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Displaying recent entries in English and tagged with "SeaMonkey 2". Back to all recent entries

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

Used languages: English, German


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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

January 19th, 2010

Firebug 1.5 available for SeaMonkey 2.0!

Now, how cool is that?

The Firebug team just announced that their 1.5 version is now available from the ("AMO") website - and this version even supports SeaMonkey 2.0 now!

You don't believe it? Look here:

Install Firebug 1.5 in SeaMonkey 2.0

I have already tried and installed it from their website before, and I have it just right in my browser windows now! I haven't tried it yet, but it has a few things that look interesting, I surely will dig into it when I have time, I already heard a lot of praise about this development tool from the Firefox world, and now I can even use it!

So, after Lightning, we have another one of the big Mozilla add-ons work in SeaMonkey 2.0 - I hope that's the real start for a solid success story now. :)

Once again, this has been enabled by someone from our great SeaMonkey community, in this case Jens Hatlak (InvisibleSmiley), thanks a lot for testing and writing up patches for this. Also a big "thank you" to the Firebug team for taking those patches quite fast and even convincing AMO that our application suite is really supported! ;-)

By KaiRo, at 22:30 | Tags: Add-Ons, AMO, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 2 comments | TrackBack: 0

January 14th, 2010

Lightning Now Officially Supports SeaMonkey 2!

You might already have read about the release of Lightning 1.0 Beta 1 - maybe you even remember my earlier posts about SeaMonkey 2 and Lightning. And now here's the good news, right from the announcement the calendar team made:
Lightning now supports SeaMonkey 2.0 as a host application

You can install Lightning 1.0 Beta 1 from AMO and manage your calendars now directly from within the SeaMonkey Mail & Newsgroups component.

We have been working closely with the calendar team to make Lightning work as well as possible within SeaMonkey, but we're also sure things can be improved further, and any help is appreciated.
Also, both the SeaMonkey and calendar teams appreciate testing of this Beta and reporting bugs, so we can make your calendaring experience with SeaMonkey and Lightning even better in the future!

By KaiRo, at 02:18 | Tags: Add-Ons, Lightning, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 8 comments | TrackBack: 0

November 4th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2.0 in the press

Here's a bit of an overview of press articles we got for the SeaMonkey 2.0 release. The English and German ones were collected by myself (we were pretty well-featured in German media), the French and Czech ones come from our respective localizers, Cédric and Pavel.
I've hidden two "easter eggs" in the English list that could help some of our users, by the way - a forum thread for ubuntu users (things are easier for some other Linux distros - openSUSE offers it in the build service and in upcoming openSUSE 11.2, and upcoming Fedora 12 also has SeaMonkey 2.0) and a link to the portable version that is available now. ;-)





Oh, and here's a scanned image from the German IT magazine - c't (Edition of October 26th, page 52):
Image No. 22083
It's about RC2, but still cool to be present in that magazine... ;-)

By KaiRo, at 15:47 | Tags: Mozilla, press, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 5 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 27th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2.0 - The Modern Internet Suite is Here!

The SeaMonkey project at Mozilla is excited to release its completely refurbished next generation of the all-in one Internet suite today: SeaMonkey 2.0, now available for free download, melds the ideas behind Netscape Communicator with the modern platform of Firefox 3.5 to create one of the most compelling open source products for advanced Internet users.

The combination of an Internet browser, email & newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools, that has already established a wide user base in its previous incarnations, has been rebuilt on top of the modern Mozilla platform, featuring world-class add-on management among other things. In addition, it has been improved with feed support (including an RSS and Atom feed reader in the mail component), a modern look, restoration of browser tabs and windows after crashes or restarts, tabbed mail, automated updates, smart history search from the location bar, faster JavaScript, HTML5 features (for example video and downloadable fonts), and even support for the Lightning calendar add-on (which will issue a beta for installation on SeaMonkey 2.0 in the next few weeks).

The Release Notes feature more in-depth lists of the improvements and known issues with the new version as well as installation requirements and instructions. Find even more information on SeaMonkey 2.0 and the SeaMonkey project at!

By KaiRo, at 11:37 | Tags: Mozilla, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 5 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 24th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2 Party and Release Event - In Vienna!

