Mozilla-Seneca Projects QA

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Talk Details

  • Date: Sept 27, 2006
  • Speaker: Mike Shaver, Mozilla Corporation
  • License: CC-BY-SA


Talk Outline

Students were asked to post questions for Shaver. He used this list as his starting point:

General Interest

  • How long have you been working on Mozilla?
  • If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? (dria)
  • Do you ever use a web browser that is not Firefox? If so, what would be one feature from that browser that you would like to see in Firefox? (moe)
  • Computer technologies move very quickly and what's the best today may become obsolete next year, usually because of the 'new thing' nobody thought about. Are you considering this in choosing worthwhile projects within the Mozilla Foundation and can you share any of your ideas on this topic? (andrew)
  • Mozilla is a not-for-profit corporation. Where does a corporation of this size look for funding? Would a for-profit Mozilla be viable? (lorne/halcyon1234)
  • How do you evaluate Firefox as good quality? (Paul)
  • What kind of enhancements do you think people want, or asked to see, in future versions of Firefox and Thunderbird?

Project Specific

  • A number of the projects have connections, for example, the d-bus and AppleScript project both need to allow data from outside to pass into the browser. Can you comment on this? Where to start in terms of the Mozilla side?
  • What types of "web services" can you imagine people wanting to connect a generalized-Joga extsion to?
  • Many of the projects have extension pieces (e.g., Joga, Bug Triage extension, etc.), and it seems like connecting these to the XULRunner project might be a good idea. Can you talk a bit about XULRunner with regard to these projects?
  • There is a lot of talk about Airbag as a potential replacement for Talkback. Can you talk about Airbag and what you see as the possible outcomes for people working on this? Where does Firefox connect to Airbag (i.e., where are the points of contact within Mozilla to an Airbag server)?
  • Would you be able to comment on the involvement of Apple in Firefox, more specifically the integration of the OS X Keychain?
  • A couple of projects require the creation or modification of UI in Firefox. Could you provide us with some insight as to how the code behind Firefox interacts with the user?
  • What is the relationship between a window, its tabs, and the tab's history? (not for a current project, just an extension idea that's been bouncing around in my head for a bit) (mystic)
  • What is your vision on the Delta Debugging project? How would this project help in testing the Firefox builds? Where can we get the crashing test cases? (vipers101)
  • Often times while working on a Mozilla project there isn't a concrete direction and there isn't a real solution out there. The developer has to work at their own pace to ensure the success of the project. Do you mind sharing some of your earlier experiences while you were working on some of the complex Mozilla projects, specifically how you found your direction, solutions to problems, etc.? (elichak)
  • How do you test Firefox by using Unit Testing currently? (Paul)
  • What features should be considered when integrating D-Bus into Firefox? Some ideas were to notify Firefox of the network connectivity status or hot-swappable changes. Can you overwhelm us with some more that you would like to see?
  • How does Firefox currently communicate with the Linux system and applications? Specifically, what technologies are currently used in Firefox (ex. DCOP, CORBA) to do this communication in the Linux environment, and is there a framework that Mozilla has created that these and emerging technologies (D-Bus) should use?
  • "The D-Bus API isn't finished yet, and the design is by no means set in stone." When D-Bus 1.0 is offically deployed will Firefox require D-Bus as a dependency in future releases?
  • How do you expect D-Bus effecting the current technologies used for interoperability considering there is a port for Windows (winDBus)?

Open Source Development Best Practices/Skills

  • It's clear that one of the main advantages of open source development is being able to use/consult/model/etc. existing code. How does one do this practically? For example, with respect to the OS X Keychain integration project, knowing that this has been done in other projects, where does one begin and how?
  • A number of previous speakers have mentioned LXR. Can you show us some of the ways you use LXR?
  • Some of the Mozilla projects for this course involves writing technical documentation. Is there any standards we should be following? Is there a template and/or sample that we can use? (mylau)
  • Most developers take QA testing lightly. Do you mind sharing why testing is important (especially within the Mozilla community). Give an idea of how to approach testing when a Mozilla developer is given a program (maybe touch on Performance Testing: Python Framework)? (elichak)