Winter Break is upon us

That’s right. Final 6/6 is done. That means it’s time for 1 (6/6) Winter Break. I’ve got a few things on my agenda.

The first thing that needs to get done is a clean install of windows on my laptop. So I’ll be backing up this afternoon/evening and wiping tonight. Tomorrow I’ll start copying data and reinstalling. It should take several hours, but it’s necessary. I put it off for a while because the semester was still going on, but it’s time.

After that, reporter webtool is a big priority, I want to wrap that up, and get the second test deployed. Lots of improvements, a massive UI overhaul, and tons of tweaks, changes, bugfixes, enhancements. I’m looking forward to that.

Then I’ve got some more ‘classified’ stuff to take care of… Of course some sleep falls into this whole picture somewhere.

Overall, going to be busy, but should be fun.


Mozilla Reporter


As I recall Asa and I started discussing this back in July, evaluating what the ideal system would be, how it would help, who would use it, etc. etc. It’s evolved a bit from the original concept. Much more mature. With the extension as the input device, it’s collecting very relevant, useful, and accurate data. No more bad/incomplete/typo ridden bug reports in bugzilla.

What is it?

Simply put, talkback for gecko. A simple automated way to collect feedback.

What are the goals

  • Provide Agregate data on incompatible sites with Gecko browsers
  • Provide an interface for end users to submit problems they encounter in under 30 seconds
  • Keep end users away from bugzilla, and force them to enter good Evangelism reports
  • Provide a tool for layout folks to use to track problems that effect Gecko users most

Why can’t I edit/fill out fields in the form

The goal is to provide relevant correct data. Allowing users to modify data makes it less accurate (typo’s, incomplete, incorrect data). The tool gathers data directly from the browser itself, so we know it’s correct, and sends it to the server.


The tool only invokes when you run it. That is the only time. Never will it send any data without your consent.

We will likely use a random hash as an ID per computer, so we know if 1 user submitted a site 100 times, or 100 users submitted a site 1X each. We won’t bind it to any other info. Nobody will be able to view the data and say “Hey checkout what Bob is viewing”. The final version will put an option to enter an email address. Only privilaged people (by a process yet to be defined, most likely similar to that of CVS commit access) will have access to such data. It will be optional data. We capture IP address’s, but again that’s behind a password. No regular user can visit and get the information.

It’s ugly

The version on my personal computer is much nicer :-D. I will be deploying an update to the server sometime soon (no timeline yet), containing many updates/changes/enhancements. It takes into account Ben’s recommendations, among many other things. When I do, current versions of the extension will no longer function. You’ll have to download the new build then. Sorry, but the auto-update wasn’t implemented in the current one. Simply because I didn’t really anticipate many people toying with it.

What about bugzilla?

Bugzilla isn’t going away. It’s just getting better. Consider this Bugzilla’s personal secretary. That’s really what this is. Just like with trackback, confirmed popular problems will be entered as bugs by Mozilla Volunteers on Bugzilla, and treated appropriately. This just prevents a bizillion dups, and lets users help without needing buzilla accounts, or query bugzilla, or figure out what we need to know. In a few clicks, the perfect report is submitted.

when will it be done

Were making quick progress. No distinct timeline, but Asa and I have discussed the idea of an end being in sight, and making preparations. So that’s a good sign.


Contact Me with any feedback you may have, or leave a comment. I’ll try to address them all in coming days, though I’m pretty busy with school, and this project.