Reporter, the next generation

Now that I’ve basically stabilized the new reporter tool for the branch, I’ve been planning for what will come in the next version. Quite a few neat little enhancements, some small, some larger.

Client Side

  • Screenshots – you will be able to attach a screenshot when sending a report. The option will be disabled by default (likely a button or a checkbox on send) to prevent submitting screenshots of things you shouldn’t for security reasons, you can send when you want.
  • Remember Email Address – I’ve been debating if this is necessary. It would just remember your email address for you so you don’t have to type it in again and again.

Server Side

  • Adjustable Columns – you can choose what columns to show in the results page, making it much more useful to analyze. [Done]
  • Reporter Proxy – this will give the ability for a company to host it’s own reporter server, capture reports within their intranet, and forward the rest to the mozilla reporter server. Perfect for companies who want to improve the Firefox experience on their intranet. [Work In Progress]
  • Screenshots – see above, this is pretty much the same thing.
  • Mark Invalid – some reports are on occasion totally bogus. We don’t need them in the database. We’ll have an option to report bogus reports, and an admin can confirm and get rid of them. This will keep everything as accurate as possible.
  • Bugs for Host – we’ll have the ability to view related bugzilla bugs on a particular host.
  • Reporter Toys – yea, I’ve been tinkering. I won’t say what this exactly is, but it’s a variety of extra code and stuff that could be fun to play with.
  • Templating – on the technical side, were moving to templates so the html is separate. Much easier to manage from a programming point of view. [Done]
  • Bug Fixes – during the above templating, a bunch of bug fixes and other small changes. [Done]
  • Stats – some statistics are always fun to have. Basic right now, we may expand as time and ideas become available. [Done]
  • CSS Design Love – reporter’s webtool is rather pathetic visually. I’m the first to admit it. I’d love an improved stylesheet. Something that makes reporter look cleaner, and more professional.

Roadmap

Some of the server stuff already landed. Some is in the works (in particular proxy). I’m not promising any particular feature in any timeframe at this point. Some of the above may be bumped to another milestone, or scratched all together. If you have any ideas, or feel like contributing, feel free. I’d love to get some good css, or perhaps some patches for reporter.

That basically serves as the roadmap/status update of where the tool is right now. We’ve got some great feedback, and close to 5000 reports already (and were only at alpha 2 in the release cycle).

7 thoughts on “Reporter, the next generation

  1. Daniel: if I get around to implementing a SOAP API… feel free to make one. In my experience, they (XUL frontends, especially when loaded remotely) tend to be slow and bulky (at least for slower connections). Considering only a few people need to use the webtool… html works fine.

  2. A tool like this could be useful for a project I am considering. I am reviewing local government web sites for accessibility in terms of physical disability, devide independence, and vendor independence.

    In particular, the Reporter database could use two extra things:

    1. Fields for recording the city, county, or state government to which the web site belongs. Maybe we could use some property fields like job related (i.e. causes problem getting employment) and education-related.
    2. Support for non-Gecko browser. I have noticed some web sites work better in Gecko than Konqueror or Opera. Governments should strive for standards and vendor-independence.

    It could also be useful to automate some of this work. On my web site I have examples of subtle problems that are best caught by automated means.

  3. There seem to be a lot of testing entries in the DB right now – will they get cleaned out or will there be a restart with a clean DB at some time?

  4. @David Ross: I don’t believe reporter is enabled in 1.7.11. Last I heard there are plans for it to be included in SeaMonkey 1.8.

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