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Wanted Apps: about:crashes

We've known for a long time that we'll need some way of displaying crash information on Firefox OS devices for quality assurance (QA) purposes. Anyone helping in debugging crashes needs to deliver crash IDs to developers, and for verifying that crash reporting works and has the correct settings, QA needs to get crash IDs as well and look at the data in those crash reports.

The bug report linked above has not seen any more in 10 months though, as priorities are elsewhere for most of our developers. Also, this functionality can only be achieved via not-yet-existing APIs or via the "apps" DeviceStorage, which requires certified app privileges, which in turn only preinstalled core apps get and 3rd-party apps cannot get at all. The problem is that the submitted (and pending) crash reports are files in a "Crash Reports" directory parallel to the user profile in /data/b2g and we'd need some form of access to that.

In addition, it's pretty unclear how to do a useful UI there. What I personally envision is doing a list of the date/time of the crashes and next to those put a "share" button that allows people to send the crash ID to a larger-screen device via email, bluetooth or whatever. We could directly link the crash reports on https://crash-stats.mozilla.com/ in theory, but the pages there don't have a layout that looks useful on a small phone screen (right now). On future larger-screen Firefox OS devices like tablets, such a direct link will make more sense.

This would be an app (or a screen of Settings, somewhere deep in the Device Information section, probably under the developer settings) that might have a few challenges in creation, but would be huge in reward as a help to improve stability of Firefox OS as a whole.

Right now, people need adb to get info on the crash IDs and dates, with a command like this:
adb shell ls -l '/data/b2g/mozilla/Crash Reports/submitted'
It would be much better and nicer for our work to have that available somewhere via the device's UI.

If you want to help there, please contact me or comment in the bug cited above.

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on July 22nd, 2013 03:04 | Tags: apps, B2G, Firefox OS, Mozilla | no comments | TrackBack

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