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OSD700 0.9

April 8, 2012

For my 0.9 release I worked on a few different things, such as revisiting an old patch, more work on the video statistics bug, and even began fooling around with Boot to Gecko. It was an interesting 2 weeks as I experienced various ups and downs throughout the different things I was working, particularly Boot to Gecko ( B2G ). Initially I wanted to clean up the old code for 708814 and finally get it landed, tho it wasn’t as clear cut as it sounded.

Over the course of the semester I have been working on and off on bug 708814 and I even posted a patch a few weeks back. I got a “feedback looks good” from Jaws and thought I was essentially done, so I didn’t worry about it much.  I wanted to finally finish this ticket and get it landed so I could get it off my back.  I began by attempting to write some unit tests, but after about 2 days of driving myself nuts I realized that there really wasn’t a good way to test the feature that I added after Chris Pearce mentioned it on IRC. Awesome, I thought I was done at this point so I put the patch back up for a formal review and thought I had wiped my hands of this ticket, which sadly wasn’t the case.  Before I did this Chris asked me to re-base my code off of master as it had been sitting for a while and then put it up for review. I did this and threw it up, at which time Chris began playing with it.  It turns out that I few edge cases have turned up since I initially wrote the patch and the fix was no longer sound, which sucked pretty hard. I realized that through my neglect the code sat long enough that Mozilla Central had progressed far enough that my patch no longer fixed what it once did and that I needed to go back to the drawing board. It sucks because through my laziness I actually created more work for myself in the long run and should have just followed through with this patch from the get go, as this probably wouldn’t have happened. I am making this my first priority for my 1.0 release and want to get this done ASAP, even before I begin playing with the video statistics again.

The first ticket I was assigned to do this year was 686370, which was to finish implementing the video playback statistics.  I wrote about some of my earlier experiences with this and have been building on what I have been doing since. Mathew Schranz has also been helping me on this and has been writing about his experiences implementing the playback jitter portion of the stats.  There is still quite a bit left to do here and since this is the main feature I am planning on getting done for the end of the semester I am going to have my work cut out for me over the next few weeks.

The last but probably most interesting thing I have been working on is attempting to get Boot to Gecko working on my phone, the Samsung Galaxy SII. Currently my phone is running android and I thought it would be interesting to be able to play with the new mobile OS that Mozilla has been developing. Boot to Gecko ( or b2g for short ) is developing on top of core android libraries that control things such as the camera, wifi, and various other essential parts of the phone experience. On top of the Mozilla has made it so the web is the OS, meaning that everything is written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This was really appealing to me as I work with the web on a daily basis, so being able to create apps without having to play with Java or objective C sounded pretty appealing. The only problem here was that the version of my phone wasn’t currently supported, so I knew I was in for a quite a bit of work. I wrote about some earlier experiences I had working with b2g, but it I never actually got it working which sort of sucks. The farthest I got into the build was getting to the point of flashing the kernel and having it fail at 98%, which really sucks. I did some more research and analyzed the logs a bit over the weekend and found that when I was creating the ROM it was actually failing in a few spots but I never noticed. I am going to research these issues in the future, but probably won’t be able to revisit my b2g work until after I have finished 708814 and 686370.

The next two weeks are going to be pretty busy and I am going to have to work like crazy in order to get these patches ready for the end of the semester, so it should be pretty interesting.

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