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Meeting Details

  • 11:00am PDT (18:00 GMT)
  • Mozilla HQ, 1st floor conference table
  • +1 866 216 2181
  • join #bonecho for attendance taking

In Attendance

schrep, linus, ben, annie, pam, rstrong, brettw, jhughes, sherman, darin, beltzner, mconnor, dietrich, markp, gavin, ealden, corneilus


  1. Development Roundtable
  2. Any other business

Developer Roundtable

Add notes about work being actively done at the moment, areas where you'll need help/review, or things which the rest of the team should be made aware of. Leaving the section blank or linking to current discussion threads in dev.apps.firefox is perfectly acceptable.

MoCo Team Update

The status graph below shows relative workloads, in terms of estimates in days for a2-targeted bugs. Right now, Rob Strong is the long pole due to the dual load of extension manager bugs and the new installer, but we should be able to shift a few bugs elsewhere by the end of this week. From our perspective, we should be ready for a2 by the end of April at the latest.


note: Robert's estimated time is now 15 days (e.g. 5 days less) after moving several of the non-feature bug target milestones to b1.

Visual Refresh

  • not a lot of response from the community
  • beltzner has someone in mind to help out
  • might also be able to get someone on contract

Bookmarks and History

  • latest swags are for approximately 22 days for A2
  • goal is to be feature complete for A2 with the exception of tagging
  • beltzner: any chance of tagging make it in for B1?
    • jhughes: we're interested in seeing it in there, so we're optimistic there
  • shaver: I'm interested in getting some extension hooks in; where should I go for adding them?
    • beltzner: there's a requirement to have that for A2
    • ben: that's getting built as we're building the infrastructure; post to dev-apps-firefox to discuss specific APIs that might be required
  • shaver: if tags is out for A2, shouldn't that be updated on the wiki
    • action beltzner to update planning docs, include changelog so it's a living document
  • schrep: if we include tagging, then we should be creating A3 so that alphas are unfinished features, and betas are relatively stable and finished products for wider testing
    • mconnor: the idea was that we were going to hold the line on features to preserve our ship date, though; I don't think we should be pushing an alpha just to get this?
    • schrep: the goal is to not insert features between alpha and beta, and get realistic about the impact of inserting a new feature like tagging after A2 ships
    • ben: I just want to preserve the alpha baseline
    • schrep: understood, but if you're doing that because we can't fit the feature, then we can't fit the feature without moving our ship date
    • tabled for any other business

User Experience: Tabbed Browsing

In MV last week, patches should start surfacing in the next few days.

User Experience: Session Restore

  • Fixing review issues and bugs
  • New patch should be done today

User Experience: Spell Check

  • dictionaries will either have to be bought or extensions

Feeds: Parser

Feeds: UI

Extension Manager: UI

Extension Manager: Blocklisting

Extension Manager: Locale Packs

Search: UI

  • should be moving into UI space in the next little while

Search: Plugin Format

Distribution: Installer

Distribution: EULA

Distribution: Channel Support

Infrastructure: Performance

  • might look at a compiler change (this might just be gossip!)
  • dveditz: that might end up resulting in library incompatibilty problems
    • agreed to take that part of the discussion offline

Infrastructure: Platform Uplift

On the radar/under investigation:

  • JS engine mass uplift for JS 1.7(?) proposal -- need details from brendan and co.
  • Canvas performance improvements (vlad)
  • Proposal for better hooks for additional canvas contexts, which would need to use non-frozen API vigorously (vlad)
  • Some timer fixes, as a subset of Darin's THREADS_BRANCH trunk work; idle timer and queue-service time bounds could be nice and small (vlad investigating)
  • Mac event loop improvements (mento)
  • this stuff should be in for B1 since it's large enough that we'll need the testing
  • need to figure out how to get API hooks in various places for extension authors
  • schrep: any word on basic implementation of offline storage?
    • shaver: haven't seen anything about that, but if we were going to do it, we'd need to do it soon, since it would have significant effects into the codepath. Seems risky.
  • mconnor: is there anyone going through the platform (blocking1.8.1?) nominations?
    • shaver: not that I know of
    • action: schrep to organize a triage meeting for these

Infrastructure: Instrumentation

  • progressing with client development work
  • targetting alpha 2 for first-use

Security: Phishing

  • looking at refactoring the code (for A2) to make it easier for other parts of the platform to get at it

