Mossop Status Update: 2010-03-05

Done:

  • Firefox team shenanigans
  • True async reads for the add-ons manager
  • Compatibility overrides and compatibility updates
  • Figured out how to integrate webpage triggered installs

Next:

  • Webpage installs
  • Personas and plugins support

Coordination:

Need to see if releng can get the project branch set up this week

Mossop Status Update: 2010-02-26

Done:

  • Catching up on a backlog of reviews
  • Planned out how to integrate the existing InstallTrigger code with the new EM backend
  • Handle migrating extension states from older/newer versions of Firefox

Next:

  • Make installs from webpages work again
  • Work out a list of things to do before a trunk landing is possible
  • Party with the rest of the team

Mossop Status Update: 2010-01-29

Done:

  • Intermittent test failure tracking
  • Post mortems
  • Wrote a patch to fix showing incompatible add-ons to users who have upgraded
  • Started setting up a project branch for the add-ons manager work

Next:

Need to change my working practices and start ignoring new emails unless they are critical so I can actually get more work done.

Mossop Status Update: 2010-01-22

Done:

  • Identified and mostly fixed a regression in 3.6 involving executable files in XPI packages.
  • Worked with AMO to try to improve the capabilities of release notes for add-ons.
  • Figured out how to make the backend parts of lightweight themes and xpi themes operate independently.

Next:

  • Implement the new add-on download and install process
  • Work out how to proceed on some large toolkit issues

Mossop Status Update: 2010-01-15

Done:

  • Started removing extension dependency support from the new EM backend.
  • Changed some of the API notifications to better represent add-ons that don’t require restarts.
  • Fixed a bug involving opening new windows after canceled shutdowns.

Next:

  • Work out how to handle lightweight/XPI themes in the new world order
  • Expose stubs for additional metadata to the EM API
  • Make async API work asynchronously

Mossop Status Update: 2010-01-08

Done:

  • Fixed a minor bug with the new extensions.checkCompatibility.X.Y pref naming
  • Synced up with Unfocused and Boriss on the new add-ons manager UI
  • Submitted a list of things we need added to AMO’s API
  • Posted to the community about the plan to drop extension dependencies

Next:

  • Evaluate feedback from the community on dropping extension dependencies
  • Work out how to handle lightweight/XPI themes in the new world order
  • Expose stubs for additional metadata to the EM API
  • Make async API work real

Long Time No Post

Wow, it’s been a month to the day since my last post here, and quite a lot’s happened in that time. Those of you that keep up on Mozilla things might realise that I have changed jobs and I’m now working for Mozilla on the Firefox team under Mike Connor. I’m going to be putting work into the addons side of Firefox 3, in particular taking some of the main requirements as well as tackling some of the really irritating issues that have lain dormant for a little too long for my liking. Most exciting stuff for me right now (yes I know, I’m sad!) is that I’ve been working on doing unit tests for the extension manager component which makes testing new patches far easier to my mind as well as of course allow us to start catching regressions.

Getting this new position has been quite a fantastic achievement in my eyes and it’s allowed me to do other things that I’ve been needing to do for some time, like move house and various other personal goals that I won’t bore you with here.

In case you were wondering how this affects my extensions, well not much in all honesty. They are still all my personal work and all done in my personal time and the amount of time I have spare to work on them is (unfortunately) still about the same. I am however thinking about a fundamental change about how my extensions are available to the general public and in particular one that I think will encourage more outside contribution to my extensions, meaning that the burden is taken off me as a lone developer to add features and fix the bugs. I’m still mulling this over at the moment so watch this space for further news.

Extension Updates

Obviously for those keeping up with this rather minimal blog I’m somewhat behind where I hoped to be since my last post. Still no new release of Nightly Tester Tools so I thought it worth giving a quick roundup of the few extension’s I’m still working actively on and what’s happening with them:

Nightly Tester Tools is getting the main development work right now. My previous few weekends have been spent working on coding zip support so that it can update an extension’s compatibility info on the fly in the xpi file. This will allow the Mozilla extension manager to do it’s job, which is handling the safe install of the extension itself. Right now I’ve slowed down because I’m about to start talking to Mozilla about getting the zip writing component into the Mozilla platform which will undoubtedly require some API changes. That and I don’t have a Linux or Windows platform to do a build of the component on. If anyone wants to volunteer to assist (you need to already have experience of building a mozilla app) then please get in touch.

Tab Sidebar is an extension that many are waiting for the updates that I currently have in development. A lot of it is there and working, unfortunately there are also some broken bits so it’s really a case of finding the time to get those fixed.

/Find Bar/ is now totally broken on trunk builds of Firefox, but should still be ok on 2.0.0.x builds, though I have had a few error reports and suggestions on how to proceed. The next steps are to make this handle block content in pages as paragraphs and then to try to find and fix what’s causing a rare crash. I also need to work out how toadd to the new find bar widget on trunk without duplicating too much of it, but so far that’s proving to be tough.

Toolbar Thinger is not receiving a lot of attention. I have had some good reports that people are finding it very useful, also a couple of reports of problems unfortunately not in enough detail for me to be able to track the issues down. At some point I want to find a nice icon for it, do a full track through for any issues I’ve missed and then do a first proper release.

Update Channel Selector was always a very simple extension and so unsurprisingly it’s not needed a lot of work. Unfortunately it seems that Vista has changed that. In order to change the channel, the extension has to overwrite a file in the application’s installation directory. Vista doesn’t let you do that as easily as previous versions of Windows did. Unfortunately I do not have a Vista machine to play with so resolving that could take time.

Finally I have taken the step of marking JavaScript Options and Cookie Extras as officially discontinued. It’s unfortunate but I do all this work in my spare time and as you can see from above, I simply do not have enough of it to be able to keep up with the extensions that I want to spend time on, let alone those that I have lost interest in. I will continue to make the extension’s available on my site and I have decided that if enough people let me know that the extension works flawlessly in newer versions of the application then I will update the compatibility information (I am about to do this for Cookie Extras). However I will be releasing no new versions of these extensions.

Since both those extensions are open source (as are all my extensions) if anyone particularly wants to take over development of them then I am happy to discuss that possibility.