Friday, May 30, 2008

Bets on Canada going over 100,000

Armen doesn't think that Canada will make it over the 100,000 mark - I would like to see him proven wrong, so please Canada - get on with the pledging!

This map is fascinating to watch and there's so many tangents you can follow with it. How amazing is it to see 14 pledges in Yemen? Why does Alaska get to be orange (50K + pledges) when you know that there are not that many Alaskans signed up for Download Day (prove me wrong). I think South Africa will be light blue soon, there's almost 1,000 pledges there.

It's a great distraction from buildbot...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guiness Record for Most Downloads

Want to help Mozilla set a World Record? Join in Download Day and pledge to grab a copy of Firefox 3 in the first 24hours of its release. By pledging, you'll get to see the number of pledgers in your country go up by one, and also you'll get a friendly reminder email on the day that FF3 is released.

Spread the word by putting an affiliate button on your site.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Learning advanced Bugzilla

In our first year of Mozilla development at Seneca - we learned how to file basic bugs, how to upload patches and we followed a module owner or the like so we could see just how much bugmail a person can handle. Now that I'm a Build intern I am learning to use bugzilla on a few more levels.

This is just one (small) example:

These bugs will allow me to go through the process of creating, setting up and deploying 4 new VMs so that I'll be able to see if they can handle both build and unittest builds. In a perfect world, they will be able to do this and that means we will set up a pool of buildslaves for each platform and delegate work from both build and unittest as needed. The goal is to be scalable and to use as little hardware as possible.

The reason I have to test this is because it's possible that VMs cannot successfully run unittests as they are written now. We need to know that the unittests can and will run before choosing this method.

More on this soon. Back to bringing WinXP vms up to date with mozilla-build instead of ye olde Cygwin.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vista Building with VC9

If you've been banging your head trying to build Firefox on Vista with the newest Visual Studio 2008 express edition (VC9) - know that it is possible now, and with minimal bruising of your forehead.

Two things you need to remember:

1. You have to run start-msvc9 in mozilla-build as administrator (if you do not your builds will fail with messages about bad file numbers and such)

2. You have to put the following four lines in your .mozconfig (for now - keep your eye out for a new rev of mozilla-build which should fix - current at 1.2)
ac_add_options --disable-xpconnect-idispatch
ac_add_options --disable-activex
ac_add_options --disable-activex-scripting
ac_add_options --disable-accessibility

That's it - after bug 419665 is checked in, there should be no other obvious issues unless you forget to run as administrator or check out when the tree is burning.

Happy Vista building.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clobbering buildbot run leaves no trace of history

Sadly, in my excitement to get a Mac buildbot slave up and running yesterday, I have overwritten my profile with a lot of file:/// addresses in the awesomebar and little else. The fabulous part of searching in the awesomebar is so much less when you have NO history.

This is because the master.cfg is set up to clobber and thus wipes clean the default profile as it does it's thing. Not so bad for a VM unittesting machine, kind of terrible for a human with poor retention for URLS thanks to a dependence on the awesomebar.

/me writes on the board "Never use the default profile" * 1000

Monday, May 12, 2008

Week [1] - Learning to set up Buildbot

Okay, it's time for another update as to my activities in MV.

By the time Robcee left last Friday to go back to the picturesque province of New Brunswick, I had come pretty close to having Buildbot installed and ready to be deployed on my CentOS VM.

Today in between wrestling with trying to build on Vista with VC9 (I must remember to "run as administrator" on the mozilla-build shell) I have been learning to deploy my own local buildbot master and a linux slave.

In getting to this:

there were a couple of roadblocks.

1. The current master.cfg and are written for Builbot 0.7.5 and so I had to make a couple of small changes as per the documentation to account for import changes (no more step, using or just steps instead) and also html.Waterfall is deprecated we should use html.WebStatus now.

2. It took a little while to figure out that the "force build" option that you can get when you click on a slave's name link in the waterfall is actually an option passed in to html.Waterfall as in html.Waterfall(http_port=2005, allowForce="true") and this gives you a nice little html form where you can force a build as you need one.

3. The last little glitch was just making sure that all the names matched up. The major lesson learned here was: Never follow directions. Just because someone says to do

buildbot create-slave slave localhost:9989 linux mozilla
doesn't mean that will work. You have to look beyond the literal instructions and realize that the slave name must match what is in and same with the password.

Next goal - learn how to kick unittest machines when they misbehave.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wrestling with the CentOS ref platform and configurations

Today was supposed to be "learn all about unit tests" day and instead it was "configure CentOS until you drop" day.

Here's what I was working with:
Ref Platform VM (CentOS-5.0)
Ref Platform set up instructions
Install scripts that are supposed to help make it all much easier

So the day looked a little like this:

* Wrestling with Python for about 2 hours - after much trial and error with the python path I ended up deleting my messed up ref platform vm, and starting up a clean one. The install scripts caused a clean VM with a python version of 2.5.1 to become a busted, can't finish make, 2.4.3 version. What?!

