The roads I take...

KaiRo's weBlog

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

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

Used languages: English, German

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July 17th, 2010

GSoC: MailNews Sync

As Harini's blog doesn't get syndicated on Planet Mozilla, I think it might be a good idea to repeat here what she's posted in time for midterm evaluations in her Google Summer of Code project (which I'm proud to be able to mentor):
Quote of Harini Sirisena:
I have packaged the MailNews sync engine into an xpi file and uploaded it to the mailnews sync project site (http://code.google.com/p/weave-mailnews-sync/downloads/list). It requires Firefox Sync 1.4 (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10868/) to work (it is basically an extension of an extension!). The MailNews Sync extension currently syncs status, flag and tag data of Feed and Newsgroup items between different SeaMonkey instances.

Anyone interested in synchronizing their feed and newsgroup metadata between different installations of at least SeaMonkey, possibly Thunderbird (not sure what she could make work there), please test this add-on and let Harini and me know how well it works, how it can be improved, and other other feedback you have on that!

By KaiRo, at 14:00 | Tags: Firefox, GSoC, MailNews, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Sync | 4 comments | TrackBack: 0

May 20th, 2010

Weave is Firefox is SeaMonkey is Confusing Me

The recent news that Weave Sync is being rebranded suddenly made me being a GSoC mentor for Firefox Sync. Now, I'm not at all unhappy with doing work for something branded Firefox.
I actually have been contributing a few small patches to code that is specific to the desktop browser of that name, and have been spreading the word on local conferences as much about Firefox as about SeaMonkey and Mozilla in general. After all, the (desktop) browser of that name is serving all of us a huge job in spreading the Mozilla mission, making the web better and being a simple and cool solution for a majority of people, while e.g. SeaMonkey is serving a niche (and at that, one that Firefox isn't covering so easily).

Still, I'm more and more getting marketing-wise confused about the brand "Firefox". For a few years, it was very clear what it meant, now for some time the product- and usage-wise very different desktop and mobile browsers share that name, but there the argument still was that both have the same web-facing functionality and both are trying to be the best mass-market browser for the computers (devices) they run on. Now, the story has become even more complicated in my eyes.

The project I'm mentoring in Google's Summer of Code aims to make Sync's tab synchronization fully work with SeaMonkey and add the ability to synchronize mailnews metadata, e.g. which newsgroup messages or feed entries have been read or which tags are applied to which messages. If you want to know more, I'd advise you to read Harini's blog, where she's talking about her progress on that work in this summer.

Now, the fun is in the marketing message when I'm talking about this: Synchronizing mailnews metadata with Firefox Sync in SeaMonkey. Oh, wait, or is it SeaMonkey Sync now? Or is the product now to be called Firefox once Sync is installed?

I'm really confused marketing-wise.
I hope this is only me, as I want us to have strong messages for our users and not dilute our brands (like the Firefox one!) with such confusion.

Still, on the work front, things are continuing as planned, and we'll try to make Sync a first-class solution that allows people to switch between multiple computers, SeaMonkey, Firefox, and Thunderbird, desktop and mobile, and have all applicable data synchronized and with them wherever they go.

And, I guess, once Sync gets integrated into the platform (which seems to be the plan), it will not need its own identity and brand and the confusion just will go away by itself.

(As always, note that my statements - as passionate as they sometimes may sound - are never meant to be offensive and just are expressing personal opinions, giving food for thought, and/or testing arguments that could just as well come up from other parts of the community. Don't take them as stumbling blocks, just as stepping stones.)

By KaiRo, at 13:43 | Tags: Firefox, GSoC, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Sync | 16 comments | TrackBack: 1

March 20th, 2009

Writing/Porting Tests Detects Bugs!

When I read about a test that runs well in SeaMonkey being moved from testing/mochitest/ to browser/ yesterday (as it tests stuff that is actually internal to browser/ JS), I decided it would be good if SeaMonkey would still run it. And as I was already looking into moving/porting a browser test, I decided I would look into what other tests from browser/base/content we should have.

Following that, I spent the whole day trying tests and porting those that are useful to suite/browser - finding a number of things to add to the Firefox to SeaMonkey porting list as a number of tests were for features we haven't implemented yet (helpwanted!) as well as a few bugs in SeaMonkey, which I either fixed right in the patches for adding the plain mochitests and browser-chrome tests or marked todo() relying on followup bugs to fix them.

In the end this should result in easier extensible browser context menus and better accesskeys within them, improved feed detection, and plugins handling improvements - in addition to detecting more regressions in the tested areas when we're doing future work.

What I really like with that work though is that it uncovers existing bugs (that are sometime easy to fix) in addition to early detecting future ones.

That's why I proposed increasing automated test coverage as a Summer of Code project for SeaMonkey - if you are a student and want to learn Mozilla code, please consider applying for this one, you'd even get paid for it!

By KaiRo, at 14:57 | Tags: Google, GSoC, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, tests | no comments | TrackBack: 0

July 6th, 2007

Status page for GSoC project

I just got word that a Status page for our Google Summer of Code project has been created.

