The roads I take...

KaiRo's weBlog

November 2008

Displaying entries published in November 2008. Back to all recent entries

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

Used languages: English, German


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November 27th, 2008

Weekly Status Report, W47/2008

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 47/2008 (November 17 - 23, 2008):

Sorry for writing this up so late and not having any results for the SeaMonkey project goals for which I have started a thread some time ago. Things are moving forward with interesting speed in the last few days and together with some private meetings that took quite some time away from normal activities this week. I hope to catch up with all this soon.
With the reimplementation of Find As You Type (FAYT) with our old statusbar UI but based on the toolkit code, the typeaheadfind story found a positive turn (see the bug) even there's room for more improvements, but the important base is laid. Also, the foundation for toolbar customization has been built on our side as well as in toolkit.
Looks like we're on a good way towards SeaMonkey 2, even if there's still some work to do. We're excited to be nearing our next checkpoint on that road with Alpha 2 very soon now!

By KaiRo, at 22:26 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

November 24th, 2008

Invisible SeaMonkey

A random excerpt from IRC (I did even cut out everything not directly being in that string of the conversion):
<reed> KaiRo: oh, right, we need Google Chrome
<reed> less chrome == more ads!
<KaiRo> right
<KaiRo> oh, but then, why install "Chrome" if you want less chrome?
<KaiRo> I want something tiny, almost invisible... like those small pets I hardly can spot in their aquarium... what was that name of those?
<KaiRo> sorry, that one was too hard to resist ;-)
<reed> KaiRo: last I checked, SeaMonkey's "chrome" was far from invisible ;)

This prompted me to do the following screen shot with a SeaMonkey trunk build from today:

Image No. 20598

This situation of almost no chrome and a maximum of web content is only a few clicks a away in a default SeaMonkey, actually: All I did was hide sidebar + status bar, and clicked all grippies to collapse menubar + toolbars.

If you need the navigation bar from that state, it's easy to get back, just click the largest of the collapsed grippies. All other grippies need a look at tooltips to find which is which tool/menubar. With the recent change to enable each toolbar separately to have icons or text only, text next to icons, and/or small icons, one can easily customize them to allow for a good amount of screen estate to be left to content even with shown content. When this is joined by being able to customize the icons on the toolbars, we'll have a really compelling tool for power users there in SeaMonkey 2, I think.

By KaiRo, at 21:27 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 4 comments | TrackBack: 0

November 20th, 2008

What Should I Talk About in 2009?

As many of you probably know FOSDEM is up once again in February 2009, once again with a Mozilla developer room. I'm planning on being there and probably also to give a talk, but I don't have a good topic for it yet, and I wonder what the audience would most be interested in. What SeaMonkey 2 brings functionality-wise? What our concepts for the future of SeaMonkey are? How the SeaMonkey project is working together with other parts of the community? Statistics on SeaMonkey popularity and usage?

Additionally, I have received a first call for papers (CfP) for the "Linuxwochen 2009" event here in Vienna, which will be in April. There's even more time for planning something there, the deadline for that CfP is in February, but I'm thinking hard about possibly giving a talk there this time, which would be my first time doing this at an event around here. The talk could be 45, 20, or 10 minutes, and I'm also wondering what the more general audience there would be most interested in. SeaMonkey 2 functionality? What the SeaMonkey project is? Organizing and coordinating a volunteer open source project? The Mozilla vision? The wonderful choice of different products from Mozilla? Mozilla-based software development?
What I'm pretty sure I won't be doing is Firefox tricks or such, I'll leave that to people using that browser in their daily lives - though it would be really nice to have someone from Mozilla at this event, as we've never been present at an Austrian event before.

Any ideas for those talks from you, dear blog/planet reader, would be highly appreciated!