* Scrap the scripts, instead follow the instructions as above from the wiki. This brought up a couple of issues. First of all, all the versions on the wiki are a lot older than the ones in the install scripts. With a clean VM you first have to set a symbolic link to gcc-4.1.1 otherwise compiling zope-interface will not work:

ln -s /tools/gcc-4.1.1 /tools/gcc

Now the steps for installing zope-interface work fine. However there is an issue where every time a symbolic link is created, a symbolic link is then also created inside of the symbolic link as a link back to the original item. This is extremely confusing - I just deleted the broken links without looking too deeply into why that was happening. It happened with zope-interface and the twisted/twistedcore.

There are also a few spelling errors in the wiki for the PATH settings, I'll go in an change those soon.

Now that I am trying to write down what happened, all the glitches seem minor. I swear there was a lot of "Why is this happening?" and studying PATH, PYTHONPATH and PYTHONHOME to see if they were configured properly.

Probably the next step is to study those scripts and see how they can be more easily run on the VM anytime, anywhere because right now - they are hit and miss.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Getting set up on Day[0]

First day of the internship, and things are going well. As my first build on the MBP is running in the background, let me lay out my set up so far. It will be familiar to many of you but I want a list for my own records.

Upon opening up the MBP with a clean install of Leopard, I am faced with the first task of downloading Firefox. What people choose to download is an interesting mix. While my supervisor John O'Duinn downloads the beta version when he needs a fresh build both Armen and myself leap headfirst into the latest trunk build, 3.0pre.

Next in line:
* Mozilla-VPN installer
* Tunnelblick
* Colloquy
* Quicksilver
* Chicken of the VNC
* Remote Desktop for Mac (beta)
* MacPorts
* XCode
* Thunderbird
* TextWrangler (a free Mac text editor that has command line integration - which is awesome!)
* VMware Fusion

I've done the build configuration and am just waiting to get my VPN set up properly. Everything here is a bug. As Sean from IT just told me - "If you think 'Should that be a bug?' that's probably a bug".

Speaking of bugs, I got assigned another small bite today, bug 432003, which is to enable source server on thunderbird windows builds. Two lines and a patch uploaded, nice to have such a minor bug to get back into the swing of things after my 2 week holiday from school.

Day[0] out.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Packed and (almost) ready...

I've just finished attempt #3 to re-pack and prune what I'm bringing out west on Saturday. My bike is packed up in a box, I've booked an airport limo for 4:30 am and there are two 70lb bags of dog food in the basement to keep the hound in chow while I'm gone.

It's amazing to imagine 4 months living out of one suitcase. Kind of makes me want to donate all the rest of my clothes and shoes right now. I'll probably do a huge spring clean when I return and get rid of a ton of stuff.

It's been great to have Armen already out in Mountain View so that I can ping him and ask questions like "Is there an alarm clock in the apartment?". I need to know these things. Right now I'm praying there will be space in my carry on bag for a coffee grinder. Not because I drink coffee but because I used it to grind up flax, spices and oats for baking and smoothies.

There's not much going on in terms of open source work. The past couple of weeks have been filled with preparing to leave town, seeing friends and doing a bit of AMO editing. I'm happy with this past term I have to say - in the end I made the President's Honour list again. Now I just have to keep finding ways to turn that into potential funding for my last year. When I'm filling out applications it seems that the biggest factor is what kind of community and volunteer work you do.

Next year I'm going to volunteer with SOY where I would do 1 on 1 mentoring with a queer youth. It's hard to translate all the hours and effort that went into my time on the Trinity Square Video Board of Directors into funding applications and I've maxed out my 2 X 2 year terms. Mentoring a youth will probably look better and maybe I'll be matched up with a young'un who's into computers and/or film. The other options that interest me are to get involved with Sketch or Parkdale READ. I've been able to give at least 4 hours a month to TSV so hopefully I can make a similar comitment to the new organizations.

In other news, one of my films got into Frameline which is in San Francisco in June. Lucky for me, I'll be in the neighbourhood this summer and will be able to attend my screening. I was working on getting accredited as a distributor by representing my old workplace but as a filmmaker I will get treated much better and probably score some interesting shwag.

After the Images festival opening where G.B. Jone's feature premiered (I did a voice over for one of the main characters) I was inspired to make a feature on Super 8 film and I made a pact with two other filmmaker friends that we would each have a feature before ten years were up. It may be ambitious but my hope is that by the end of this summer I will have a working screenplay to start preparing a schooting schedule from. I'd prefer to have a feature finished in 3 years, not 10.

That's all the news fit to print right now. Time to take the dog out which I'm dreading because she ate 10 pull 'n peel licorices earlier. Ugh.