The roads I take...

KaiRo's weBlog

November 2014
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Displaying recent entries tagged with "SeaMonkey". Back to all recent entries

Popular tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, L10n, Status, Firefox

Used languages: English, German

Archives:

August 2014

May 2014

April 2014

more...

April 4th, 2013

15, 14, 13, 8, 7, 2 years ago, and the future? My Web Story

It all started on March 31, 1998. Just a few days off from 15 years ago.

Netscape open-sourced the code to its "Communicator" Internet suite, using its own long-standing internal code name as a label for that project: Mozilla.

I always liked the sub-line of a lot of the marketing material for this time - under the Mozilla star/lizard logo and a huge-font "hack", the material said "This technology could fall into the right hands". And so it did, even if that took time. You can learn a lot about that time by watching the Code Rush movie, which is available under a Creative Commons license nowadays. And our "Chief Lizard Wrangler" and project leader Mitchell Baker also summarized a lot of the following history of Mozilla in a talk that was recorded a couple of years ago.

Just about a year later, in May 1999, so 14 years ago, I filed my first bug after I had downloaded one of the early experimental builds of the Mozilla suite, building on the brand-new Gecko rendering engine. This one and most I filed back then were rendering issues with that new engine, mostly with my pretty new and primitive first personal homepage I had set up on my university account. After some experiments with CSS-based theming of the Mozilla suite, I did some playing around with exchanging strings in the UI and translating them to German, just to see how this new "XUL" stuff worked. This ended up in my first contribution contact and me providing a first completely German-language build on January 1, 2000.

A few months after that, in May, I submitted my first patch to the Mozilla project, which was a website change, actually. But only weeks later, I created a bug and patch against the actual Mozilla code - in June of 2000, 13 years ago. And it would by far not be the last one, even though my contributions the that code were small for years, a fix for a UI file here, a build fix for L10n stuff there. My main contributions stayed in doing the German localization for the suite and in general L10n-related issues. Even when Firefox came along in 2004, I helped that 1.0 release with some localization-related issues, esp. around localized snippets for its Google-based and -hosted start page - and stayed with L10n for the full suite otherwise (while Kadir would do the German Firefox L10n). I wrote a post in 2007 about how I stumbled into my Mozilla career.

As Firefox became rapidly successful and took an increasingly large standing in the project and community, I stuck with the suite as I liked a more integrated experience of email and browser - and I liked the richer feature set that the suite had to offer (Firefox did cut out a lot of functionality in the beginning to be able to found its new, leaner and more consumer-friendly UI). When in March of 2005, it became clear that the suite was going into strict maintenance mode and be abandoned by the "official" Mozilla project, I joined the team that took over maintenance and development of that suite - once again using a long-standing internal code name for that: SeaMonkey. In all that project-forming process 8 years ago, I took over a lot of the organizational roles, so that the coders in our group could focus at the actual code, and eventually was credited as "project coordinator" within the project management group we call the "SeaMonkey Council".

When I founded my own business 7 years ago, in January of 2006, I was earning money in surprising ways, and trying to lead the SeaMonkey project into the future. We were just about to release SeaMonkey 1.0 and convince the first round of naysayers that we actually could have the suite running as a community project. In the next years, we did quite some interesting and good work on that software, and a lot of people were finally realizing that "we made it" when we could release a 2.0 version that was based on the same "new" toolkit that Firefox and Thunderbird were built upon, removing a lot of old, cruft code and replacing it with newer stuff, including the now common-place add-ons system and automated updates among a ton of other things. I would end up doing a number of the major porting jobs from Firefox to SeaMonkey, including the places-based history and bookmarks systems, the download manager (including a UI that was similar to the earlier suite style), and the OpenSearch system. With the Data Manager, I even contributed a completely new and (IMHO) pretty innovative component into SeaMonkey. In those times, I think I did more coding work (in JS, mostly) than ever before, perhaps with the exception of the PHP-based CBSM community and content management platform I had done before that.

