Mozilla Trippin


Last week I took 3 days of vacation to make a trip down to the Mozilla office and work on a few projects. My trip went very well — it gave me time to focus and whiteboard things with Chase.

my desk

I spent the majority of my time working on AUS – which could stand for Automated Update Service or Application Update Service. I’m not entirely clear on which one it is, so let’s just say AUS. I was able to update the AUS Lite code to reflect our needs for branch updates.

In the previous version of AUS, branch testers would turn on their automatic update settings in Firefox or Thunderbird and then receive an update notification. The successive update would then upgrade their installation to the Aviary Trunk. Not good.

So the updated code now has awareness of the Version -> Branch relationship, which is a fancy way of saying that it knows which versions get what updates.

In the first run-through, AUS only knew about major updates for an entire product. This was to test the AUS client GUI in the beginning phases of the Deer Park feature, which is one of the major things that will be added to 1.5 applications (both Firefox and Thunderbird).

So now branch testers can stay on the branch, and everyone’s happy. Upcoming features for AUS would include a better build-system bootstrap, and a better way to generate XML output into static files (as opposed to being semi-dynamic). The upcoming feature list is relatively short, but it warranted some great discussion between Chase and I.

Needless to say, the future of Mozilla’s software update looks very bright indeed.

Other things I worked on:

  • Automated test scripts for AUS to verify correct output for pre-planned test cases that are stored in an .ini file. This ensures that new builds pass a sanity check, and would be ran from a web-interface or command line.
  • Bouncer updates, particularly with the user interface for the build system bootstrap via SUM file using Lars’ awesome script.
  • Some brief discussions with Rafael about the future of (AMO).

Overall, I got a lot accomplished in the two days at the Mozilla office. Thanks to Chase and Karen for setting up this trip.

Unlimited snacks and redbull can make for a very productive geek.

4 thoughts on “Mozilla Trippin

  1. > Can the updates switch between branches too?
    Updating from a Branch to Trunk is kind of like switching between branches. I am not sure if switching between branches will be supported, but it is definitely possible to do it given the proper .mar files.

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