Some of you might remember that I was planning for an OpenWebCamp in Vienna - that was planned for October 27 but it was downgraded seriously due to not having a real Mozilla community around here yet and me not being able to organize the event myself when driving a major release at the same time. Still, the guys from quintessenz planned to have us on board for a track of the Cyber Liberties Conference, and so I did sit down with them for a while this week to work out what we actually can get into this track (speakers still wanted, if you can come around to talk on open web topics in Vienna on short notice, please tell me, travel costs can probably be reimbursed).

In any case, I told them that we're planning to release SeaMonkey 2.0 final right on that day, and the guys were suddenly cheering! We could do an official release event right there, they claimed, we could add this into press releases - and, above all, this could finally the topic they have been looking for as a label for the party on Monday!

In the end, what we decided there is the following:
  • October 26, 20:00: q/Treff Spezial @ q/uintessenz - Museumsquartier Wien: Seamonkey 2.0 Release Party
  • October 27, Open Web Camp/Track @ Cyber Liberties Conference, with a number of talks on Mozilla and the open web - and with an official SeaMonkey 2.0 Release Event

If anyone reading this is from or near Vienna, I'd be very happy to meet you at any of those events next week!

By KaiRo, at 02:21 | Tags: Mozilla, OpenWebCamp, party, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | no comments | TrackBack: 0

September 29th, 2009

Some SeaMonkey Statistics

It's been some time since I blogged lat about SeaMonkey statistics, and as the bouncer download data feed is hosed once again but we have two betas out, I was interested myself in some numbers of how we are doing.

Daniel Einspanjer from the Mozilla Metrics team was friendly and sent me some data he could gather from their systems last week (he says he'd be glad if someone from the community with webdev knowledge would come up to help making a public interface for such data - a blog post from him will come soon).

So, let's look at some graphs:
Image No. 21982

The first one depicts SeaMonkey downloads through in 2009 so far, excluding auto-update downloads for 2.x versions - blue areas are 1.1.x, green areas are 2.0 alpha/beta.
Of course, the stable 1.1.x ranks much higher than the 2.0 alpha/beta versions, and both naturally show spikes on release days. It's interesting that we got about the same number of 2.0 beta 2 on release day as for beta 1, esp. in the light that automated updates don't show up here, so that's new installations usually. Also, the daily level after the release spike is significantly higher for the betas than for the alphas, which is probably expect but nice to see here as well.
As a note, the 1.1.16 downloads visible in the graph sum up to about 380,000 total, 1.1.17 to about 340,000 - both are only for the main en-US downloads, no localized versions counted for 1.1.x - contrary to 2.0 betas, where localized downloads are also counted now.

Image No. 21983

The second graph shows daily users as estimated from add-on blocklist pings. As only SeaMonkey 2.x support the new add-ons system, the data can only take those into account here, we don't have this data for 1.x. Blue areas are official alpha/beta releases, turquoise areas are nightlies or self-built 1.9.1-based versions (with a -pre identifier), the green area is experimental mozilla-central-based 2.1a1pre self-built or nightly builds.
The graph shows that we have a stable pool of somewhat under 1000 nightly users, they probably hit their highest point at the end of the alpha period and decreased slightly with betas - looks like some people found the betas more usable than the nightlies after all. :)
We had a continuously rising user base all the year, though growth almost stagnated during summer in the late alpha 3 period - only to start a significant steady increase once the first beta hit the public. That increase still goes on today, hitting over 5600 daily users on Sep 22 and 23, the last two days in this data set, over 3800 of those users are on 2.0 beta 2.
And remember, all this is daily users on prereleases, as we don't have a stable version with support for add-on blocklists yet.

Image No. 21984

Finally, here's a look at what percentage of those daily users are on what locales, for both betas (which were the first versions shipped in multiple languages).
The huge blue chunk is US English, of course, accounting for slightly over 2/3 of our users on those versions. A comparison with Firefox numbers suggests that this would decrease as we add more locales in the future. The largest localization is German (green) with about 17% of our user base, followed by Russian (pink) with roughly 6-7%. In beta 1, Czech (yellow) had 3% - losing it for beta 2 was somewhat unfortunate for that reason, we sincerely hope it will be back for RCs and final! Polish (red) and French (light green) are used by about 2% of our users, and European Spanish by about 1%, all others have lower usage. I hope we'll add a few locales in the future that will show up with potentially high numbers. Still, this data is all for betas, but interesting nevertheless.

I hope those statistics give you a good look into what's going on with SeaMonkey in terms of downloads and users. I think we are on a good way with 2.0, and I'm surely looking forward to seeing how a final 2.0 will hit the road and those statistics!