By KaiRo, at 15:17 | Tags: FOSDEM, Linuxwochen, Mozilla, presentation, SeaMonkey, talks | 1 comment | TrackBack: 1

November 18th, 2008

Weekly Status Report, W46/2008

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 46/2008 (November 10 - 16, 2008):
  • Themes/Icons:
    When (re)doing a small version of mailnews icons for our default theme so that Philip's toolbar iconsize/mode work could land and build a good base for toolbar customization work, I realized that we could optimize PNG size of a number of our default heme images and I applied a patch to do so, reducing the size of our classic.jar by about 7% without any loss in how it appears. I also landed other small icons created by someone named Frank Lion on mozillaZine forums and applied the same optimization on those, and I landed a followup fix for print preview and fullscreen mode to Philip's original patch.
    On an additional front, I made my LCARStrek theme work locally with that toolbar change, but I haven't created small icons for it yet.
  • Build System:
    The build target for source packages could land on mozilla-central in time for the upcoming Firefox beta, and is also supported on comm-central now - if you want to pack up the source of any build you've done, you can make source-package in your toplevel objdir now and get a source .tar.bz2 in dist/.
    The parallel build stuff introduced recently ended up in messing up chrome for me, a solution isn't known yet, but I heard others running into the same problem as well.
    Now that typeheadfind is gone, I investigated static release builds once again and found at least a Linux build problem with that, my patch includes some fixes for Mac but doesn't go all the way for those yet. I also filed the thebes test failure that Thunderbird also ran into with static builds.
    I filed a bug for the upload build target on comm-central but didn't come around to doing a patch yet.
    Contrary to that, I did write up a patch for another build system sync and started work on some locale Makefile restructuring.
  • SeaMonkey Buildbots:
    I upgraded all our buildbots except the Windows builder slave to buildbot 0.7.9 now, and adjusted leak thresholds so we once again see green/orange changes. I just hope we find a way to fix this EM RDF datasource leak that messes up leak reporting all the time.
    The unit test machines also needed clobbers of at least the objdir/mozilla/js directory after all recent TraceMonkey merges or mochitest would end up crashing. We also saw that phenomenon on depend builders at least one time.
    Our duplicate ID chrome tests once again revealed a bug this week, we are working on fixing it.
    And as a preparation for branching some time in the next few months, I requested new machines for SeaMonkey, it will be interesting to see what we can actually get there.
  • Places History:
    I did a first rework of the places history patch based on the first review comments by Neil.
  • SeaMonkey Releases:
    The release process for SeaMonkey 1.1.13 was completed, websites updated and the new security and stability update made public on Wednesday, November 12.
  • L10n:
    We could add European Portuguese and Georgian as new locales for SeaMonkey on trunk!
    I checked in a number of suite/ string cleanups created by Vlado from the Slovak team, thanks a lot for removing a few hundred (!) unused strings that new localizers don't need to care about now!
    Two more removed strings are added to this by the geolocation fuzz removal.
  • German L10n:
    Again I kept German SeaMonkey up to date with current development, including the string removals mentioned above.
  • Various Discussions:
    Future SeaMonkey vision, 1.9.1 branching, Firefox 2 and Gecko 1.8.1 EOL plans, Tiger EOL plans, EV UI, new cert error page, FF clear private data changes, toolbar customization, feed support, places urlbar prefs, etc.

This has been another busy week with good progress, and we're nearing the freeze for our second alpha from the 2.0 series now, which will be the first prerelease with a feedreader and the possibility to switch text/icon modes and icon sizes on single toolbars in browser and mailnews, just to name two recent changes that have a larger impact. And then there's a number of even more things we are working on to make SeaMonkey 2 the best complete internet suite release ever!

