Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

One Year at Mozilla

teamwork

Today, June 14th, is the one year anniversary of my starting at the Mozilla Corporation. I transitioned from spending a year at MobiTV, a startup doing television on cell phones. I suppose that this makes it a time to reflect (or perhaps to checkpoint) on life at Mozilla.

This anniversary falls at a good time. As most people know, we’re releasing Firefox 3 in the next few days. This is something that has been a long time in coming but I’ve been pretty happy working on the alphas and betas of this over the last year. Most of my day to day life is centered on the ongoing security updates for Firefox and Thunderbird though. I’m currently running the QA efforts at MoCo for these releases, ably assisted by a cluster of malcontents within the QA organization. The next security update for Firefox 2 will be version 2.0.0.15, which we just began testing on Friday. Unfortunately, security is an ongoing process, as is bug discovery, so this will not be the last release. In the future, at least for a while, we’ll be updating both Firefox 2 and 3 at the same time, which ought to make things especially interesting.

On the security front, I’ll be going to DEFCON and Black Hat this year and will also be attending the 25th annual Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin during the holiday season at the end of the year. I’m hoping to get to chat more with those in the community that gives us notice of security issues, often in such creative ways.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the year that I’ve spent at Mozilla. I’m looking forward to the work on GristMill getting to a beta level of quality as it has the potential to be a game changer for the day to day life of those of us in QA. GristMill is a tool being worked on largely by Clint Talbert and Mikeal Rogers that allows test automation to be built on the Mozilla platform in an easy manner. This is a tool written specifically for QA usage. Initially, this work is targeted to Firefox but it should be applicable to any product built on the platform and will also work on all supported operating systems. Finding a tool to do test automation that both tests Firefox and Thunderbird as a whole (including UI features) and which is cross platform is something that I’ve been making a lot of noise about within our QA team for the entire time that I’ve been here. I’m glad that we have superstar developers on the QA team that can make this tool a reality. This will move us in the direction of having better automation, which can be extended by the community, for software built on the Mozilla platform.

I’m not sure what the next year will hold. I hope that with the release of Firefox 3, we have a chance to sit back and evaluate how we want to do things, especially within the QA team, for the future releases. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day tactical issues for releases. I expect to play a role in all of this. Until then, I have Firefox and Thunderbird releases to get out the door in the next few weeks.