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Firebug/WeeklyUpdates/2008-08-04

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attendees: John J. Barton, Rob Campbell, Doug Crockford, Tony Gentilcore, Kevin Hakman, John Resig, Kyle Scholz, Steve Souders

dialin: Dion Almaer, Mike Wilcox, Eric Promislow, Jan Odvarko, Stoyan Stefanov

Steve welcomed the group. Described the context of the first FWG meeting back in November 2007.

John Resig spoke about Mozilla dedicating resources to Firebug. The primary focus from Mozilla's perspective is to have a really good web development tool. For the next release of Firebug, performance and stability are key. Testing is critical: more test coverage, quantify impact of new features, on every commit run through a batch of tests. Firebug Lite is the vehicle for supporting browsers other than Firefox.

John J. Barton underscored how valuable it is that there will now be tighter communication between developers of Firebug and Firefox. For example, the engine team mentioned how they could surface reflow stats. Rob Campbell added that hooks needed for Firebug wouldn't have to wait for FF4 to be seen; they could come out in a 3.x release.

John J. Barton reported on the Firefox Summit:

  • Whistler, BC
  • 400 people (300 from Mozilla)
  • David Baron (sp?) talked about building measurement tools with a focus on identifying tabs that are having the biggest impact.
  • It's encouraging to hear the core Firefox team talking about adding high level hooks like this.
  • "tracing" is the way the new JIT is going to work based on Tamarin. They're using the Tamarin engine in a different way - they look at the most used code paths, called "traces", and optimize those.
  • "addons management talk" mostly talked about versioning and chaining dependencies. One interesting topic was the FF team doing testing with extensions. John Resig: Testing with Firebug installed is being done.
  • "dtrace" talk: on solaris and mac now. Has little impact when added. People volunteered to add dtrace to Firefox.
  • Firebug was mentioned several times as a part of Mozilla's future.
  • VP of Eng has left Mozilla. Mike Shaver is stepping into that role. Mike has been a great advocate of Firebug.
  • John J. Barton got a lot of positive feedback on chromebug.

Steve Souders: What's the plan on integrating the ~20 volunteers who might want to work more on new features than the primary focus of performance and stability?

  • New features need some kind of approval, code has to be reviewed, has to have tests, can't cause performance regression.
  • Having better test coverage and automated regression testing will make it easier to track impact of new additions.
  • Contributors should communicate early about their plans.

Firebug 1.2

  • let's get it out in 1-2 weeks
  • John J. Barton thinks he can wrap up final changes to 1.2 this week
  • push new beta
  • email FWG and FB mailing lists asking for final testing feedback
  • allow at least 3 days for feedback
  • push new release (Mon-Thurs)
  • enable autoupdate (track down all update.rdf locations)
  • remove "beta" next to 1.2 on getfirebug.com
  • the release links will download from AMO
  • try to track down orphaned FF3 alpha update URL, reconstruct if possible to reach these users with update notification
  • John J. Barton owns this task list. Rob Campbell volunteered to help with the getfirebug.com tasks.

Firebug 1.3:

  • Extensions, Resig's short list, testing-metrics-automation.
  • Target Oct/Nov 2008.
  • Extensions
    • change API
    • need documentation, esp. comments in the code
    • list extensions on getfirebug.com
    • compatibility dependencies between firebug and its extensions (some standard function in Panel)
  • John Resig's short list of 5:
    • add new CSS rules
    • view bound DOM event handlers (might need some work from platform)
    • export style changes done during debug session
    • persist a script on a page (for a session)
    • persist a style on a page (for a session)
  • other:
    • Steve Souders: edit function definitions
    • Doug Crockford: break firebug into more, smaller extensions
    • Steve Souders: page profiler - visibility into html parsing, css parsing, js parsing and execution, reflows
    • John J. Barton: break on mutation event (color changes)
    • John J. Barton: direct JSON support (UI formatting of JSON)
    • John Resig: XHR validator (is response really JSON)
    • John J. Barton: better reporting when JS crashes FF
    • John Resig: hiding results from reset.css

Firebug Lite

  • separate SVN?
  • HTTP headers of .js, CDN (Steve Souders)
  • more shared code?
  • Mike: popup in separate window

next meetings

  • do a FWG a few weeks before 1.3
  • weekly concalls: around the table status updates

last items

  • new person at IBM starting on Firebug 8/18

Action Items

  • release 1.2 (Barton/Campbell)
  • a process for approval of new features (Souders/Resig)
  • faq for adding, newbies (svn, unit tests, review) (Barton/Resig)
  • fix svn process & structure (adding contributors, trunk, tags) (Resig)
  • definititive testing process (Campbell)
  • push process, staging (Campbell)
  • integrated performance testing (Campbell)
  • get svn power from Joe Hewitt (Barton)
  • babelzilla from Joe Hewitt (Barton)
  • getfirebug.com redesign (add links to honza) (Resig)
  • customer suppport - bug triage, email (Barton)
  • Firebug Lite plan (Wilcox/Azer)