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September 15th, 2010

Our First "Oilspill"

In previous years, when we had a public security or grave stability problem in a "stable" release and needed to go into fast-pace mode to get update out as fast as possible to fix that, we called that a "firedrill". Still, that name is not very accurate, as it's a real problem case, not just a drill for one.

So, recently, Mozilla land adopted the name "chemspill" for those - needing to clean up after spilling chemicals represent the actual case better for sure.

But then, after recent events, I realized that for maritime life-forms like Sea-Monkeys, it's really more fitting to call it an "oilspill" in our project. Thank goodness, we didn't need that expression for quite some time after I came up with it - until now.

With SeaMonkey 2.0.7, we saw a sudden rise of a previously-rare crash signature in our topcrasher statistics, along with comments from users that it was on launch after updating that this happened, and the affected users were not able to run SeaMonkey at all any more in this version. Now, that's unacceptable, of course, so we stopped issuing updates from 2.0.6 on the release channel and went into investigating the problem.

It turned out that we had both a problem on our side with cleanup after updates as well as a platform problem that affected Firefox and Thunderbird as well, and it looks like both together were even worse for us. We found fixes for both now and decided to take a fix for font face in HTML email signatures along for the ride on creating a fast update that has nothing but those changes in comparison to the 2.0.7 release.

We now have candidate builds of this SeaMonkey 2.0.8 version up for testing and will ship it to the public between today and Friday of this week if everything looks as good as expected with it.

So, after all, we have our first "oilspill" release situation on our hands and I hope we are dealing with it in a satisfactory way. I just wish that real oil spills would be as easy to deal with as those in our software.

By KaiRo, at 16:08 | Tags: chemspill, firedrill, Mozilla, oilspill, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 11 comments | TrackBack: 1

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