The longer I was in the SeaMonkey project, the more I realized, though, that the innovation I would like to have seen around the suite wasn't really happening - all the innovation to the suite came from porting Firefox and Thunderbird features and/or code, and that often with significant delay. Not sure if anything other than the Data Manager actually was a genuine SeaMonkey innovation, and I only came up with that when trying to finally get some innovation going, back in 2010. I was more and more unsatisfied with the lack of progress and innovation and the incredible push-back we got on the mailing list on every try to actually do something new. In October of 2010, I took a flight to Mountain View, California, to meet up with Mitchell Baker and talk about the future of SeaMonkey - and I also mentioned how I wanted to be more on the front of innovation even though I seem to not manage to get the SeaMonkey community there. Not sure if it came out of this or was in the back of her head before, in one of those conversations I had with her, she asked me if I would like to work for Mozilla and Firefox. I said that this caught me by surprise but we should definitely keep that conversation going. Just after that I met then-Mozilla-CEO John Lilly, and he asked if Mitchell had offered me a job - just to make sure. As you can imagine, that got me thinking a lot more about that, and gave me the freedom to think outside SeaMonkey for my future. I was at the liberty to think about my personal priorities in more depth, and it became clear that the winds of change were clearly blowing through my life.

After some conversations with people at Mozilla, I decided I wanted to try a job there, and Chris Hofmann proposed my working on tracking crashes and stability, so I started contracting for Mozilla on the CrashKill team in February 2011, first half-time, finally full-time. So, 2 years ago, I opened a completely new chapter in my personal web story. Tracking crash statistics for our products - Firefox desktop, Firefox from Android, and now Firefox OS - and working with our employees and community to improve stability has turned out to be a more interesting job than I expected when I started. Knowing that my work actually helps thousands or even millions of people, who have a more stable Firefox because of what I do, is a quite high award. And I'm growing into a more managerial role, which is something I really appreciate. And I'm connected to all kinds of innovation going on at Mozilla: A lot of the new features landing (like new JIT compilers for JavaScript, WebRTC, etc.) need stability testing and we're tracking the crash reports from those, Firefox for Android needed a lot of stability work to become the best mobile browser out there - and with Firefox OS, I was even involved in how the crash reporting features and user experience flow were implemented. I'm also involved in a lot of strategic meetings on what we release and when - an interesting experience by itself.

Where this all will lead me in the future? No idea. I'm interested in moving to the USA and working there at least for some time - not just because it would make my day cycle sane and having most or all my meetings within the confines of the actual work days in the region I'm living in, but also because I learned to like a lot that country has to offer, from Country Music to Football and many other things (not to mention Louisiana-style Cajun cuisine). I'm also interested in working from an office with other Mozillians for a change, and in possibly becoming even more of a manager. Of course, I'd like to help moving the Mozilla mission forward where I can, openness, innovation and opportunities on the web are something I stand behind nowadays more than ever - and Firefox OS as well as associated technologies promise to really make a huge impact on the web of the future. I'm looking forward to quite exciting times! :)

By KaiRo, at 00:13 | Tags: CrashKill, Firefox, future, history, L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey | 6 comments | TrackBack: 0

February 18th, 2013

LCARStrek 2.16 Brings Updated Look

Every six weeks, it's time for a new release of Firefox and SeaMonkey, and along with them, updates for my EarlyBlue and LCARStrek themes to match those Firefox and SeaMonkey releases. Of course, I personally am using them with the Nightly versions and try to keep them working with those, so they are usable with newer versions already, but only after I incorporate changes from the beta cycle, they're really fully up to date with the release versions.

That said, I kinda had my worries with the buttons of LCARStrek being not really discoverable unless you move your mouse over them, and also about the theme feeling "too orange", esp. after I reviewed some shots of LCARS screens in Star Trek series and once again saw both the shapes of buttons there, which are very discoverable, and also the amount of colors used there.

So I finally decided to something about it and added some gradual changes to LCARStrek 2.16, see e.g. the buttons, tab and scrollbars colors in those two screenshots (left is a Firefox release with 2.15, right is a Nightly with 2.16, that's why it also has an additional "Data Choices" tab):

Image No. 23116Image No. 23120

The new colors are taken directly from video screenshots of the series, so they should be pretty "true to the original". Actually, I copied the colors for buttons and default buttons directly from buttons in those screen shots. Trying to apply the same color to more button-like elements, I also converted buttons to that color and a larger border radius similar to that of the fully-rounded buttons.

