Full Article Attached Quality Feeback Agent (Talkback) Crash Reports Available for Public Viewing

Monday April 19th, 2004

A little over a week ago, Asa Dotzler announced that an online tool for looking up Quality Feedback Agent (Talkback) crash reports is now available. The tool, located at, allows developers (or interested users) to see a variety of technical details about a crash by entering an incident ID (for example, 13843). A stack trace is included, with vistors easily able to jump to lists of known bugs for referenced classes and functions. For privacy reasons, not all the data submitted in the crash reports is made publicly available.

Quality Feedback Agent is included with most Windows versions of Mozilla. It launches whenever Mozilla crashes and allows the user to send technical details about the crash to the Mozilla Foundation. The utility was originally developed for Netscape Communicator (hence the Netscape logos) and is based on the commercial Talkback product created by Full Circle Software (now called SupportSoft). The Mozilla Foundation maintains a page with information about Quality Feedback Agent.

#9 Re: Re: Re: Need help? Do it yourself

by durbacher

Wednesday April 21st, 2004 5:06 AM

You are replying to this message

> despite of quite low displayed MTBF

Actually, today trunk MTBF rose to 22 hours, much better than ever, doubled compared to yesterday, after having been only about 1 hour just four days ago (and half an hour six days ago).

What does that mean? About four crash bugs were fixed during the last four days, bug 240748, bug 240798 and bug 240997 existing only since a few days ago (FTP upload fallout). This could mean the low MTBF was only a temporary problem and Mozilla generally is in a much better shape than last September, even during alpha phase.

But I said the numbers are not reliable and let's not forget this when the numbers look great! <br>Raw data in crash-history.txt (linked on top of <http://www.stud.uni-karls…%7Eudex/mozilla-mtbf.html>) shows that the number of users crashing yesterday was similar to that four days ago, BUT the "testing time" is now multiplied by about 20!!

This can mean yesterday even people crashed who did not crash for a long time before. So there might be some evil crashers introduced and the MTBF of 22 hours a quite bad thing. This can also mean BugDay caused people to reproduce crashes and only this way crashing at all after a long time without crashes. This would basically make the MTBF change meaningless, but is not too likely (the total testing time already went up before). Or talkback is still not that reliable...

So what's the point of this posting? To show even to the unbelievers that the MTBF displayed does not really say much about product stability. Better trust your own experience!