Fog Creek

Faces with Your Cases: Profile Pictures in FogBugz

Picture this.  You’re a FogBugz user and you were just assigned a case by Joe Shmoe from the other side of the floor.  You’ve heard his name a couple of times, and could probably pick him out if you had six guesses.  Anyway, after reading through the case,  you realize you know neither (a) why this case was assigned to you, nor (b) what at all you’re being asked to do.

At this point you have a few options.  Normally we would suggest that you assign the case back to Joe, asking for more clarification.  Or you could edit the case with your cry for help and notify Joe.

But this case has been set to FIX-ME-NOW-OR-WE-ALL-EXPLODE priority, and bouncing cases back and forth can take a while.  Why don’t we just find Joe and have a short chat with him?

But recall: you don’t know who Joe is!  Maybe your company has a directory.  And maybe it’s even up-to-date!  If so, that’s great!  Use it!  Find Joe!  But maybe there’s no directory.  And walking around looking for someone that you maybe should already know anyway doesn’t sound thrilling.

We Creekers aren’t too keen on awkward social embarrassment.  To spare you some, or maybe just to give you a chance to show off your favorite lolcats, we’re happy to introduce enhanced profile info in FogBugz!

We’ve been really busy working on the newest version of FogBugz and some of its features are getting an early release as we get them done.  This is one of them.

If you mouse over Joe’s name you can see his info — including a profile picture —  and you realize you would have picked him fourth if you had just guessed.

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You can upload a picture, or use Gravatar, or use the super-cute default-kiwi.  Licensed customers just need to upgrade to FogBugz version 8.5.122.  The feature is already live in FogBugz On Demand.

Default-Kiwi

By default, your Gravatar is used (or the kiwi, if you don’t have one).  If you don’t like the kiwi, or your Gravatar isn’t — ahem — work-appropriate, or you just have that picture you’ve been dying to show off that you uploaded as your Facebook profile picture but then everyone moved to Google+ and didn’t invite you so now you’re bitter and don’t want to join anyway, you should totally check out your User Options page, by clicking on My Settings (in the top right) –> Options.  There you’ll find your current picture, with options to upload a new one, use the kiwi, or use Gravatar.   After you make a choice, you get a sneak peek before having to commit.  Maybe that picture doesn’t look so great after all…

My Settings --> OptionsUser Options for Joe Shmoe

We’re also excited to announce that profile pictures have already jumped into Kiln.  If you’ve ever tried to follow a code review in which lots of people commented, you might remember how hard it is to tell who said what.  Those days are behind us!  Profile pictures in code reviews make such complicated reviews much easier to follow.  Even if you don’t recognize the pictures, you can see immediately how many commenters there are and which ones said what.

Code Review

And while Kiln code reviews are the first area to be graced with your attractive face, my bet is that they won’t be the last.  There’s a simple API in place for developers of FogBugz, Kiln, or any of their plugins to inject profile pictures wherever they see fit.   Just use the function GetProfilePictureUrl(pxSize) on the CPerson class, where pxSize is the sidelength in pixels of the square image you want (available as of API version 3.46 and FB version 8.5.122).  Then use that url as an image src and you’re all set.  And while profile pictures might seem a little gimmicky, they have the potential to add a touch of personality to an otherwise let’s-get-down-to-business product, while also greatly improving clarity and usability in places like code reviews or — imagine! — case histories.

Joe Shmoe’s profile picture is a CC image courtesy of Rodrigo Sá, and is originally entitled Série Nerd.