While I was at it, I also took the orange off the primary toolbars and replaced it with a gray color taken from some screen that I think I saw on Voyager shots. And I always wanted to get some more of the connected horizontal and vertical borders found usually in LCARS screens, but that needs to have enough elements to construct, so it's hard to do in a theme. I found a way to get this design into the SeaMonkey sidebar though - and also used that new button color for its headers which act similarly to buttons as well. See those two screenshots from LCARStrek 2.0 (left) and now 2.16 (right) on SeaMonkey (of course, some small non-theme-reated changes in SeaMonkey UI are visible as well, as the application itself saw some development since 2.0):

Image No. 23114Image No. 23117

I hope I caught all the fine details that come along with far-reaching changes like esp. the one for the buttons, I've done a number of corrective changes along with this.
Still I had some time left and enough elements to play with to give SeaMonkey's profile switcher some real beauty in LCARS terms (you also see the different color for default buttons in there):

Image No. 23119

Unfortunately, this only applies to "Switch Profile…" from within a running SeaMonkey profile, as a theme like LCARStrek can only apply in that situation and not on the profile manager seen on application startup, where no profile and therefore no add-on or theme is loaded yet.

The new LCARStrek 2.16 version has been submitted to AMO, but is waiting for review now. Once that is granted, all users of this theme will see that updated look, and I hope they'll like it! :)

I probably will work on updating the look of more parts of this theme as time allows and I find things that should look differently.

By KaiRo, at 18:46 | Tags: Firefox, LCARStrek, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, themes | no comments | TrackBack: 0

November 14th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W44/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 44/2012 (October 29 - November 4, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    Filed a bug on sending an identifier with app crashes in B2G.
    Also filed a Flash beta crash.
    Discussed release channels for B2G and Socorro requirements.
    And we needed another Socorro data backfill, unfortunately.
    Added highlighting of the latest minor version of every Flash branch to the Flash hang overview reports.
    Also adjusted the limit values for the "Are We Stable Yet?" dashboard and converted some style attributes to classes in my reports.
    Had a long discussion with bjacob on getting new fields into Socorro data. We should find a way to make it easy to get new fields added in a way that (at least custom) reports can be generated against them, without using the mess that "App Notes" are right now.
    Followed the recent Flash crash spike.
    Did more monitoring of tracking+ crash bugs for 17.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • Web Apps:
    Fixed some glitches in the improvements to the Mandelbrot app, but there seems to still be an issue with appCache - on my otoro device, I don't see the main index.html getting refreshed and so the app stops working.
    I also did quite a few updates to Lantea Maps, but now the map tiles seem to not load when appCache is active. Somehow I have a feeling that our techniques for offline apps are not working as well as they should.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    B2G testing, Marketplace URL and branding strategies, etc.

Due to my traveling to London for MozFest, I completely missed making this report public even though I had finished it up before. Will follow up with a report for last week soon. :)

By KaiRo, at 15:25 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 30th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W43/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 43/2012 (October 22 - 28, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    Filed a bug on an extreme spike in Flash crashes this week, apparently related to Zynga games.
    Also filed another bug on another aggregation data backfill needed in Socorro due to another late metrics data push.
    Monitored tracking+ crash bugs for 17, so we get the best stability we can in this release.
    Kept following the developments in B2G crash reporting, things seem to be moving forward nicely now.
    Did some maintenance on my custom reports.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • German L10ns:
    Reviewed Firefox mobile and desktop localizations for the 18 cycle, and more Firefox OS strings.
    Tried fixing a hard to understand phrase in German SeaMonkey and fixed another small bug there as well.
    Checked in the sandstone theme for planet.mozilla.de - thanks to Jan for putting it together!
  • Themes:
    Put some more finishing touches on the 2.14 version of my themes, esp. LCARStrek adaptiations for Social API support in Firefox.
  • Web Apps:
    Worked on some improvements esp. for the Mandelbrot app, so it can save prefs (still need to figure out loading them in a quasi-sync mode) and have more of the settings the add-on version also has. Also started off the DB I'll need for bookmarks, even if there's no implementation of bookmarks yet.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    B2G testing, B2G geolocation, platform meeting format, etc.