Security: SSL

User Documentation

  • working with Basil to draft requirements and plan for integrated help systems
  • currently in a lot of flux
  • when a plan is ready it will get pushed to dev-apps-firefox (this week)


Added architectural details to the microsummaries writeup and posted pieces of the writeup to mda.firefox in five separate posts on Microsummary Definitions, Specifying Microsummaries, Back-end Implementation, Datastore, and Front-end Implementation. I'm looking for feedback on all aspects of the architecture. This week I'm going to:

  • meet with Places folks to hash out the technical details of microsummaries integration with Places;
  • migrate good prototype code into Firefox;
  • get cracking on the implementation.

Other Business

  • schrep: want to get some input on where we think a good line is in terms of creating a competetive product
    • ben: couple things; first, the targetted places work for A2 should make us competetive, second, the additional value add (full text search, tagging) would make us extremely compelling
    • linus: from what I hear, priority seems to be: full text search, the idea of "starring" a page, tagging (I think this is suspicious), scrapbook-feature (ability to grab text/images of a page and store it for offline viewing)
    • annie: I've also heard the desire to take notes on/about a page
    • shaver: something that's useful for extensions and adds rich metadata is the ability to track the inbound and outbound sources and destinations for links; so I can know I got a link from someone/someapp and sent it to someone/someapp
    • sherman: advanced support for detecting and handling microformats
    • beltzner: detection and quickpaths of other types of content like media and documents
    • shaver: lots of metadata things happening such as RDF/A, micro-summaries/formats; making it easier for extension authors to get at this stuff would make it easier for our browser to be the core of experimentation around that
  • linus: what's the one killer feature though?
    • beltzner: with the caution that adding features for features' sake isn't the best way to do things?
    • ben: agreed; and I think that better search results, including the ability to annotate pages in a lightweight fashion is the most globally useful feature
    • linus: so what you're saying is that out of all this, better bookmark search?
    • beltzner: I think that in today's web, features that help our users find the bits of the web that they find/found interesting is globally useful
    • schrep: are we happy with the A2 targets as our feature set?
    • ben: yes, I think so
    • brettw: I think it's a good upgrade vector, but not neccessarily a switch vector
    • schrep: so what we're saying is a bunch of stuff is better, and some little things are new
    • myk: what's the relative priority of making our current users happy vs. leapfrogging IE functionality to draw new users?
    • ben: our bookmarking and history story will leapfrog them
    •  ???: IE's smooth bitmapping seems really nice
    •  ???: the story when IE7 comes out will be IE7 vs. Fx2, and we need to make sure we have a bunch of things we can point to
    • beltzner: and I want to make sure that "we do basic browsing simpler than the other guy" is eligible for that; driving the feature set from a headline-seeking attitude seems wrong to me
    • shaver: we are, however, in a competetive environment and need to convince people to switch to us; one thing I'm hoping to do is build a bunch of subcommunities around extensions that are compelling to those communities
    • linus: early data indicates users primarily use their browsers for research, so tools for collecting information seem to be paramount. the number one reason for leaving Firefox appears to be apathy - nothing compells them to use the browser, so they are entropically drawn to the blue "e"
      • mconnor: I think that there isn't a lot we can do for those users; they don't seem to care/want to make a choice
      • shaver: we need to explain to those types of users why they *do* want to make a choice about their browser
      • sherman: these types of users are swayed by feature differences
  • linus: back to the core question, though, do we think this list of features is compelling enough?
  • schrep: actually, what I was trying to get to was: is adding additional features to this A2 list worth taking the impact to schedule? given infinite time and energy, what would we want as killer feature?
    • shaver: my wave-a-wand feature would be the support for search across full-text and metadata about the subset of the web that I experienced and how I experienced it
    • myk: extract search results for specific data and display them more usefully in the product chrome
    • brettw: an A3 would allow us to fit in tagging and Annie's idea about creating notes (which could be searched)
      • ben: I think that's even ambitious for an A3
    • shaver: there's lots of ways we could annotate entries based on the search queries that led there, as well as words that were found in those pages
  • schrep: hitting A2 and the set of features for A2 still seems reasonable; we can explore these other things on a slow-burn now, discussing them in dev-apps-firefox, and then make a call on A3 as we near the A2 deadline