This page lists many of the research and coursework projects that are being done between Seneca faculty, students, and Mozilla. All of these projects are open source, and you can get involved with any of the current ones, or look at the list of Potential Projects. If you'd like to create your own project, please use the Sample Project page as a template.
This list includes active and historical (e.g., completed or orphaned) projects. You can also see a list of Potential Projects that need people.
This wonderful wiki needs attention too! Already there are configuration issues that need to get fixed, extensions we could be using, etc. As we push further with this, we'll come up with more things too. This work will require knowledge of PHP, server administration, knowledge of MediaWiki.
The Mozilla Developer Center would like to add a CSS guide to its set of major documents, covering at least the top 100 CSS properties in use on the web today. This data can be obtained through tools . It should include numerous examples, and a fair number of small tutorial/how-to sections for different common tasks or requests from web authors.
Reference: CSS Reference
Administration of the Mozilla cluster at Seneca.
This project focus is to building an extension that will enable Firefox to gather user metric data. Data would be collected on those who have the extension installed and have opted-in on metrics collecting. The collected data would then be transmitted to Mozilla servers for furthering processing. The data is intended to be public, and would be used to get a better understanding of how users interact Firefox.
Create a source code server to work with Mozilla's current symbol server. This will allow users to do full debugs of nightly release builds with access to remote symbols and full source code.
This project will focus on improving the user experience at banking and other financial sites for Canadian Mozilla users. This includes determining which sites are relevant, insuring proper behavior for Firefox 3 on these sites, etc.
This project creates a mechanism for Firefox to pick up a web site's search mechanism and make it accessible to the user through the Firefox search box so that users have a consistent place to look for site-specific search.
Not enough is understood about the various communities and companies who develop with Mozilla, as opposed to those who work on the Mozilla code itself. A proper survey needs to be conducted in order to find out which APIs are being used and how, what is hard, what could be improved, etc. The Mozilla Platform Application Developers is interested in changing this. Their goal is to work with the Mozilla development community to survey, understand, and document the current state of the art. In this project you will work with the mozpad community to connect with projects/companies in orbit around Mozilla and do interviews with their developers. You will then document this information.
Create a web-based rapid provisioning system for virtual machines, building on work started by Ben Hearsum. A user could select an operating system, toolchain, and source branch and the VM would be configured and started (using Xen, KVM, or another hypervisor/backend).
The Buildbot is software for automatically building and testing other software. EC2 is Amazon's "Elastic Compute Cloud", a service that lets you run Virtual Machines on Amazon's computing grid using a web API. It would be awesome if BuildBot had an EC2 module, and could spawn Virtual Machines on-demand to perform tasks. Conveniently, BuildBot is written in Python, and there's a Python library for interfacing with EC2.
Localize Mozilla for Canadian English (en-CA).
- References: Mic, Alix, Axel
Alter The Coop experimental extension so it uses generic API instead of Facebook specifically; put the generic API in the "desktop data engine" also used by BigBoard (and hopefully other desktop apps in the future). Resources: RH online desktop team.
Tinderbox is a web app showing the results of multiple machines building Firefox, running unit tests on it, and running performance tests on it, all on three different platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac). The display is very crowded right now, and can be difficult to read. In addition, some of the interesting information (changes in performance, for example) are hard to notice. The tinderbox server software recently was updated to include JSON output, which means that webpages can now easily access the data to build their own displays. Using this data, create a new display for the Tinderbox data that helps developers monitor the status of the builds and performance data.
- Tinderbox JSON data
- An example page using the data
- Another example page using the data. (Requires a recent Firefox 3 build)
Write a simple (i.e., nothing more than a simple "save session") extension to leverage the existing Session Store API in order to allow the user to save his/her currently open tabs and restore them. This is similar to what Firefox does when it unexpectedly crashes and gives the user the option to restore a previous session. NOTE: there are extensions that do this already, but many of them are more feature rich than need be. See also this blog post.
The GFX backend for Mozilla 3 has been ripped out and re-written, and requires some debugging and small amounts of implementation work on Linux and Mac. Assist the GFX developers ship their product for the start of the new year.
Firefox sometimes gets a bad reputation for crashing or locking up when a plugin such as Adobe Flash or Windows Media Player causes the problem. Add code to Firefox (or write an extension) so that when a plugin misbehaves, a dialog is presented informing the user so that they can take corrective action (disabling the plugin) or filing a bug with the right party (this warning could be similar to the warning that appears when a JS script in a web page hogs too much CPU time. As a minimum it should identify that a plugin is to blame; better would be to inform the user of the plugin's name; best would be to provide an option to temporarily disable the plugin).
An earlier project added multi-compiler support to distcc, and then MSVC support. The framework is now in place to support even more compilers. Add support for another compiler, perhaps Java, C#, or something else.
APNG stands for Animated PNG, an extension to the PNG specification to allow for animated PNG images. Similar to how Animated GIF is an extension of GIF. Create such a thing.
This project is a catch-all for Buildbot development done here. The Buildbot is an automated build system written in python. It is used on the Mozilla Seneca Cluster.
Related skills: Python
Speed up Mozilla's builds by letting them use MSVC with distcc on Windows.