By KaiRo, at 13:35 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

November 11th, 2008

Weekly Status Report, W45/2008

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 45/2008 (November 3 - 9, 2008):
  • Typeaheadfind:
    Besides reading the comments on my typeaheadfind blog post and the newsgroup thread, I also removed the last pieces of the old implementation from our tree while Neil is working on a new implementation based on toolkit, I'm testing the current work in progress and it seems to move along nicely.
  • Feed Reading:
    After the mailnews feed reader landed (thanks IanN!) I've been looking into how to tie the lose ends up. Callek has promised to look into connecting browser feed detection with that feed reader for Alpha 2, so at least the connection is there before we implement full feed preview in the browser with a selection of feed handlers. The thing I looked into myself was displaying the originating website as a "header" for feed "messages", it's now shown and has a right-click context menu for copying the link location (more items to come) but the third part of click-opening the link in browser isn't in yet, I need some input from Thunderbird folks on that, as we share that XBL binding.
  • SeaMonkey Releases:
    Some more release process stuff for SeaMonkey 1.1.13, but more this week, as it's still targeted Wednesday, November 12.
  • German L10n:
    Lots of work to get German toolkit and SeaMonkey current, including a lot of obsolete string removals made for editor and suite - thanks a lot to sipaq and wladow for the work on the original string cleanups!
  • Various Discussions:
    Test failures, download manager, parallel builds, 1.9.1 branching, Firefox 2 and Gecko 1.8.1 EOL plans, Tiger EOL plans, EV UI, new cert error page, etc.

The SeaMonkey project goals thread has taken lots of more or less off-topic turns, which is business as usual for newsgroups, but there was some interesting input as well and I've flagged a handful of posts that contain key statements already. We'll probably go and summarize those, discuss them in the Council and/or a status meeting and finally come up with a draft or even final vision statement for our project. If you still want your voice to be heard on this topic, please head over there and state your opinion in that thread!

By KaiRo, at 21:18 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 3 comments | TrackBack: 0

Over 1000 Days Of SeaMonkey Downloads

When I just updated my local spreadsheet with current download data collected by the "bouncer" tool at, I noticed we now have over 1000 days since SeaMonkey 1.0 was released (1016 days since January 30, 2006, actually), so it might be interesting to publish some stats.

First, note that only our main download links from the website are tracked by the tool, i.e. the Windows full installer, Mac disk image and Linux full installer for en-US builds in the case of SeaMonkey 1.x, and the Windows installer, Mac disk image and Linux tar.bz2 for all available languages for SeaMonkey 2.x builds (even though this still means en-US only for 2.0a1, later releases will include locale builds built by us in bouncer).
This means any install of any other build, esp. localized ones, is not tracked, as well as direct downloads from FTP servers or installations delivered by Linux distributors, etc.

Image No. 20589

In total, most downloads stem from the 1.1.x series, which has taken over the "most recent stable" slot from 1.0.x after about a year and has been there since, while 2.0.x only has it's first alpha out currently, so no big surprises when comparing raw data of the release series.

While the download stats page linked from the first paragraph gives you raw download numbers and even a simple bar graph, the downloads per day are a number I personally am quite interested in. In my spreadsheet, I'm calculating the number of days a release was the most recent one (at least for its release series) and averaging its download over that timespan, which gives us interesting numbers about how well releases are doing.

Overall, in the 1016 days since SeaMonkey 1.0, we averaged about 4200 SeaMonkey downloads per day, 1.0.x had 1700 dl/day (2300 for 1.0-1.0.7, i.e. before 1.1 was released), 1.1.x averages at 5000 dl/day and alphas/betas at 320 downloads per day.

The uptake from 2300 to 5000 for 1.0.x vs. 1.1.x in the timespans where those release series were/are the most current stable releases is still quite impressive and shows that the first stable post-1.0 series was/is considered a better thing to adopt than the 1.0 series itself.
The fluctuations within the release series themselves show that every release starts off significantly higher in the first days and than averages out lower over time, the shorter a release is out there, the higher its download average tends to be.