By KaiRo, at 20:22 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2, stats | 1 comment | TrackBack: 0

September 19th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2.0 Beta 2 and Lightning

I've seen a stream of new comments on my older SeaMonkey and Lightning Calendar" post, so I think I should provide you with a bit of an insight of where we are with this now - after all the official SeaMonkey 2.0 Beta 2 announcement mentions Lightning.

The good news is that you actually can install current Lightning 1.0pre nightlies in SeaMonkey 2.0 Beta 2 and above and you will get a lot of calendaring functionality right in your suite install.

The bad news is that not everything works yet, see the open Lightning-SeaMonkey integration bugs for an overview.

The most notable problems are the invitation feature not working and no access to Lightning preferences.

We are working on solution for both of those and more, some work needs to be done in SeaMonkey code, some in Lightning code, but patches are coming up and we hope to have at least our side, hopefully also their side, fixed when we ship release candidates for SeaMonkey 2.0 and even more the release itself.

Note that all the general points I raised in the original blog post on this topic are still true, neither official Lightning releases with SeaMonkey support nor shipping SeaMonkey with this calendering functionality by default are planned right now, it's all about making it possible at all to install Lightning at all and making it work well enough that people can test that combination more thoroughly.

By KaiRo, at 02:13 | Tags: Add-Ons, Lightning, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 2 comments | TrackBack: 0

July 31st, 2009

Decoupling SeaMonkey and Thunderbird Schedules

At the SeaMonkey and Thunderbird meetings this week, I started advocating for the SeaMonkey 2.0 schedule to be decoupled from Thunderbird 3.0, specifically, to have SeaMonkey 2.0 Beta 2 and final be released before their Thunderbird "counterparts".

For some fun around this, let's view a proposal of a schedule I sent to the SeaMonkey Council in mid-December 2008:
Alpha 3:
align freeze with Thunderbird 3.0b2, ~7 weeks from now
release in early February
~9 weeks between freezes, ~8 weeks from a2 cut to a3 freeze
(longer cycle due to holidays)

Beta 1:
freeze (roughly) aligned with TB3 final, mid-March
release end of March
~6 weeks (?) between freezes
--- feature freeze for SeaMonkey code! ---

2.0 Final:
freeze late April
release early May
~6 weeks (?) between freezes
possibly room for more candidates

We actually did release Alpha 3 on March 3 and Beta 1 on July 21, and added a second beta that is still to be released, apart from the fact that Thunderbird plans changed significantly as well. I don't really know if I should laugh or cry when reading that proposal from 7-8 months ago.

So, what went wrong or not as expected? For one thing, there is this old rule that every project takes longer than expected, even if you plan with that circumstance in mind. For the other, we decided to follow Thunderbird schedules so that freezes for the shared mailnews code code are aligned and we cause each other as few problems as possible. And that turned out to be the wrong thing to do for the SeaMonkey project, because the objectives the two projects have for the upcoming release series are quite different and therefore impose different scheduling.

Thunderbird has a new team that took over after a period where development stalled, and they try to show off that things are moving as well as make the product better fit for the mass-market.
SeaMonkey has the team that has been in charge for some years now, where it did continuous development, and we try to get our existing userbase to a new level while making the product more compelling to the same target audience as before

Thunderbird's current stable release is built on top of the "new toolkit" platform also used by Firefox, including good add-on management, mail and news standards haven't seen significant new features, and their security updates are driven by MoCo on well-managed, redundant release infrastructure.
SeaMonkey's current stable release is built on top of the "old xpfe" platform inherited from Mozilla Suite, with quite bad add-on management, the web sees lots of new developments in standards, and I need to manage our security updates myself, building them on my private machines that definitely show their age and have zero redundancy.

On top of that, Thunderbird has multiple people working full-time on the project, so that they are able to hand off management of releases where needed and have some organizational redundancy while in SeaMonkey land I'm the only one working full-time on the project and doing all release management and build engineering work without real redundancy.

And then, I have booked the flight for a three-week vacation in November, believing this to be far from any release. There I need to get off my thoughts from day-to-day work, have enough breathing room to really have some fun and appreciate the beauty down in Dixie so that I can "recharge my batteries", figuratively speaking. The last thing on my mind there is a major release that still need to be completed even though it should have been out for half a year.
I don't think I'd manage to really relax with an unreleased 2.0 on my mind, and that would probably leave lasting damage to my mental health, which I would like to prevent.

