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Developer Introduction: Terry Weissman

by SANDEEP HUNDAL | So who does a lot of the work behind mozilla.org? This is a question I asked myself, and I'm sure many of you have also been wondering, so I decided to investigate. We've all heard about Jamie Zawinski, undoubtedly one of the most vocal of mozilla.org's representatives. But there are also less outspoken coders, like Terry Weissman. A quiet coder, but a very excellent one at that. Last time I spoke to Terry he was working on a security aspect of the CVS server so people from outside could access internal resources. This time it was bound to be something else that took his fancy...

SH: What is your role within Mozilla and how do you like it?

TW: I hack on tools that help keep mozilla.org running. It's great fun.

SH: So, what are you up to these days?

TW: Well, I've put out a rewrite of Bugzilla, rewritten in TCL, and released the source. Then I rewrote it again, into Perl, because the developer community seems much more comfortable with Perl than with TCL. At the moment, I'm banging together a quick robot to help sanity-check our website.

SH: Sounds like heavy stuff...to me anyway. How does this help the Mozilla community?

TW: Well, I did the Bugzilla rewrites because I think it benefits everyone to have a bugsystem that lots of people are hacking on. If the bug system doesn't do something that the Mozilla community feels it needs, I don't want to be the bottleneck. Now, anyone out there can hack on it to make it work as needed. As far as the robot, well, it's just normal web-site gruntwork, to my way of thinking. I'm sure there's got to be a good package out there that does what I want, but I haven't found it yet. So, I'm just making something that will keep the website from having too many busted links or blatant HTML errors.

SH: What else are you thinking of working on?

TW: I need to fix up the way mozilla.org accounts are managed. And I need to make some automation to help manage modules and owners; right now, we maintain the module owners list in three different places, and it's beginning to fall apart.

SH: How would you like the Internet community to help?

TW: Well, if anyone could point me to a good working robot that walks around a website and reports what seems to be busted, that'd be nice.

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