Mike Beltzner suggested this one after his talk. The idea is to make it trivial for testers to follow-through a bug's Steps To Reproduce (STR) so as to confirm it. A tester should be able to use this Extension to ask for a bug (i.e., one would be picked for him/her--no querying) and then a sidebar or similar would appear showing the steps to follow. Under that would need to be a way (e.g., buttons) to say that the bug is confirmed or not. Ideally the QA team could prioritize bugs so they appear in this list automatically, making it easier for testers to get the "right" bugs quickly.
Reference: talk to beltzner.
It would be great to store Firefox's saved passwords in the OS X keychain, for consistency and ease of use.
Reference: Bug 106400
Delta debugging is an automated approach to debugging that isolates failures systematically. Given a failing test that can be mechanically verified (including a browser crash), delta debugging is a way of automatically isolating the change that introduced the failure. Having a framework in place to pull builds from CVS, bisect by date and change set (using bonsai data -- remember, CVS doesn't have changesets!), and report results would let computers make developers more productive.
Various Linux distributors have patches in their Firefox packages that add bits and pieces of Linux integration, and we'd like to see even more available. One particular area of interest is controlling the browser via d-bus, and exposing dbus events to the application and extensions.
We worked with partners to create an extension for delivering World Cup scoring updates as well as providing country-specific themes. We'd like someone to take it apart, remove or refactor the Joga-specific pieces so that it can be used for other such data sources (hello, hockey?), and write some basic documentation for how to create your own notification-and-theme extension from the toolkit that results.
The XULRunner project provides an "application runner" for building apps -- like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sunbird -- atop the Mozilla toolkit framework. It needs a guide outlined, high-priority parts written, and examples created to help people get started.
Related tech and skills: XUL, documentation, cross-platform testing
The Breakpad project is developing an open source crash reporting and analysis system, analogous to Talkback. There's lots of work to do on wiring it into the build system, operating servers for collecting and analyzing data, and extending Firefox's use of it to collect additional helpful information (like installed extensions, memory usage, etc.)
The Calendar project has lots of stuff for people to do, from Exchange connectors to off-line caching to bug fixes and minor features galore. A good place to start is the #calendar IRC channel on moznet.
Programmatic testing of software. The participant will take a section of code and write unit tests for it, fully testing all aspects of the code. This may require the creation of a unit testing framework and interfacing with other developers who know a particular module or service. The programmer will be adept at finding boundary cases and creating tests that deliberately break the software through code. These may lead to the creation of bugs in bugzilla.
Reference: Work with Mozilla's Rob Campbell and Jay Patel from the QA Team.
Currently there is a bug in Firefox such that when running 3 or more instances of the browser, the address bar loses focus when cutting and pasting a string. Regular typing works perfectly when the bug is present. The purpose of this project is to track down and attempt to fix this bug.
Reference: Bug 220900.
Integrate new features to MDC, work on existing bugs and fix compatibility issues for the upgrade of Mediawiki to 1.7. (Tentative description)
Building new tests, improving on existing ones, strengthening the framework itself and porting it to other OS's. Related to the Performance Testing Project
Testing Firefox on the new Microsoft Vista operating system.
Mozilla is evaluating Subversion for revision control, and at the same time wants to look at other source indexing services. This project will setup, document, and test other potential services (e.g., fisheye, opengrok, mxr) on one of the Seneca-Mozilla servers. In each case this requires configuration changes and some scripting to get the services to properly integrate with Mozilla’s other on-line tools. When the test services are installed and synched with the live source tree, Mozilla will point its developers to them and get feedback—-the students will help collect and synthesize this feedback.
To work with the accessibility team on screen reader compatibility issues outside of Firefox, fixing bugs using XUL in Songbird or Thunderbird or Sunbird calendar etc.
Create a Firefox extension that will allow citations to be easily generated.
Testing performed from a user's perspective. Includes the running and writing of test cases in Litmus, filing and tracking bugs through [bugzilla.mozilla.org bugzilla], stress-testing and exploratory debugging. This project requires a dedication to breaking software in an organized and repeatable fashion. There is no such thing as "the wrong way" to use software and the functional tester is adept at abusing a system in previously-unknown ways.
Reference: Work with Mozilla's Rob Campbell and Jay Patel from the QA Team.
Extending the performance toolkit and tinderbox reporting system. The project begins with a framework for testing page loads and startup times in Win32. The successful completion of this project will see this framework develop into a more robust system complete with processor-timing information and graphing. Memory analysis and samples during runs would also be beneficial. Further success or sub-projects could include porting the system Linux and OS X platforms.
Reference: Bug 346785. Work with Mozilla's Rob Campbell and Jay Patel from the QA Team.
This project is being built by Mark Paruzel and Yi (Eric) Shen for BTS530. It involves the incorporation of new HTML tags into a document that would correspond to a 3D interface. The successful completion of this project will yield an easy-to-use developer interface that takes advantage of client-side 3D hardware.
While most people think only about the building of browsers, Mozilla also has substantial investment in server-side web tools. This project is a catch-all for activities related to PHP and other web development.
Mozilla is in the process of finalizing a set of Linux library and runtime requirements for distributions wanting to ship Mozilla software. This project will test various bugs against two different sets of runtime setups, hoping to expose any issues with the new requirements.