By now, many of you have heard about one of my projects i’ve been heads down on… Firefox OS.  Codename’d “Boot 2 Gecko”, it’s mozilla’s project on putting together a fully Web-based OS that will take on the smartphone market.   It will support everything you would expect from a smartphone, (friend dialing, spouse messaging, internet browsing, web gaming, photo taking, video watching, and music bumping!)   Read the blogpost for more details on what and where we’re deploying to.

On the Quality front, i’ve been building up a small-but-growing team to take on this behemoth project.   The phone we’re working on will consist of 3 basic software layers: Gonk (kernal, HAL, and low-level components), Gecko (rendering engine, web APIs), and Gaia (HTML5 User interface layer).   Our test approach is to create mochitests against the DOM and API layer, and run regression tests against a Jenkins CI system.   On the UI, we will take a more traditional acceptance approach, executing testcases against Apps in an end to end scenario; and building webapps that will utilize supported B2G apis.   All this, to delivery in a very aggressive timeline, and working with multiple partners on different Quality approaches at every level.

We’ve been culturally challenged to build up a interested community of testers, but limited to our distribution of builds due to legal contracts.   However, the release engineering team was able to get Daily desktop builds created and published online for anyone to play with.  Refer to Gaia/Hacking for setup instructions.  If you’re a web developer, you can use these builds to create and test your webApp against.  If you’re looking to help do some testing, these desktop builds will also give you an immediate opportunity to play with and help us write testplans and file bugs.    We encourage anyone interested to give the desktop builds a spin (available on Mac, Windows, and Linux), and get involved with the project!

For more information on getting involved with Development and Testing, visit https://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G to get started.
Update: Many are wondering why they see a “black” screen after launching the B2G Desktop build.   It’s likely because you havent set up a Gaia profile prior to launching.  here’s how you do it.  (again, refer to Gaia/hacking for better steps!)

1) For your win32/linux/osx computer, download and install a nightly “B2G Desktop” build from: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/b2g/nightly/
2) on command line, run:

  •     $ git clone git://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia
  •     $ make -C gaia profile
  •     $ /path/to/b2g -profile gaia/profile
  •      (eg. Tonys-MacBook-Air:MacOS tchung$ ./b2g -profile /Users/tchung/Desktop/DailyB2G/07172012_desktop/gaia/profile)

3) you should see content now.

 
Update 2: Building Desktop builds on Windows

There is a discussion thread started about building on windows. it’s much more complicated, and i personally have not tried. Please give it a spin and let us know how it goes!

https://groups.google.com/d/topic/mozilla.dev.b2g/ALhvaLP-WtA/discussion

Nailed It, is right.  In the month where Adobe is announcing they are discontinuing Android Flash development, Mozilla is going the opposite and has implemented Flash and recent improvements into the latest Native Android Firefox project.  Since Firefox’s for Android inception back in March 2010, the top request and comment is “We want Flash, We Want Flash!”   Why people want that buggy plugin still floors me today, but Mozilla’s heard you loud and clear.   Brad Lassey, Doug Turner, James Wilcox and team have taken creative approaches and have finally nailed down a version on Native Firefox that is performing tremendously well so far.   Yes, there are still hiccups and work to be done, but lets pause for a second and applause our brave warriors in a nightly build worth downloading.

So take out your Android phone and your beloved Flash plugin, and take today’s nightly build for a spin.   With the combination of significant panning/zooming improvements from my last post, plus a series of awesomebar and tab UI changes, Firefox is looking primer and primer each day.

As always, help us test and file bugs.  That’s the best way to give us the feedback you care about.

Grab the latest Nightly build HERE.  (remember to check “unknown sources”)

Many of you have heard or already experiencing the Firefox browsing experience on your Android Phone or Tablet. We hope your experience has been a great one, and continue to look forward to your feedback. The engineering team is taking it a step further and porting Firefox to a Native Java Application, which promises similar features you’re used to, but with a handful of improvements!

Development is already in progress, and many features have already landing.  You can find out more details in our weekly newsletter , as well as specific areas to test and focus on.    There has already been significant improvements in startup performance, responsiveness, and a much more fuller, native experience on the phone.    Native Firefox Android is estimated to launch in Q1 2012.  Here’s a nice recent writeup by Ryan Paul at Arstechnica.com

In the meantime, there is a Testday tomorrow (Friday, Nov 11th) that you can join!   We are looking for folks interested in a first look, alpha feedback, and want to share their comments and bugs around our product.   If you are a firefox user, and own an Android device, you don’t want to miss this event!

UPDATED: If you’d like to download and test:

This week, i’m working out of Romania and London with my colleagues Henrik, David, Matt, and Juan.  We’ll ramp up with our Romanian test team to go over some feedback from Firefox 4, as well as plan ahead for Firefox 5 and other upcoming projects.   We’ll also take some time out to celebrate a post-launch party of Firefox 4 in Cluj, as well as organize a QA meetup in London.

Here’s what’s on tap for the week:

May 2-4:

  •  Meet our Romanian QA team,(Softvision), face to face for the first time.
  • Go through feedback sessions on firefox/fennec postmortem talk, QA process and improvement ideas, and planning for upcoming work in Fennec, Firefox, Services, Automation, and Labs
  • Celebrate the post-release of Firefox 4 at a Launch Party in Cluj!   Presentations by Matt Evans and Softvision is scheduled.