SeaMonkey 2.0a1 currently is at about 300 dl/day, which is higher than 1.1a (which had 230), but it's only been out for 38 days (1.1a had 70). Still, that's 300 people every day who try out our first alpha of the next generation, and we get very encouraging and positive feedback from that testing.
Fun fact: Looks like we had the 11,111th download of this Alpha 1 today, at 11/11 of this year - a quite large number of ones at once, actually ;-)

While I'm at it, from daily pings to AMO for the add-ons blocklist (so we can deactivate add-ons for users if identify one containing malware or causing certain app versions to crash or such) we can now get rough statistics of daily users of 2.x versions - and we constantly have about 800-1000 users every day on the *pre versions (telling from the update channels, almost 1/3 on self-built ones, the rest on nightlies), which is quite good for on-the-edge development builds of a niche product! :)
On October 19, when I got the last statistics update on those blocklist builds out of MoCo (I don't have direct access), we had about as many daily users on 2.0a1 as on 2.0a2pre, about 750 for each, which is a good uptake for two weeks after the release of that first alpha as well.

Overall, I think we can be satisfied with how well we were doing in our first 1000 days of having stable releases out the door, but there's still enough room for doing even better!

By KaiRo, at 16:13 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, stats | no comments | TrackBack: 2

November 9th, 2008

Is There A Better Way To Promote What We Are?

Gary Kwong posted an interview with Mark Surman on the Rumbling Edge - now available as HTML5 <video> in Ogg Theora format!

Is there any better way to promote what Mozilla is about than to have an interview with the Mozilla Foundation Executive Director available in a truly open media format with plugin-less playing in browsers supporting the HTML5-standardized <video> element (like Firefox 3.1 or SeaMonkey 2)?

By KaiRo, at 17:07 | Tags: Mozilla, Mozilla Foundation, video | 1 comment | TrackBack: 0

November 3rd, 2008

Weekly Status Report, W44/2008

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 44/2008 (October 27 - November 2, 2008):
  • Build System:
    Comm-central needed a small patch to build with the spidermonkey build changes, but we got a forward warning so we were prepared we needed to do something - thanks Jim!
    A longstanding issue - the typeaheadfind story - made a public appearance when more backend improvement work broke it again and we decided to finally do something more serious about that unmaintained blob and cut it out - a replacement will be found in time for 2.0, but we don't know yet what exactly it will be.
  • Misc Hacking:
    I could correct the geolocation string IDs for better label-accesskey association, which is good and bad news for localizers: tools better detect where the accesskeys belong to, but people who already localized the strings need to change the IDs as well accordingly.
    A file for update/installer improvements has been added, it only will fully be used once Frank concludes his work on installer improvements.
  • Future Visions:
    I started a thread on long-term SeaMonkey project goals, a vision for the future of our project and while a lots of talk about side topics arose out of that in typical newsgroup fashion, a few good ideas in a vision direction also came up. We'll continue collecting ideas on that thread for a bit and then turn to try and consolidate to a draft in the Council, which we'll probably put up for comments and feedback again, we'll see how close to making it final we'll be then.
  • SeaMonkey Releases:
    The release process for the next security update, SeaMonkey 1.1.13, has been started, targeting a November 12 release, please help testing the candidate builds!
  • German L10n:
    I tried to keep up with en-US changes but introduced a typo that is now followed by an interesting discussion by itself about how to word some of those strings.
  • Various Discussions:
    Fishcam, test failures, Tiger build problems, places and prefs, <video> context menu, EarlyBlue and LCARStrek themes, download manager, L10n dashboards, Firefox 2 and Gecko 1.8.1 EOL plans, etc.

At MozCamp Europe in Barcelona I had some interesting talk with a number of people, including Ian Neal (IanN), about SeaMonkey badly needing a feed reader and probably just moving most of what Thunderbird has to a shared place and porting the UI integration to mailnews being a good idea. The opinion most people seemed to agree with was that using the same code and get it to work would be better than waiting for improvements we'd like to see in that code, as once it works in both apps, we are both interested in getting those improvements into it incrementally.
What I didn't expect but much appreciated was that Ian picked up the bug and created a patch for doing this work of moving code that can be shared and integrating it with SeaMonkey! With this, we probably will have feed reading support in SeaMonkey mailnews soon, even though we will not have feed detection in the browser linked to it just yet - that will be happening (probably with an intermediate preview and reader selection page) as a next step though. Thanks a lot to Ian for this work!

By KaiRo, at 21:19 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

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