Quick News

Friday October 20th, 2000

ZuperDee writes in: " now has some news that Roger B. Sidje will be giving a talk about MathML in Mozilla."

Eric Hodel has written a new sidebar panel that displays the links of the page as a clickable list. Check it out at his website

Asa wants to remind you, "Don't forget to check out the BuildBar and comments for the most up to date build status you can get without getting on IRC. Daily build status usually contains information on any new features, major bugs, major bug fixes and contribution highlights.."

Last but not least, Will Sargent pointed us to an experimental script that allows you to create a Mozilla sidebar panel for an RSS data source of your choice.

#1 Buildbar comments

by leafdigital

Friday October 20th, 2000 4:32 AM

It's good and useful, I use it all the time, but some things I think could be improved.

1. The buildbar is not critical enough. "Good" (thumbs-up) should mean "if you are using Mozilla as your standard browser, you are okay to update to today's build". This is definitely NOT the case if, for example, PSM doesn't install with a build so that you can't even use it to access secure sites!

I'm not sure what "good" means at the moment, perhaps "this build will start up and is not completely broken"? I don't think that should get a thumbs-up on its own.

2. The "pep talk" comments are tiresome, although there haven't been any of these in the past days. "Get it, bang on it, file bugs" - that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. My response to that is "fuck off! I just want to download the software! Sure I'll file bugs if I find any, but some of us have other things to do!" I don't like being included in some kind of cheesy pep-talk just because I want to stay current with my desktop browser.


#2 Re: Buildbar comments

by gerbilpower

Friday October 20th, 2000 9:35 AM

There's nothing wrong with encouragement. MozillaZine is also a place for advocacy, not just news, it fits right into there.


#3 Re: Buildbar comments

by riddley

Friday October 20th, 2000 1:37 PM

I don't want to help, I just want to bitch.

#4 Re: Buildbar comments

by Waldo

Friday October 20th, 2000 6:19 PM

"The "pep talk" comments are tiresome, although there haven't been any of these in the past days. "Get it, bang on it, file bugs" - that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. My response to that is "fuck off!"

Uh... christ. Wtf is wrong with you that you're so offended by appeals for assistance and a light tone? Is it SUCH a pain in your ass to read it that you have to actually write to everyone and complain about it?

Lighten up Francis, W

#7 Re: Buildbar comments

by asa

Saturday October 21st, 2000 1:33 PM provides courtesy binaries of the Mozilla browser for QA and testing purposes. "if you are using Mozilla as your standard browser..." then why are you updating daily? If you are not updating daily then the comments over a few days or a week should give you a pretty good idea which build is the most useable as a day to day browser and that day's thumb direction shouldn't affect you one way or the other. But let me say it again, we do not provide daily binaries for this purpose. Our daily builds are for development and testing, not for end user browsing. I spend a couple hours each morning downloading and testing win32, mac and linux mozilla builds and update the buildbar as a courtesy for people who are working to make mozilla better. It wouldn't be worth my time to cater to folks who don't give back so don't expect me to stop with the pep talk comments any time soon. See, here's how it works. If you aren't helping to make Mozilla better, then your needs don't mean much to me. And if you're looking for an end user browser then wait for Netscape 6.


#15 Re: Re: Buildbar comments

by leafdigital

Monday October 23rd, 2000 7:02 AM

" provides courtesy binaries of the Mozilla browser for QA and testing purposes. "if you are using Mozilla as your standard browser..." then why are you updating daily?"

Because there are enough things still not working right that I'd like it to get better? And because I'd like any bugs I file (admittedly very few recently - I don't consider mys'elf knowledgeable enough to file bugs, those I have filed were all duplicates, and yes I did search carefully, and yes I have worked in environments with similar bugtracking systems, but without being intimately familiar with the entire project it's too difficult), or talkback reports, to be current and useful?