May 5-6:

  • Meet up with our London team (Dave and David) and get some planning work done
  • Host a Mozilla QA Gathering event and talk about automation, products, and just overall meeting with our UK community.   I’ll be demo’ing some of the projects my team is working on, such as new features in Fennec, Projects in Services, and some prototypes of Web applications like Firefox Home 2.0 and Open Web Apps.
  • If you’re in the area, sign up for the meetup.
  • Thanks to Dave Hunt for putting this together
  • Lastly, maybe stop by William and Kate’s place for some tea and crumplets.   (wishful thinking)

So if you’re either in Romania or London, please come on out cause i’d love to meet you!

Calling all Android Phone Users!

Firefox Mobile 4.0 beta 1 was released last week for Android and Maemo platforms.  This is the first released beta of Mobile firefox on android, so we are looking for feedback and test coverage. How can you help?

First, download the beta here.   If you’re feeling more adventurous, skip the beta and go straight to our amazingly stable nightly builds. (grab the “fennec.apk” file)

Secondly, read Mark Finkle’s blog about the features that it comes with.  Highlights are AwesomeScreen, Integrated Sync, Badging, Sharing a site with others, and many more..

Lastly, help us test on your Android Device!   With the emergence of new Android phones coming out every week it seems, the Mobile team here is looking for more development and Test coverage across all these platforms.   Action steps:

  • Visit the Firefox for Android wiki for supported devices and list of known issues.  You can also look up mobile support.
  • Let us know which device you have!  Give feedback through our UserVoice forum and Firefox Input channels for feedback and bugs.  (Note: Input will be available in beta 2 directly through the options menu)
  • Run our manual mobile tests!   Create an account in http://litmus.mozilla.org and run our functional tests right here.
  • Finally, find us on irc.mozilla.org, #mobile channel for any real time chat.

Enjoy!

Update: Some of you are experiencing issues after installing where Firefox will start up, run for about 5 seconds, and then close and navigate back to the home page.   Please double check first if you are on a device that’s not running ARM7 architecture (non thumb instruction set).    (See supported list HERE)

If you are running an older processor like ARM6 and below, we’d still love to hear feedback on performance and usability by running a nothumb nightly build.   Go HERE for that.

Jay Sullivan’s detailed blog post today on Your Firefox in the Cloud: Firefox Sync and Firefox Home reminded me I should syndicate an update myself.


Firefox Sync 1.3.1

It’s been 2 weeks now with Firefox Sync 1.3.1 up and running with new branding, new client features, and new server hardware to meet your needs.   Traffic stats from the first week of june on AMO boasts:

  • 91,045 add-on downloads in the last week. (Up from ~40k/week prior to 1.3)
  • 30K total, 22.5K active users in 10 days.

Since my role revolves around testing, i’d like to highlight some of the extensive work of QA, development, and Operations has collaborated in making 1.3.1 a success so far.  This is the first time we’ve invested a process into what started as a experimental firefox addon, and formulated a thorough release checklist with a dedicated test strategy.  It involved full functional client side testing, thick client load testing also involving automated sync and registration APIs, a new staging and production cluster which required migration and ldap testing, and even a little outsource testing scattered around the globe.   There were areas that we didnt get a chance to get to, and those were running full unit tests against trunk, and executing thick client sync tests across multiple profiles using the python-backed crossweave automation framework.   both of these are slated to get into 1.4 later.  But overall, the testing paid off as we’ve gone through 7 betas, 4 rc’s, and 3 weeks of server-side and configuration tweaks.

Now that we’ve shipped, we can take a breath, but get right back into the ring. in a few weeks, we hope to release Sync 1.4 that contains many bug fixes on server and client, with ambitious plans to get it integrated into mozilla trunk builds with automated tests.   If you haven’t grabbed the latest version of Sync, download it directly from Sync Home or addons.mozilla.org.  Remember, this extension also works in mobile devices like the Nokia N900, and early pre-alpha fennec builds on Android.   Full release notes are listed here.   As always, get your thoughts and comments in directly through the public weave forum.


Firefox Home

The latest news for mobile devices comes with Firefox Home, an iPhone App soon to appear in the wild.  Although this announcement is still premature until the app hits the market, a handful of us have been testing and rolling around betas to provide the best experience when version 1.0 is ready.   Firefox Home will support access to your stored bookmarks, history, and tabs in the cloud and stored them locally on your iphone or itouch.   There is built in awesomebar search capabilities, so you can resume your browsing on the go once you’ve sync’d your data down to your device.  And as always, your data is safe and local, and can be simply deleted by pushing the Wipe button in seconds.

As jay’s blog points, you can prepare for the feature by activating a Firefox Sync account on your desktop now.   More on FF Home coming later, but feel free to check out the FAQ and list of fixed bugs for more.

The new look and feel of QMO!

The newly redone Quality.mozilla.org (aka QMO), has just rolled out and got a newer and cleaner facelift to the site.   Spearheaded by our very own Aakash Desai and the contribution of work and ideas from many others, we hope version 2.0 of the site will encourage more exposure and usage of those who have an interest in what Mozilla products testing means.   If you are already familiar with the previous version of QMO, you should feel right at home while navigating through the site.   Here are some of the highlights of the site, described in the mozilla.dev.quality post by Aakash:

  • An introduction to Mozilla QA video
  • WordPress CMS
  • Landing pages for Mozilla Product Teams
  • Simplified Document Tree view
  • Planet QA blog feed
  • Shortcuts to Twitter / Facebook / RSS feeds

And of course, we continue to reorganize documentation, maintain QA events in the calendar view, and of course you can interact directly in the #qa irc channel directly via mibbit.   So give it a trial run and let us know what you think!

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