When working on the Mandelbrot app for a bit on Sunday, I found again that appCache is tricky to use when it comes to updating. On my mobile devices, I apparently ended up with the app only being partially updated to the new version. I guess I need to dig deeper on how to make this work smoothly...

By KaiRo, at 21:50 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 25th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W42/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 42/2012 (October 15 - 21, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    Went through all the tracking+ crash bugs for 17, 18 and 19 that are not fixed in those "trains" right now, and cared that they are updated and patches get uplifted where possible.
    Kept tracking B2G crash reporting, the things we need are all moving forward right now.
    Tested reporting of content crashes from B2G phones.
    Did some small patches to keep my custom reports working well.
    Had some discussions on possible Socorro improvements.
    Filed a bug on better signatures for aborts.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    B2G testing, Italy workshop, plugin crashes and URLs, Linux OMTC, click-to-play blocklisting, web app submissions, B2G L10n, etc.

I spent this weekend in Torino, Italy, for a workshop with students, and held a session there on how we go for measuring stability and investigating crashes. I wonder how many such sessions it takes to get more people to help us there. It's not hard to get in, but monitoring reports might sound tedious - but when you find a problem and it actually gets solved because of that before it hits too many users, it's a good feeling that you saved people out there from problems! :)

By KaiRo, at 16:09 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 19th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W41/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 41/2012 (October 8 - 14, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    I created another patch for updating correlation versions and pushed for getting it shipped in the same week to fit the Firefox code uplifts.
    Filed a bug for backfilling Socorro data once again after a late ADU push.
    Again more talk and driving to move B2G crash reporting forward on multiple fronts, a number of pieces did, completing what we need for v1 is now underway.
    Added display and linking of tracking bugs to the arewestableyet.com dashboard.
    Made my report somewhat more robust against errors.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • German L10n:
    Synched Nightly and Aurora for the 18 channel.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    OMTC for Linux, All kinds of B2G testing, Italy workshop, etc.

My status reports will probably be pretty short in the next weeks, if I am even able to do them. There's a lot on my plate right now, and taking care of stability of our products is quite time-consuming, even more so now that we are getting ready to introducing yet another product with Firefox OS. :)

By KaiRo, at 01:33 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 9th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W40/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 40/2012 (October 1 - 7, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    More talk and driving to move B2G crash reporting forward on multiple fronts: crash annotations, content crash reporting, UX implementation, about:crashes.
    Started following bugs on making B2G use less memory, which reduces the probability of out-of-memory crashes.
    Tracking stability of Firefox 16 for desktop and Android in preparation of the release.
    Following the progress and fix to the large crash issue we had on CyanogenMod 10.
    Tried to push for a fix for wrong daily crash numbers for Android on Socorro.
    Switched arewestableyet.com dashboard to displaying Flash crashes and hangs per 100 ADU.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • German L10n:
    Reviewed Firefox for Android 17 L10n, some fixes for de as well as a first German Firefox OS L10n.
    Updated suite and core L10n on trunk in preparation of the uplift to Aurora.
    Updated the German dictionary add-ons to be installable without a Firefox restart and incorporate the newest upstream dictionary files.
  • Web Apps:
    Added OpenGeoServer Aerial layer to Lantea Maps, corrected the copyright notices for multiple layers, and added DOM full screen support to that app.
  • Themes:
    Put some finishing touches on the 2.13 versions of EarlyBlue and LCARStrek, matching the Mozilla 16 train, and uploaded those. They're waiting for AMO approval now.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    OMTC for Linux, icon sizes on Gaia, Flash stability, Vidyo stability, Italy workshop, etc.