"Our daily builds are for development and testing, not for end user browsing...It wouldn't be worth my time to cater to folks who don't give back...If you aren't helping to make Mozilla better, then your needs don't mean much to me."

Only by having people use it as their real browser will you generate sufficient information on bugs etc. If people are only using it specifically for testing, you won't get anywhere near as much information.

Even talkback information surely assists the bugfixing process, by providing information on which sites are likely to crash the browser, etc.

Let's suppose that I browse the web (for work or pleasure, whatever) for 2 hours per day. That is 2 hours of different sites, potential to spot crash bugs, etc.

I cannot allocate 2 hours of my time each day to Mozilla testing! (Well, unless somebody pays me. Even then, I'm not sure I have the time to fit it in, and other things would fall by the wayside.) But if it can work as part of my general browsing, then yes it can fit.

Mozilla gets more testing; I get a better browser. Where's the problem?

As I said, I find the buildbar useful, and it helps make Mozilla better by encouraging more people who would like to use Mozilla as a user (and contribute to the testing effort that way) to participate. I think you should consider it in that spirit. Say that 100,000 people are interested in the Mozilla project; now say that maybe 10% of those can afford serious time on testing etc. If you can capture the other 90% and have them use the browser, this should dramatically help in coverage of websites, tracking rare crash bugs, etc.


#17 Re: Re: Re: Buildbar comments

by asa

Monday October 23rd, 2000 11:23 AM

leafdigital, I appreciate any and all testing of the Mozilla browser. I agree that more testing is better than less testing. If you would like to devote the time it takes to test daily builds and maintain a webpage to keep end users up to date about Mozilla'a useability that would be fine with me. I don't have time for that and if I did have more time in my day there is a long list of things that that I consider more important to the success of the project. -Asa

#23 I'll be happy to do that... kind of

by leafdigital

Tuesday October 24th, 2000 3:20 AM

Well, if talkback comments were added to the builds in some way (I know, this is more work for mozillaZine maintainer, presumably why it hasn't happened yet), I would certainly post to indicate any problems or general strangeness with each build I download.

So together with other people (I don't download a new build every single day, and anyway I might not come across problems), it would be feasible to achieve a bit more information about each build.


#18 Re: Re: Re: Buildbar comments

by basic

Monday October 23rd, 2000 11:29 AM

> Mozilla gets more testing; I get a better browser. Where's the problem?

The problem is that it takes too much time to make sure that everything is working for each and every daily build. Maybe you would want to voice this at #mozillazine @

#5 Talkback needed for buildbar

by cyd

Friday October 20th, 2000 8:56 PM

The infrastructure is already there on this site, isn't there? I think it would be good to have a talkback for the buildbar - either a new one each day or one for the entire buildbar. Asa's reports are extremely helpful, but annoying bugs occasionally pass without comment. It would be good if we were able to put up notices to warn fellow Mozilla users about this kind of thing.

Yeah, I know... could always email asa and/or file a bug in Bugzilla. But not everyone has the time or energy to do that. A talkback in the buildbar would at least allow us to contact people who do.

#6 Re: Talkback needed for buildbar

by slm

Saturday October 21st, 2000 11:13 AM

good idea ... how often I thought the same things.

#11 Re: Re: Talkback needed for buildbar

by Tanyel

Sunday October 22nd, 2000 12:47 PM

I do not think they would want to do that in a site meant to advocate Mozilla. Honesty often works against making people blindly follow something.

#13 Yeah right...

by cyd

Sunday October 22nd, 2000 2:05 PM

The buildbar comments already contain notices of bugs that may affect people downloading the nightlies, which neatly deflates your argument. The only problem with having a talkback in the buildbar is that it would attract lame trolls like yourself, but I think that's a nuisance we can manage.

#8 Build bar

by thelem

Saturday October 21st, 2000 4:01 PM

Asa, 2 comments here:

How about an extra, orange, symbol to say that while it will start up, there are some serious problems with it that were not in recent builds.

