EU Moz Camp 08!


I think this was a great conference.  Thanks to the folks from Mozilla Europe for organizing it.  I’ll have more to say about it later, but I wanted to dash down a few thoughts before running off into the internet free lands for vacation.  We had an amazing audience of people that came together.  The presentations were well attended, interesting and the audience had no qualms about getting involved and asking good questions.  It makes me happy when I get asked hard questions; it means I’m not just talking to the wall on the other side of the room.

We discussed quite a few things regarding test development.  There is a lot of interest in the Mozmill tool, as you might imagine.  Everything from the Mozilla Messaging team beating down the door to use it, to other folks interested to use it for their own testing of extensions and what not.  I have another blog post I want to write about that, so I’m not going to talk about it here.  Beyond that, we also talked about some other very interesting things:

  • You don’t need a debug build to build with tests.  I don’t know when this changed and why our documentation hasn’t kept up, but –enable-tests is enough to build a build that will have Mochitests enabled.  However, it does not appear to run reftests if you build a release build this way.  Looking into that, and I have it on my list to change MDC. (Thanks Serge!)
  • We talked about some serious printing tests.  We might be able to get some folks to volunteer some time to help with creating them once we have a plan in place for how to do this.
  • Bernd and I talked about DOM Level 2 tests.  Too many of these are currently not enabled.  We need to look into getting these enabled on the tinderbox builds.
  • It might be useful for developers to have a set of dedicated machines with debug environments that are the same structure as the tinderbox test machines.  These would be used to debug those failures that only occur on the tboxen.  I’ll float that idea around more formally when I get back.
  • There is a patch that Jonathan (from SVG & Joost, didn’t catch his last name) has which will enable mochitests to run on IE.  I think this could be a big step to broadening our test framework to help increase interoperability across the web.  From talking to him, it sounded like several of the changes he made are the changes I am making to improve running mochitests on XULRunner applications (looking at you, Fennec).  So, he’s going to get me the patch and we’ll go from there. As you can imagine we also thought about how to get them to run on Webkit, he thinks he has an idea of how to do that too.
  • I met a new contributor from France who’s interested in getting involved with QA.  We talked at length about ways to get started, things he found to be barriers to entry, and I tried to remove all those.  I think that he’ll start out by helping us translate some of the QMO documentation once our new site is ready.
  • I learned also that you do in fact need to build with –enable-tests in order for Reftest to work.  I didn’t know that until someone asked us the question and I had a look at the makefile.

I did a new talk on Automated testing in general, and came up with an image of how to think about all our testing frameworks at Mozilla and how to understand where each one fits in relation to the others.  I’ll share that out, but it’s a blog post on its own.  Martijn did a great job with presenting Reftests and his “How to Reduce a Website to a Testcase” talk.  I also re-presented Shawn Wilsher’s Toronto Dev Day slides on Mochitests.  I think those are the best presentation to date on Mochitests, and they had an added benefit of the last slide stating “if you have any questions, email Shawn Wilsher”.  😀

I’m off for a week, hanging out in Eastern Europe and Germany.  I’ll see you on the happy internet when I get back.  This laptop is closing in 5-4-3-2-1 <poof>.