Status update – In-content Preferences, part 5

4 March, 2015 § 4 Comments

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Firefox 38 has now merged to Aurora (Firefox Developer Edition) and we are a couple weeks into development of Firefox 39 on mozilla-central. At this point, bugs that are fixed on mozilla-central will need to be uplifted to mozilla-aurora to continue to ride the 38 train.

These are some of the 21 bugs that were fixed since the last update (1/31/2015):

  • Bug 1008171 No focus for elements except textboxes (and buttons, on Windows and Linux) inside in-content preferences
  • Bug 1025719 – openPreferences(panelName) doesn’t open the requested pane if about:preferences is in a yet-to-be-loaded tab
  • Bug 1034296 – Action dropdown in Application pane does not open when session restored
  • Bug 1037225 – Consider keeping browser.preferences.instantApply = false on Windows
  • Bug 1044597 – in-content preferences: resized dialogs should not push buttons into overflow
  • Bug 1047586 – Unable to interact with in-content preferences after changing minimum font size to a very large value
  • Bug 1108302 – Menulists in the in-content preferences have too much padding at the start of their contents
  • Bug 1111353 – No longer displayed check mark in in-content preferences if Text : white, Background : Black and Select “Never” in “Content” > “Colors…” > “Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selections above”

Since the last update all of the P1-tracked bugs have been fixed. We are tracking the following P2 bugs:
top_2Bug 1043612 – Persist the size of resizable in-content subdialogs
top_2Bug 1136645 – InContent prefs – Make focusrings match the spec on Windows and Linux
top_2Bug 1044600 – in-content preferences: empty dialogs after pressing backspace or the Back button

Bug 1044600 in the above list should be very close to getting fixed. It has landed and been backed out a couple times due to intermittent failures and leaks, but is making steady progress towards being fixed.

Gijs and I will be meeting up in less than two weeks in San Francisco to have a “hack week” focusing on the in-content preferences. We’ve gone through the list of bugs in the in-content preferences and put together a subset of 10 bugs that we’ll tackle during the week if they’re not fixed beforehand.

Big thanks go out to Ian Moody [:Kwan], Gijs, Yash Mehrotra, Richard Marti [:Paenglab], and Tim Nguyen [:ntim] for their help in fixing the 21 bugs.

An update on my mentoring program

2 March, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today is the start of the third week of the mentoring program.

Since the start of the program, four bugs have been marked fixed:

  1. Bug 951695 – Consider renaming “Character Encoding” to “Text Encoding”
  2. Bug 782623 – Name field in Meta tags often empty
  3. Bug 1124271 – Clicking the reader mode button in an app tab opens reader mode in a new tab
  4. Bug 1113761 – Devtools rounds sizes up way too aggressively (and not reflecting actual layout). e.g. rounding 100.01px up to 101px

Also, the following bugs are in progress and look like they should be ready for review soon:

  1. Bug 1054276 – In the “media” view, the “save as” button saves images with the wrong extension
  2. Bug 732688 – No Help button in the Page Info window

The bugs currently being worked on are:

  1. Bug 1136526 – Move silhouetted versions of Firefox logo into browser/branding
  2. Bug 736572 – pageinfo columns should have arrows showing which column is sorted and sort direction
  3. Bug 418517 – Add “Select All” button to Page Info “Media” tab
  4. Bug 967319 – Show a nodesList result with natural order

I was hoping to have 8-9 bugs fixed by this time, but I’m happy with four bugs fixed and two bugs being pretty close. Bug 967319 in the “being worked on” section is also close, but still needs work with tests before it can be ready for review.

Starting of my new mentoring program

16 February, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today starts the first day of the mentoring program that I announced in my previous blog post.

In good news, I was overwhelmed by the number of responses I received to the blog post. Within three days, 57 people sent me an email requesting to be a part of the program. This tells me there is a strong need for more guided programs like this. On the downside, it was very hard to select only four people from the group.

In the end, I ended up selecting five people to partake in this. They are from all over the world: India (2); Germany; and USA (2).

I have assigned the first bugs and work should proceed this week on getting a build working and finding their way through the Firefox developer ecosystem.

Firefox UI mentorship program

11 February, 2015 § 3 Comments

Update: Due to a large number of responses, I will be letting people know today, February 14th (instead of the previously mentioned February 13th).

Cheesy announcement graphic :PSince I joined Mozilla I’ve been looking for ways to increase the opportunities for new people to get started working on the Firefox user interface.

I’m now ready to try something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a little while.

I’m looking for four people that I will mentor and help along as they fix bugs across the Firefox user interface. The first bug will be an easy one to get started with the codebase and comfortable building the browser, and they will increase in difficulty from there. At the end of the program you will be able to say that you’ve made some large contributions to Firefox. We will use JavaScript, CSS, and XUL (similar to HTML).

The project will be about six weeks long, starting February 16th and ending March 31st. During this time, I will be available to meet through video chat, IRC (text-based chat), and email.

If you are interested in working with me and have at least two to three years of classroom experience in Computer Science (or equivalent open source experience), please send an email to jaws+goodfirstmentee@mozilla.com along with:

  • Your name
  • A short 1-2 sentences about any open source experience you have
  • And a rough estimate of how many hours per week you think you could dedicate towards the program.

I’ll let you know if you’ve been accepted by February 13th 14th. Thanks!