Secondly, when updating the buildbar why do we have to lose the links? I suggest adding them to the end of your comments each day.

I also second the idea about talkback.


#10 Re: Build bar

by Salsaman

Sunday October 22nd, 2000 5:36 AM

How about a traffic lights system:

Red==will not build Amber==will build but has serious problems Green==good build without major problems.

#12 Re: Re: Build bar

by Tanyel

Sunday October 22nd, 2000 12:49 PM

I think there would be too much difference of opinion concerning what is a serious problem. Apparently, Mozilla people think anything that does not reformat the hard disks is a minor bug.

#14 Re: Build bar

by thelem

Monday October 23rd, 2000 5:14 AM

That is exactly what I suggested, only still using the hands.

As for what is major bug, the 'mozilla people' can just carry on downloading the orange builds.

#24 Re: Re: Build bar

by Salsaman

Tuesday October 24th, 2000 3:54 AM

Sorry, I wasn't trying to steal your idea, I was just suggesting that 'Traffic lights' is more natural icon if there are 3 states.

#19 Re: Build bar

by asa

Monday October 23rd, 2000 11:31 AM

I've actually been meaning to add links to the comments for some time. I apologize for not starting that already. I keep forgetting. Do you think it would be more useful to link to the directories so people could have a choice about the type (installer or zipped or whatever) of build they download or would it be better to link directly to the build? Should it be an http link of an ftp link? -Asa

#25 Re: Build bar

by thelem

Tuesday October 24th, 2000 6:25 AM

IMO you should do exactly what you do with the main links - which currently means link to the build. And why not use FTP? It is more efficient and everyone supports it, don't they?

/me notices links on todays comments. You know you do a great job, Asa.

#9 another vote for buildbar user comments

by glo_worm

Saturday October 21st, 2000 7:37 PM

i really think the buildbar with Asa's comments is one of the best things to happen to mozillazine. i check them pretty much daily -- every time i download a new build. the addition of user comments in that section (preferably in a daily context, not all in one big list) would make an already fantastic feature that much more helpful for thos of us who sometimes pine for a few more details.

#16 Re: another vote for buildbar user comments

by leafdigital

Monday October 23rd, 2000 7:06 AM

One of? It's THE best thing.

Yes, user comments would be great.


#22 Buildbar comments are great, but...

by rkl

Monday October 23rd, 2000 4:24 PM

...would be nice if the home page buildbar date matched the build_comments/ page date (the date is always different - it's 19th Oct on the home page vs. 23rd Oct on the build_comments page as I write this. BTW, the "READ MORE" link should have a trailing slash on the build_comments link of course :-)

#20 Bugzilla - Simple Query

by Jake

Monday October 23rd, 2000 11:43 AM

The above link will configure the bugzilla query page to give with the settings to give you a list of bugs marked Major and above for the Win32 platform that were changed in the last 3 days. All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the page and click submit. Of course, you can change any/all parameters that you want.

Bugzilla is a very powerful search tool, it just takes some time to learn.

#21 Sidebar script

by luge

Monday October 23rd, 2000 1:08 PM

Is anyone else thinking: 1) that sidebar script is really cool? 2) why won't the sidebars that it create open correctly? In particular, I'm interested in #2... am I the only one that can't do that or what? It seems like a really good idea, but if the links won't open I'm not sure I see the point. Is it mozilla or his XUL that is broken?

#26 Links Panel v1.4

by hodeleri

Wednesday October 25th, 2000 6:43 PM

I've updated the Links Panel to version 1.4. It has a bunch of new goodies like highlighting and the ability to turn on and off auto-update, etc. Check it out at

#27 Re: Links Panel v1.4

by Jake

Thursday October 26th, 2000 9:06 AM

I gotta say, drbrain, the links pannel gets better and better everytime I use it... The first time I installed it, i thought "that's kinda neat, but not really useful"... now it's really neat and very useful, too.

Keep up the good work... :)