Home in the Clouds


Jay Sullivan’s detailed blog post today on Your Firefox in the Cloud: Firefox Sync and Firefox Home reminded me I should syndicate an update myself.

Firefox Sync 1.3.1

It’s been 2 weeks now with Firefox Sync 1.3.1 up and running with new branding, new client features, and new server hardware to meet your needs.   Traffic stats from the first week of june on AMO boasts:

  • 91,045 add-on downloads in the last week. (Up from ~40k/week prior to 1.3)
  • 30K total, 22.5K active users in 10 days.

Since my role revolves around testing, i’d like to highlight some of the extensive work of QA, development, and Operations has collaborated in making 1.3.1 a success so far.  This is the first time we’ve invested a process into what started as a experimental firefox addon, and formulated a thorough release checklist with a dedicated test strategy.  It involved full functional client side testing, thick client load testing also involving automated sync and registration APIs, a new staging and production cluster which required migration and ldap testing, and even a little outsource testing scattered around the globe.   There were areas that we didnt get a chance to get to, and those were running full unit tests against trunk, and executing thick client sync tests across multiple profiles using the python-backed crossweave automation framework.   both of these are slated to get into 1.4 later.  But overall, the testing paid off as we’ve gone through 7 betas, 4 rc’s, and 3 weeks of server-side and configuration tweaks.

Now that we’ve shipped, we can take a breath, but get right back into the ring. in a few weeks, we hope to release Sync 1.4 that contains many bug fixes on server and client, with ambitious plans to get it integrated into mozilla trunk builds with automated tests.   If you haven’t grabbed the latest version of Sync, download it directly from Sync Home or addons.mozilla.org.  Remember, this extension also works in mobile devices like the Nokia N900, and early pre-alpha fennec builds on Android.   Full release notes are listed here.   As always, get your thoughts and comments in directly through the public weave forum.

Firefox Home

The latest news for mobile devices comes with Firefox Home, an iPhone App soon to appear in the wild.  Although this announcement is still premature until the app hits the market, a handful of us have been testing and rolling around betas to provide the best experience when version 1.0 is ready.   Firefox Home will support access to your stored bookmarks, history, and tabs in the cloud and stored them locally on your iphone or itouch.   There is built in awesomebar search capabilities, so you can resume your browsing on the go once you’ve sync’d your data down to your device.  And as always, your data is safe and local, and can be simply deleted by pushing the Wipe button in seconds.

As jay’s blog points, you can prepare for the feature by activating a Firefox Sync account on your desktop now.   More on FF Home coming later, but feel free to check out the FAQ and list of fixed bugs for more.