Given all that, I convinced the team at the SeaMonkey Status Meeting to target a freeze for Beta 2 on September 1 and assure that we will release final before November. We will re-evaluate the target freeze date in the next meeting on August 11 and make firm schedules there - but remember that a code freeze for that last beta also means a feature freeze for the whole 2.0 series!

This might mean that we possibly won't get everything into 2.0 that we would have liked to have there, but we are in no way short of total improvements in this series, and it's time we get something better than 1.1.x out to our regular users. There will be further releases, hopefully with smaller steps, following the "release early, release often" methaphor that's proven to be successful in open source projects overall.

I would have liked to sync up with Thunderbird as freezing shared code at different times can be somewhat painful at times, but given the different objectives, they seem to be less pressed by time and more pressed by features, while we already have a big load of features to show off in this release, but are overdue to deliver something.

I hope things work out fine that way and I'll blog again when we know even more on concrete schedules.

By KaiRo, at 13:45 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 2 comments | TrackBack: 0

July 23rd, 2009

Thoughts Going Around In My Head

This is a random collection of thoughts going around in my head - probably all of them would warrant a full blog post, but I don't come around to doing them, so I'll put down the short summaries.
  • Geolocation: Why do we have to rely on Google magically knowing where someone might be? Wouldn't it be better to have a community-driven database we all could contribute to, which could give you croudsourced location data?
    For example, I know where I am, I can give precise location of both my wifi IDs as well as a range of IPs up to the building, but Google Location Service (what Firefox uses for the internal geolocation module) just tells me I'm somewhere in Vienna. They don't have a way for me telling them my info and improving that information, but an open, community-based service could. And OpenStreetMap would even know full address data for this location. How dull that all our modern technology just tells me I'm somewhere in a multi-kilometer radius around the Vienna City Center.
  • SeaMonkey Meetup: The SeaMonkey project has some amount of donations stacked up at Mozilla Foundation, and I think it would be cool to use that to finance a SeaMonkey meetup, paying for accommodation and travel of major contributors as well as the (if needed) the place to do the meetings. Would this be a good idea? Who would come, maybe even if we can't pay for him, in what city should we do this event?
  • Contribution Statistics: I have thought a few times about doing a script that parses our Mercurial pushlog at least between releases, and gathers data on how many changesets and +/- codelines people have created and/or reviewed, to get a view of which people are how active in the community. The same could be done for bug triage. The result would be something like Jonathan Corbet's Linux Kernel Developer Statistics.
  • SeaMonkey QA: We're really missing someone to lead and coordinate SeaMonkey QA work - Andrew Schultz is quite busy with some strange thing called "real life" nowadays and can't really do that work right now. I'm sure we'd all be quite happy if he could pass the torch and we'd support anyone who tries to do it with all help we can provide.
  • Web-based Help and Support Resources: We have some weekness in SeaMonkey help and support resources on the web. While our in-product help is fine, it would be good if a Google search would turn up something helpful and if we could point people to URLs. One partial solution would be to have a script that periodically converts our inline help to usable web pages, and better solution would be to set up a copy of SUMO for SeaMonkey, with a knowledge base and possibly even a web forum - but someone needs to drive that. Any volunteers?
  • SeaMonkey Marketing: Even though I'm theoretically responsible for marketing right now, I badly fail on getting anything done, starting from putting a page with a collection of logos and web buttons up, and moving on with all other possibilities of fostering community marketing. This is another area where I'd be happy to have someone come on board and drive this. I'm happy to support any efforts from a technical and project organization POV, but we probably need someone else to lead those efforts.
  • Mozmill: Thunderbird is starting to automate tests on Mozmill now, Firefox QA people start using it for smoketests, could someone get it to run for SeaMonkey so we can do those things as well?
  • SMILE, Weave, Jetpack: There are more things out there that probably need help: the equivalent to FUEL and STEEL, which we call SMILE, getting Weave to work for SeaMonkey, and last not least, getting Jetpack to work (which probably needs SMILE).
  • Parallels: Why does it need to be so painful to run OSX in VMs? And does nobody else run a larger number of VMs, including OSX machines, on Parallels? I don't understand how we can have basic problem like not being able to run more than 8 VMs on one host and OSX VMs being unstable esp. if they have access to more then 1 CPU core and both thing not getting much traction from Parallels devs. It can't be that we are the only customer who see those problems.