It's probably quite visible in my updates that B2G / Firefox OS has become a much larger focus in my work recently, as it's moving from a feature work into a performance improvement and stabilization phase. The crash reporting UX is probably right at the borderline of that, as it's technically feature work, but needed as a large help for improving stability. I'm also testing the system a lot, with the default apps including the browser as well as my own apps, most importantly Lantea Maps, where it find it most annoying that I currently cannot save anything from the app to a file on the phone, so though I can record GPS tracks, I need to throw them away afterwards. I'll need to find a solution there.
That said, the system is shaping up nicely for a first edition geared towards a low-end smartphone market. I hope it will be successful in that setting, as it will only show its full power once we have that step behind us and can move to devices with more resources in addition to the low-end ones. :)

By KaiRo, at 22:14 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 2 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 3rd, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W39/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 39/2012 (September 24 - 30, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    Sending Gecko crashes on B2G now works in a first stage! I submitted a few crashes myself in testing the system. :)
    I continued to talk with people about getting further steps (see tracking bug), including a discussion with dbolter, who is helping with driving this.
    Had some discussions on wireframes for the B2G crash reporting UI.
    Discussed crash annotations for B2G with Hub.
    Filed a bug on missing Socorro data one day.
    Also filed bugs on enablid "by build date" reports for Android and about missing aggregated data on recent Nightly crashes for Android in some views.
    Removed some outdated versions from my reports, including most of Fennec XUL.
    Also created some commandline overrides so I can regenerate data for reports more easily.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • German L10n:
    Done some reviews for German L10n work.
    Synched core, suite and Chatzilla L10n with trunk.
  • Web Apps:
    Added a TODO for Lantea Maps so both myself and potential contributors know what needs to be worked on.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    B2G Geolocation problems (now solved), B2G crashes when setting wallpaper, etc.

A lot of my time right now goes into various B2G discussions as well as testing the system on my device. That takes away time from e.g. writing those weekly updates, but OTOH help making Firefox OS much better once we ship it - and even if we're scrambling to make our deadlines, I think it's shaping up nicely and the final product will rock! :)

By KaiRo, at 19:09 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

September 28th, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W38/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 38/2012 (September 17 - 23, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    More testing of Firefox OS on my otoro and trying poking people so we get crash reporting working.
    That work on B2G crash reporting included a conference with UX and privacy teams on what the flow of crash reporting should be for users in a way that we respect their privacy (i.e. enable a really informed opt-out).
    Followed how the Socorro team fixed two bugs in their recent release and deployed those fixes fast, also helped testing that those worked.
    Filed a bug on getting more resilient against late ADU pushes again.
    Had some discussions on crashes with CyanogenMod.
    Added bug IDs to my topcrasher reports for ARMv6, Win8 and Mountain Lion.
    Watched data for the new Flash release coming up that week.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • German L10n:
    Done some reviews for German L10n work.
    Synched core, suite and Chatzilla L10n with trunk.
  • Web Apps:
    Made Lantea Maps available on GitHub, updated its screen shots on the Mozilla Marketplace, and did a blog post inviting contributions.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    UA strings and hardware tokens, B2G wallpaper customization, Mozilla Dino head, etc.

Things are busy again, esp. due to deadlines coming up in the B2G project and the general pace of Firefox OS work picking up. I have we finally are on the breakthrough to also get crash reporting in this system in the right direction so we can more efficiently help to make this a damn stable experience for our users!

By KaiRo, at 01:31 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

September 21st, 2012

Weekly Status Report, W37/2012

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in week 37/2012 (September 10 - 16, 2012):
  • CSI:Mozilla / CrashKill:
    I continued testing Firefox OS on my otoro and tried poking people so we get crash reporting working.
    Checked how crash reporting works after breakpad was turned on in device images - and found that they are generated but not sent as online detection had been backed out again.
    Had some conversations on further build-side steps to make B2G vcrash reporting useful.
    Tested the new "mobeta" release of Socorro on stage, watched it being deployed on production, and tested there again.
    Filed a bug on missing data after that deployment, and another one on incorrect daily numbers which I missed in stage testing and only discovered in production testing.
    Discussed adding Metro Firefox to Socorro.
    Commented on about:crashes for Firefox OS.
    As usual, watched new/rising crashes, caring that bugs are filed where needed, and made sure my custom reports keep working well.
  • Various Discussions/Topics:
    MozCamp Warsaw, etc.

That week was a bit short as I only came back late from Warsaw on Monday, then needed to catch up with work and get rested again, and on Thursday I took most of the day off (except for some meetings) because it was my birthday. The report on the week comes quite late, though as this week was more intense again - but more about that in the next report. ;-)

By KaiRo, at 00:30 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

Feeds: RSS/Atom