As I mentioned earlier, we have a project in this program entitled "Make SeaMonkey Not Suck As A News Reader", and Markus Hossner is working on this under supervision from Karsten Düsterloh.
The new status page lists all tasks that either Markus has started working on, or which are in various review processes or even fixed already. Karsten will update the page through the project period so we can track what is going on there.
Oh, please don't edit this page yourself, we know you have wishes, but if a bug is filed on those in Bugzilla, you can be pretty sure Karsten and Markus will pick them up as time and the project scope permit. Karsten has multi-year experience in probably all areas the SeaMonkey newsreader sucks in, we can be pretty sure they'll cover quite a few hot spots. And it's really nice to see which ones Markus is currently attacking.

I just hope we'll soon find a few green spots on this list :)

By KaiRo, at 01:22 | Tags: Google, GSoC, Mozilla, SeaMonkey | 1 comment | TrackBack: 0

April 17th, 2007

Improving SeaMonkey with funding from Google

As you probably have heard already, Google is repeating its Summer of Code ("GSoC") program the third time this year, funding 600 projects in the open-source area with up to $ 5000 (up to $ 4500 for the student and $ 500 for the project they are doing their work for).
This year that program includes 10 Mozilla projects, among which even one project aimed specifically at SeaMonkey con be found!

The title of this project is "Make SeaMonkey Not Suck As A News Reader", done by Markus Hossner, and mentored by our SeaMonkey Mail & Newsgroups owner Karsten Düsterloh (also known as Mnyromyr). I asked both Markus and Karsten 3 questions, read what they have to say about this GSoC project:

First, some questions to Karsten Düsterloh, GSoC project mentor and SeaMonkey MailNews owner:

[KaiRo] 1. You created the idea of this project. What exactly "sucks" in SeaMonkey's news reader currently (many people tell us it's pretty usable, actually) - and what improvements do you expect we get from this GSoC project?

[Karsten] First of all, the project idea's title is stolen from a bug report in Bugzilla: "Bug 176238 – Make Mozilla not suck as a newsreader", a very old meta bug referencing several other bugs which make using (Mozilla back then and SeaMonkey and Thunderbird even now) as a newsreader not the experience folks are accustomed to from the Mozilla browsers or other newsreaders.
While most of the "major suckage" is gone by now, there are still some advanced features missing, even when compared to our Netscape 4.x ancestors. Clickable references or reordering the folder pane are requested very frequently.
Markus has a very good Mozilla background to get things running in this area, since he's the author of the MessageID Finder extension (almost a must for serious newsreading with Mozilla applications), so I think we will see quite some progress.


[KaiRo] 2. How much do you think Mozilla projects profit from each other's GSoC projects? That is, how can/will Thunderbird and Firefox projects help SeaMonkey, and the other way round?

[Karsten] The ties between the SeaMonkey MailNews and Thunderbird backends are rather strong, so here's a very good chance that any SoC project for one will help the other, too. (Roaming support for TB may be an exception, since we already have that in SeaMonkey.) In general, projects touching the common codebase are usually good for any project, eg. JPEG2000 support. Some of the Mozilla projects are rather application-specific and thus non-sharable, like the Firefox micosummary stuff.

[KaiRo] 3. What other improvements of the Mail and Newsgroups component of SeaMonkey are planned for the next few months or would badly need help, perhaps from new contributors?

[Karsten] Lots. ;-)
We still have lots of "parity bugs" asking for features known in Netscape 4.x or other mail and news clients, like score files or "real" message templates. Thunderbird has some features we would like see in SM as well, like back/forward in the mail reading history or folder views. There are some structural backend fixes pending, like unified header usage in view/forwarding/printing or blackboxing the mail storage.
Sometimes I feel its just a gift that everything is running so well even without that...


And then, let's see what Markus Hossner, the student working on this project, has to tell us:


[KaiRo] 1. Please introduce yourself: Who is this guy who wants to improve SeaMonkey's news client, what involvement did you previously have with the Mozilla and SeaMonkey projects/communities?

[Markus] I'm a German Student of Computer Science at the University of Karlsruhe (TH). For 3 years now I'm maintaining an addon for the Mail/News client of SeaMonkey and Thunderbird: The MessageID-Finder. An addon to deal with messageids and references.

[KaiRo] 2. What are your concrete goals you would like to achieve with this GSoC project?

[Markus] The project's slogan is: "Make SeaMonkey Not Suck As A News Reader". The project aims to make SeaMonkey a much more useful news reader by adding needed features. Features like clickable references, clickable headers in general, a more usable subscribe dialog, the ability to reorder newsgroups in the folder pane, the ability to quote only selected text, to offer a better offline support for news reading and a correct implementation of the nntp/news protocols.

[KaiRo] 3. Could you imagine to continue to work on improvements for SeaMonkey after this summer project?

[Markus] For sure ;-)

We all hope that SeaMonkey will "suck less" through this project, as will probably even Thunderbird. On the other hand, I hope SeaMonkey can gain from other projects as well, maybe even last year's Firefox GSoC project for a better Page Info window.
It's always good to see that a company like Google is giving back something to the open source communities, which provide a collection of good software which is probably also used intensely inside Google itself.

By KaiRo, at 02:31 | Tags: Google, GSoC, Mozilla, SeaMonkey | no comments | TrackBack: 0

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