Status update – In-content Preferences, part 4

31 January, 2015 § 1 Comment

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We are now about half-way through the normal development cycle of Firefox 38. In about 3-4 weeks, what is currently “Nightly 38″ will become “Firefox Developer Edition 38″ (previously known as Firefox Aurora). At this point, beta builds of Firefox 36 will now revert back to the old-school preferences implementation. Firefox Beta will see the in-content preferences get more testing at the beginning of the Beta 37 iteration.

These are some of the bugs that have been fixed since the last update:
Bug 1022582 – Checkboxes and radio buttons in about:preferences lack any indication they’re checked/selected when using High Contrast mode
Bug 1043346 – InContent Prefs – Dialogs should have their dimensions reset after closing
Bug 1008172 – Scrolling up and down on pages with scrollbars in about:preferences will change subgroups (the Advanced subpanes)
Bug 1012223 – in-content preferences loading slowly

I’ve gone through the remaining bugs and attached both a “point” value as well as priorities for the bugs. Point values follow the Fibonacci sequence, and should roughly approximate the difficulty of fixing the bug. Priorities range from P1 to P3.

P1 bugs are considered those that block using the feature, as well as those that are highly visible. We are tracking three P1 bugs:
top_1Bug 1108302 – Font size select list shows ellipsis instead of selected value (points = 1)
top_1Bug 1044597 – in-content preferences: resized dialogs should not push buttons into overflow (points = 3)
top_1Bug 1047586 – Unable to interact with In-content preferences after changing Font size (points = 5)

The full list of bugs can be found on Bugzilla.

Big thanks to Richard Marti, Shubham Jindal, and Gijs Kruitbosch for helping to fix the previously-mentioned bugs.

On volunteer and internship opportunities at Mozilla

29 December, 2014 § 2 Comments

About a month ago on a flight from Seattle to New York I met a lady who said that her son was studying computer science. I told her about the work that is being done at Mozilla and how we have a lot of opportunities for people who want to contribute to one of the world’s largest open source software projects.

Today I got an email from her son asking about internship opportunities. Her son is just getting started in computer science and has yet to take his introductory courses in CS. There are many people that are in his position and I believe that they can still contribute to Mozilla and gain valuable experience for their future. Below is my response to him:

Hi ____,

Thanks for the email. It was a pleasure to meet your mother on the flight.

Internships at Mozilla require a solid CS basis and will probably be too challenging to undertake before completing your introductory courses. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can do at this point. With a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, there are probably a number of bugs that you could fix today within Firefox.

I would recommend that you spend time this summer, either the whole summer or a period within, as a volunteer contributor to Mozilla. Many of our interns and full-time employees contributed to Mozilla or other open source software projects before joining Mozilla. There are two major benefits for doing so: familiarity with the project and what type of work people do; and practicing the skills necessary to succeed during an internship or full-time role.

I understand that volunteering can present its own time and financial challenges as it is unpaid, but one of the benefits of volunteering is that the work can be done at your own pace and on your own schedule.

You can take a look at the following bugs if you would like to see what the type of work may look like:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1026679
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1043257

As you contribute, more responsibilities will be given to you and you’ll feel confident working on larger tasks.

Let me know if you are interested, and I will find some bugs that are available for you to fix.

Cheers,
Jared

That offer at the end of the email is not something that people can only get by bumping in to me while traveling. If you are reading this blog post and you would like to learn how you can contribute to Mozilla, please join the #introduction channel on irc.mozilla.org and ask how you can get started. Be patient however, it may take a couple hours to get a response from someone due to timezones and busy schedules.

Faster and snappier searches now in Firefox Aurora

1 August, 2014 § 17 Comments

nice-red-running-foxIn case you haven’t noticed yet, Firefox Aurora contains some great speed ups when searching from the location bar. For far too long, searches that consisted of a single-word or arithmetic expressions would either result in errors or long delays before a search results page was presented.

This has all changed starting in Firefox Aurora. Take for example, a search for “867-5309″:

Previously when a single word was typed in to the location bar and Enter was pressed (or the Go button clicked), Firefox would look for a website at http://867-5309/. After the lookup timed out, Firefox would redirect to a search for “867-5309“. If the hyphen was removed and “8675309” was entered, Firefox would immediately go to an error page saying that it was unable to connect to the server at 8675309.

Some people may have become accustomed to placing a `?` at the beginning of the location bar to subvert this behavior. With the new Firefox Aurora, this is no longer necessary.

Slow and broken search behavior seen in Firefox 32 and older

Slow and broken search behavior seen in Firefox 32 and older

Now, in both of these cases Firefox will kick off the search request immediately. In the background, Firefox will look for locally-hosted sites that have a hostname matching the value that was typed in. Most people will see search results on average 5 seconds quicker!

In cases where there is a potential match, Firefox will show a notification bar asking if the locally-hosted site was the intended destination. Clicking “Yes, take me to 8675309″ will navigate to the matched site and whitelist it for future.

Screenshot of new behavior coming in Firefox 33

Screenshot of new behavior coming in Firefox 33

Whitelisting a serverIf you’d like to proactively whitelist a site, you can go to about:config and create a new Boolean pref with the name of `browser.fixup.domainwhitelist.` followed by the single word that you would like whitelisted. Set the pref to true, and the search will be skipped. localhost is already whitelisted.

Firefox continues to gain speed, customizability, and security with each release. This feature will find its way to the Release population with Firefox 33. In the meantime, you can install Firefox Aurora or Firefox Nightly and begin using it today.

There are two minor cases left to fix:

  • Queries that end with a period still fail. This is in the process of being fixed and can be tracked at bug 1042519.
  • Queries containing a period in the middle also fail. This is not currently being worked on, but is tracked at bug 494092.

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