Mozilla Status Update
Friday July 7th, 2000
The latest Status Update has arrived at mozilla.org, with several weeks of summaries for the Mail/News, XPToolkit, Architecture, XML and DOM, Necko/Imglib and Composer groups, as well as updates for OS/2, XPCOM, XML Extras, Tru64 and IA64, and LDAP.
#1 Can someone explain the Build Bar hands to me?
Friday July 7th, 2000 12:24 PM
To me a thumbs up wouldn't go to a build that "Hangs on startup on most platforms," or even one where "The back button doesn't work."
#2 Re: Can someone explain the Build Bar hands to me?
Friday July 7th, 2000 12:34 PM
Check the help area for the buildbar, reachable by clicking on the questionmark on the right end of the buildbar.
#3 Re: Can someone explain the Build Bar hands to me?
Friday July 7th, 2000 12:39 PM
But an "Often Hangs On Startup" means it is nearly unpossibly to test it! And for me it hangs nearly everytime on win 98.
#7 Re: Re: Can someone explain the Build Bar hands to
by johnlar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Friday July 7th, 2000 2:59 PM
Note: you can use it if you delete your mozregistry.dat
It will then create a profile called "default" and use that automatically at each start. If you try to run the profile manager and select another profile, all profiles will stop working. Thank you very much
an upturned thumb: the build is worth getting (no serious problems)
I think my question remains.
I'd call a non-functional Back button and crashing on all platforms on startup "serious problems."
These builds are only for QA testing, not for regular use. The milestones are closer to what you are looking for (though personally, I think that Mozilla will still have "serious problems", as you call them, until Mozilla beta).
The downturned thumb means the build is not worth downloading, because you cannot perform even a reasonable amount of testing on the build. If we made the buildbar reflect positively only on builds that had no problems, what would be the point?
The daily builds are for people testing Mozilla. If you can accomplish testing on the application, it gets a thumbs-up. It might crash. It probably will crash. But if you can test it, and find problems that you can report, then it's worth getting.
That said, the rating is now entirely at the discretion of Alan in #mozillazine. He gets his information from the people testing the builds. If you are unhappy with a build, and are unable to do any reasonable testing on it, visit #mozillazine and tell Alan your problems. He will make the final call.
If you're looking for a browser to use for daily use, you shouldn't be looking to the buildbar for answers.
Maybe we have differing views of what the buildbar should mean:
Certainly the dailies are primarily made to help with testing. If I wanted to test every one of the dailies, I wouldn't need the buildbar. I want the buildbar to tell me which of the recent builds is most stable and reliable so I can upgrade and continue with a generally positive experience. I don't have time to waste on a version that generally hangs on startup or has a broken back button. I'm looking for a browser for daily use and want the buildbar to help me decide. I want the buildbar to reflect more the view of a user and not a tester. A broken back button is a thumbs down in my book.
Don't think I'm asking for a perfect browser. I'm not. I'm well aware that Mozilla isn't ready yet, and I'm willing to put up with some problems and log bugs. I've downloaded and used the milestone releases and some dailies and have discovered that the daily builds are frequently pretty good or better compared to the milestones.
Some background may help explain what I'm looking for: I'm currently developing a fairly complex web-based application that will be released later in the year. I really want this app to work with Mozilla, which has many architectural changes (DHTML, OJI, plug-in, CSS) from current browsers. I've been upgrading and testing Mozilla against my app (and doing other general testing while using the browser for everyday stuff), but testing Mozilla is obviously not my full time job. The buildbar comments (and bugzilla email about fixed bugs) have motivated me to take a risk on the daily builds.
This may all be a non-issue... the buildbar comments have warned me about the problems even if the icons hasn't. I guess what I really want is an indicator of when a version is pretty good from the perspective of a user. That sounds like what others have complained about. As builds have fewer problems, this will become less of an issue. (Then you might want to move on to rating builds or only talking about bugs fixed / features improved.)
#9 Re: A different view of the buildbar
Friday July 7th, 2000 6:00 PM
Nobody said anything about what the buildbar should mean. The buildbar was designed to let QA testers know which build to download, and which not to. Reason being is some builds have so many known regressions that unless you are investigating these regressions ( and you probably build Mozilla from source ), testing them is a waste of time.
The buildbar was never meant to "rate" builds. But if someone would be willing to "rate" builds, great!! Just that I'm wondering who is going to rate it? Hmm... maybe QA testers can rate the part of the build they happen to be testing. Or maybe when a fantastic build comes along (if it ever comes along), we can give it a double thumbs up?
#12 The Build Bar Explained (From Alan's Perspective)
Saturday July 8th, 2000 7:17 PM
Sorry for the delay in responding I got caught up in some other stuff.
As was said by others the build bar is primarily for QA Testing and not for "regular" users. Typically I have tried to reserve thumbs down for a build that does not start at all or crashes so soon it to the task that it proves useless. Remember even on the mozilla.org page it says the nightly builds may not work at all and are for checking to see if a bug is fixed. Unfortunately the build bar line itself could never satisfy everyone's thoughts of what it should be. That is why I have tried to add extra information in the READ MORE link. From a general use standpoint from what I have seen and judging from comments from others we have not had a real good build in about a week an a half.
For those wondering, I gave some of the builds this week thumbs up for various reasons. I was going to give the build thumbs down for hang on startup until I talked other users. The reports basically said if it hangs try again (you did not even have to restart) it usually worked by the 3rd or 4th try. Mac was considered the worst, but people still got it to run. The back button problem on Linux builds for one day did not prevent other uses from using the build it just make it hard for them (I know that is a gray area). Maybe i was wrong, but it was hard call.
When creating the build bar I have several steps I try and follow: 1. I usually read netscape.public.mozilla.builds, n.p.m.seamonkey, n.p.m.general, n.p.m.qa.general, and n.p.m.qa.browser and others depending on time. Asa and a few others often put Smoketest reports in n.p.m.qa.browser.
2. I try and review the CVS checkin logs for the last day or so. Looking for any new features or comments about bugs being fixed after the daily builds have landed that could affect that day's builds.
3. I always show up in #mozillzine <http://www.mozillazine.org/chat> and ask around about the build. There are several people that often provide feedback. I want to say a big THANK YOU to those that do! Many of these people not only say if it runs or not, but also mention other important bugs that they feel people should be aware of. We can always use more help here.
4. When I create the build bar there is tool tip info over each image by platform with a few words. If you are using Mozilla to view Mozillzine's build bar you currently won't see the tool tip. We are waiting on bug 27828 <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=27828> for tool tips.
5. I encourage people to read information provided in the READ MORE section. Even if the build gets thumbs up that is where i will try and warn you of other known issues. If I have a bug number handy I will even include a link so people can watch an important bug's progress. In the READ MORE section I also try and highlight new features especially new feature added by outside developers to help remind people that others can contribute.
I would love to have more user input so the comments in the build bar can help protect users from known issues. Builds typically don't show up till about 12:00 or 12:30 central, but I don't get to #mozillazine to ask about them till about 6:00 p.m. central or so.
I agree the build bar can be deceptive if you just see a big "thumbs up" for a build. It may be that we need a few extra words on the build bar to indicate that this is for QA Testing or something.
Sorry this got longer then I expected, but I would love for others to stop by #mozillazine with more input.
Has anyone read this article? Any comments?