permitting it?
- What if the comment turns out to be factually wrong? – Then add another one and correct it
- What if I change my mind about something? – Then add another comment with your new view, explaining why you changed your mind
- What about confidential info accidentally added? – That’s what the “insiders” function is for
- What if I make a typo? – Type more carefully; everyone knows what you meant anyway
Comment editing, along with any form of history alteration, isn’t necessary and actually decreases the reliability and usability of your bug tracking system. Don’t go there.