There have been numerous reports recently that "Mozilla will not fix 80% of the remaining 700 blocker bugs in Firefox 3". Some Mozilla members call this bullshit, others have expanded with lengthy explanations.
Personally, I tend to think that the misunderstanding about what Mozilla is doing has one single cause: what we call a bug is actually not a bug, but rather a request for change in the product. No, I'm not falling into the marketing-speak trap, calling bugs undocumented features, I promise
A bug, in Mozilla lingo, refers actually to a report listed in the Bugzilla application. In such reports are listed things that we want to track. It could be suggestions for changes, meta-bugs, and even actual bugs including things that can crash the product, induce data-loss and security issues. Thers are the top three categories that we want to address first, as quality and security matter the most to our users and our communities.
So these "700 blocker bugs" are actually 700 changes that some people, at some point, wanted to see happening before we ship Firefox 3 in its final version. Let's be clear, this is too much! Most likely, many of these changes are just potential new features that are late in the game, and won't make it in time for Firefox 3 (hopefully most of them will be fixed in a later version or become obsolete).
This is were programming and product management are closer to art than to science: the Firefox product team needs to decide where to draw the line, because the more we add features at the last minute, the less stable Firefox will be, due to lack of heavy testing. This is why deciding not to fix "bugs" (read "change requests") is leading to a less buggy product (with less defects)!
Some reports here are already explaining this:
- Reports of Firefox 3.0 bugs overblown, most significant bugs squashed. "Reclassifying less-significant blockers is a necessary QA strategy that will actually lead to a better Firefox 3 release."
- Firefox 3.0 bugs: Mozilla sets the record straight.
edit: Post slightly edited in order to fix spelling and grammar issues. Thanks Jane for the help!