Armen and I are in California attending Build and Release team meetings this week. Over the next two days we'll be introduced to the many facets of the Build and Release workflow.
Todays first session was about Talos with Alice.
Here is the diagram of Talos (copied from the diagram Alice drew - yes Talos is a robot):
Alice walked us through how Talos gets its information from browser builds by having buildbot read for new builds from quickparse which is a text file. Buildbot has a script that knows what to look for in order to find new builds and there is a 5 minute delay before Talos is deployed because the information can get into quickparse before the build is finished and so therefore does not technically exist.
Currently there are 30 Production and 20 Stage Talos machines running, this past December there was only 1 Production machine and the stage machines.
This huge increase of Talos machines has led to an insane amount of data being gathered and a database which is in serious need of some help.
After Alice's presentation we all tried a standalone Talos so we could see the tests at work.
Anyone can try them, just follow these directions. If you are using a recent nightly you might need to add security.fileuri.strict_origin_policy : false to your sample.config file preferences because of new security features. Also, you can comment out the tjss tests because those are kind of boring - the fun test is the svg since you'll see a lot of graphics tests running on your browser. This standalone runs on a new profile so it's okay if you already have Firefox running when you run this script.
So the information that's generated is good for recognizing regression like in this bug, where if you look at the graph you can see how the build was chugging along, something got checked in that affected performance and then it was backed out and the performance went back to normal.
Pic here, see bug #425941 for more info:
More information on Talos Machines.