  • Statistics: I would love to have a lot more statistics on users, downloads, etc. for SeaMonkey and esp. SeaMonkey 2 but it seems to be hard to get the data and tooling that exists inside Mozilla systems out in a way we can use it. I guess Mozilla Corporation is not as open as it could and should be in some areas.
  • openSUSE: With the inclusion of SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 3 (soon to be Beta 1, they already have Thunderbird 3.0 Beta 3), in the current openSUSE Factory, it looks very much like openSUSE 11.2 will be the first distribution to have SeaMonkey 2 in their official package repositories. Thanks to their package manager Wolfgang Rosenauer for making this possible!
  • Moving: I'll finally be moving from a student dorm to my own flat in August, lots of stuff to think about there. Also, the machines building SeaMonkey 1.x nightlies and releases are about to be moved to a different location, Linux and Windows being unavailable there recently is connected to this, I had to clear up how to do this, and some missing responsiveness on the side of my provider contributed a lot to finally deciding to switch providers in that process.
  • Vacation: I have already booked the flight for my vacation this year, I'll be away for three weeks in November, traveling through the US gulf region, circling from Houston via New Orleans, Pensacola, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Dallas back to Houston. It will be quite a distance to travel, but it should be manageable and be a good distraction from my usual work, and lots of things to see and experience. I easily get excited when talking about this.
  • Music: Sometimes I'd love to be a signer in a local Blues/Rock/Country band, but I hardly find the time to practice the guitar any bit or type the lyrics of my recently written songs into the web database I have for them. At least I come around to some Karaoke singing every week.
  • Space: How come that the great things NASA does is not worth more to the public than the half cent of every US tax dollar it actually gets? How come that it isn't worth more to other countries as well? Isn't exploration of new frontiers, world-wide cooperation to do amazing things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, aren't all those things one of the main drivers of what makes humanity great? Are we losing focus in that we are only caring about our own small biotopes and internal affairs and forgetting to expand our knowledge and horizons?
  • Test Coverage: It would be so nice to increase coverage of SeaMonkey code with automated tests, but it's proving even hard to require tests for new things added, as we also don't want to slow down progress - esp. when we are already behind the schedules we hoped to follow a few months ago.
  • Mozilla 1.9.2 and SeaMonkey/Thunderbird: Mozilla platform maintainers decided to do a 1.9.2 branch very soon now and base Fennec 1.0 on it as well as a Firefox 3.6, not featuring lots of application changes, but some good platform improvements. Some of those changes in the platform would be good to have for SeaMonkey and Thunderbird, but we also know of some problems we'll have there due to doing our experimental builds with mozilla-central all along. Moving over to the branch now would probably delay our stable releases for a few weeks more, but we are already running behind the schedules we wanted to have, so we think it's better to stick with 1.9.1 for now and get SM 2.0 and TB 3.0 out before even thinking of what to do about 1.9.2 - we could either ignore it completely or do smaller-step 2.1 and 3.1 releases on top of it just like FF does with 3.6, but we're not sure what's best. For now, we'll watch it but not actually do anything about it.
  • MailNews API refactorings: It would be really nice if we could port the JS-driven folder pane and the various refactorings done for gloda search from Thunderbird to SeaMonkey UI, as those would sync our APIs with theirs and make life easier for add-ons, next to making work with folder and thread panes easier internally as well. Once again, what we're missing is someone to do the work - we are a volunteer open source project after all, and people here tend to work on those things that are fun for them, and of course only in the little free time they have.
  • Local Communities: Every face-to-face meeting i had locally with open source developers around here in Vienna was very rewarding, and I should engage much more with those communities. Also, my recent talk for IT businessmen on "project management in open source" was a very exciting and successful thing, I believe I could, with the help of a few fellow open source community people, dampen a lot of FUD that arises with people used to traditional IT business but who are still interested in how thing work "on our side" - which I hope to have proven to not actually be that much different as they often think. By the way, and I got got comments like "Oh, so the suite is still being developed? Nice, I need to try SeaMonkey then!" :)
You see, lots and lots of things are going around in my head all the time - this is still only an excerpt, but I thought a should get a few words on most of them out to you some time, so here's those bits. More thoughts will come in the future, I'm sure - i'm a thinker, you know ;-)

By KaiRo, at 16:36 | Tags: geolocation, marketing, Mozilla, music, openSUSE, Parallels, QA, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2, Space, stats, tests, travel | 11 comments | TrackBack: 0

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