Similarities and differences between the Bugzilla way and the wiki way

Some users new to Bugzilla may be accustomed to the wiki way, in which if you make an edit and no one reverts it, then you've "won" because your content remains. If it was a policy page, then people can then cite that revised policy as something that should be applied. If it was a mainspace page, then that's now Wikipedia's statement of what the verifiable and notable truth is. If you can apply an archive template to a discussion and ensure that it stays there, then you have closed down a discussion.

On Bugzilla, even if you can make a change to the status, severity, priority, or milestone that no one reverts, you haven't accomplished your main goal, which was to get the bug fixed. The fields can say that the bug is a new immediate blocker, and it doesn't change the codebase or configuration at all. Only users with +2 rights can merge changes to the codebase, and only system administrators can change configuration files such as InitialiseSettings.php and CommonSettings.php. (This is similar to how on Wikipedia, only sysops are allowed to edit high-risk templates or pages in the MediaWiki: namespace such as MediaWiki:Common.css and MediaWiki:Common.js, even though the users may have reached a certain consensus on the Template talk: or MediaWiki talk: page.)

Also, even if a bug is WONTFIXed, discussion about how to fix it can continue, and people can keep writing patches. Conversely, a patch or configuration change can also be applied without there being any open bug. As with Wikipedia articles, when it comes to Bugzilla fields, there are times to be bold about making changes and times to discuss first, especially after a recent revert, so that it doesn't become a disruptive edit war.

On Wikipedia, there is a guideline stating that "polling is not a substitute for discussion." Bugzilla explicitly embraces voting, while also reminding users "that voting is nowhere near as effective as providing a fix yourself."[1] Bugzilla users are discouraged from commenting simply to voice support for an opinion already stated without adding new information, since this causes everyone who has signed up as a cc to receive an email that provides no help in fixing the bug (other than, perhaps, moral support).

See also

  • w:Wikipedia:Consensus#Decisions_not_subject_to_consensus_of_editors: "Some matters that may seem subject to the consensus of the community at the English-language Wikipedia ( are, in fact, in a separate domain. In particular, the community of MediaWiki software developers, including both paid Wikimedia Foundation staff and other volunteers, and the activities of Wikimedia Commons, are largely separate entities, as are the many non-English Wikipedias. These independent, co-equal communities operate however they deem necessary or appropriate, such as adding, removing, or changing software features, or accepting or rejecting images, even if their actions are not endorsed by editors here. This does not constitute an exhaustive list as much as a reminder that the decisions taken under this project apply only to the workings of the self-governing community of English Wikipedia."


  1. Voting, Bugzilla.