Hey everyone and welcome to the first issue of the Weekly Engineering
Newsletter, where each week I'll distill all of the most important
engineering information and deliver it to you all in one easily digested
I'm pulling content from all of the meetings you weren't able to attend,
the wild west of planet.mozilla.org, conversations with engineers and
project leads, and anywhere else that's relevant to Mozilla's current
I look forward to working with you all to make this newsletter your
go-to source for what's important in Mozilla engineering so please don't
hesitate to email me directly at asa at mozilla dot org if you've got
questions or suggestions.
OK. Let's go!
Mozilla reached another great milestone last Friday with the release of
Firefox 4's ninth beta. Reactions from our testing community and the
press have been the best yet for any of our betas, with many champing at
the bit to see a release in February.
The schedule for Beta 10 has not been finalized. The planning team has
proposed a Friday (2011-01-21) code freeze and is waiting to hear from
the Firefox and Platform leads to see if that's gonna work. There are
over 90! hard blocker fixes that have happened since we froze for beta 9
and those fixes need to get out into testing sooner rather than later.
We currently stand at 225 soft blockers and 97 hard blockers. Hard
blockers are _the_ priority for all of Mozilla engineering right now.
If you've finished up with your hard blockers, please take a look at the
full hard blocker buglist, check with your colleagues, and check the
review queue to see if there are other hard blocker bugs you can help
move forward. Then dive into those soft blockers.
(If you see a bug marked soft blocker that you believe should be a hard
blocker, the process for communicating that is to remove "soft" from the
status whiteboard and make your case for why it should be a hard blocker
in a bug comment.)
We're seeing a number of Flash-related stability issues, so if you've
disabled Flash player, please help out by turning it back on so we can
increase the coverage there. Flash Player is starting to emerge as a
ship risk so we need all the help we can getting on top of it.
*Must Read Blogs & News*
Johnathan Nightingale: It s Almost Ready
Mozilla Hacks: Firefox 4 Beta 9 a huge pile of awesome
Gandalf: Hard Blocker count extension
Sean Michael Kerner: Firefox 4 Beta 9 now out fixing 661 bugs
*A Taste of Awesome*
One week ago, the Firefox 4 beta audience surpassed 2 million ADUs.
Awesome to some, I've got the answer to the often asked question: "will
we have another beta after this one?" and the answer comes in the form
of another question: "are there any open bugs marked blocking betaN+"
Those are bugs that need a beta test cycle. If we've still got 'em,
we've still got anther beta.
*Closing Remarks* - This week's words of wisdom come from Brendan Eich:
"There's a paradox with doing releases when you get in the end game.
You're looking at blocker lists and they seem to have too many bugs and
you think 'we have to get this to zero.'
"But you can't do it. Michael Toy at Netscape long ago coined the phrase
'Zarro Boogs' because you don't really get to zero. You do a touch and
go and then you can release and people get all this benefit of Firefox 4
instead of 3.6. That's what we need to do.
"Some of those blockers are, and I have some, soft in the sense that
they're edge cases. We probably can wait on those. We're not going to
kick them out yet because if we have the parallel bandwidth of all our
great people and the volunteer community too where we have volunteers
doing some of this work, we'll take a fix if it's an additive and safe fix.
"But at some point we have to stop that. I think we're past that point
and I'm going to treat my bugs accordingly and I encourage everyone here
to do that.
"Cast a colder eye on your blockers. Some of them can wait for a dot
release or Firefox 5 that I do believe will be only months after 4 comes
out. We are going to a fast release cycle. It serves our users better.
To do that we have to get this touch and go done with Firefox 4.
"So get your blocker lists down. We need some slack in the list for
late-breaking regressions that we didn't know were bad at the time or
actually came in late that we need to fix."