Visit Mozilla Headquarters

On 12th Oct, Alfred and I went to Mozilla Headquarters in Mountain view.

In the morning, Johnny Stenback, the core developer of Mozilla, met us at a conference room called 'strong' on the 2nd floor of the Mozilla office.(Every room has an interesting name, like 'script'. All the names come from the HTML tags). Johnny told us that he was successfully installed SXDE on Mac mini. We were surprised to learn that someone outside Sun got Solaris running well on Mac Mini!

Then we had a meeting with Seth Bindernagel. He provided lots of contact informations about Mozilla China, Mozilla Taiwan , and Sun Community Development people. He also mentioned one student who is starting a campus program in Peking University. It's great to know Mozilla also has a university program in China now.

Later, we met Mike Schroepfer, VP of the Engineering. We sent a gift from our team to Mozilla engineering team. It was a 2008 Olympic Commemorative Coins Set. We were happy to see Mozilla people like this gift. Mike and Johnny then took us to a very fancy Spanish restaurant. It is really delicious.

After the lunch, we had a meeting with Tim Riley, Director of QA, and Jay Patel, QA & Community Marketing at Mozilla Corporation. We mainly talked about Mozilla QA issues. The topics we covered in this meeting included :

1. Mozilla TestDay 

I briefly introduced how we launched two TestDays in China. I talked about the experience and the problems we encountered. Tim and Jay shared their experience and gave us some great suggestions. We talked about following topics: 

-Connecting with people in community
There are many channels for building a connection with the community, such as user groups, mail aliases, clubs etc. They also mentioned the importance of personal contact with people. Encourage your friends, colleagues or classmates to join Mozilla community!

-Ambassador and university clubs
They were interested to learn that Sun has more than 100+ university ambassadors in Chinese universities. Our team is planning to work with Sun's university program team to promote Mozilla Testday in China.

-Communication tools
The most popular chat tool used by the Mozilla community is IRC. I mentioned that Chinese students have problems connecting to the Mozilla IRC server. IRC is not popular in China, the most popular chat tool in China is QQ. Jay said there is no problem to choose QQ as the communication tools in China, Mozilla people can also login to QQ to provide help and support.
- TestDay/BugDay
Tim and Jay had a great suggestion: feature-focused TestDay/BugDay events. So, when a new feature is integrated, have a TestDay/BugDay that focuses on testing just that feature. The developer of the new feature or module should be invited to participate in the event and provide support.

-Test cases development Members of the community are also involved in test case development. By owning modules, members can increase their recognition in community. 

-Localization of testing tool -- Litmus

Currently, there's only an English version of the Litmus test tool. It needs to be localized. Strings should be separate from the program code. Localization is a great way to promote the testing community in China and other non-English speaking countries. It is a long term goal.

2. Automation

There are several levels of contribution to testing community: the first level is running test cases, the second is developing test cases, the third is test tool and automated test development. Then we talked about automation testing.
Mozilla uses a large number of automation tools, which are list below:

-Eggplant
Eggplant is a cross-platform automation tool which interacts directly with the GUI through the use of VNC . There are about 30 smoke test cases for Firefox developed in Eggplant.  It also supports Solaris.

-Mochitest
Mochitest is an automated testing framework built on top of the MochiKit JavaScript libraries. It's just one of the automated regression testing facilities Mozilla developers have at their disposal. Tests report success or failure to the test harness using JavaScript function calls.

-xpcshell
The xpcshell tool can be used to test certain kinds of functionality. Anything available to the XPCOM layer (through scriptable interfaces) can be tested with xpcshell.

-Reftest
Layout Engine Visual Tests . Each test consists of two documents (e.g. HTML) - one of them containing test markup and the other containing reference markup. The system works by comparing the rendering of two documents.

-Talos
Talos is a performance testing project. With a framework written in Python it runs Ts (startup test) and Tp (page load test) while monitoring memory and cpu usage.

-QA Extension
The Mozilla QA Extension is a new tool that was created after discussions between the QA team and community about how to make it easier for anyone to get involved with the Mozilla project and help us test Firefox. It pulls test cases from Litmus and provides a response form, all within the extension interface.

During the discussion, Tim called Tomcat in Germany to get more information about automation tools. Tomcat sent me links to tools immediately. That's quite efficient!

At the end of the discussion, Tim and Jay talked about cooperation with professors in Chinese universities. It will be very helpful if some courses or projects related to Mozilla can be established in universities in China. We thought that was a good suggestion, Li Gong, the Chairman of Mozilla China could make this happen in future.

After the meeting, Jay sent us a box of gifts have the logo of Mozilla & Firefox. Thanks a lot!

Later, I had chance to talk with Mary J. Colvig, the marketing manager of Mozilla, we had a quick talk about the future Gnome event in Asia. We agreed to discuss this later in email.
It was really a pleasure to meet the Mozilla people in Mozilla Headquarter face-to-face. I am looking forward to working with them in the future.



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