The Website Testing project

Since I’ve been started to work for Mozilla in January this year I lead and helped out in various projects. One of those projects where I have a leadership I was able to select on my own opinions based on which would be helpful for Mozilla and our great community. As the solution the Website Testing project was born on QMO which I will describe in detail now.

Comparing all the different ways we can get in contact with each other or searching for information on the web is definitely using a web browser to access web pages. Having several billions of web pages at the back of one’s mind it makes it really hard to get them displayed and operational as best as possible by any of those web browsers. Even with web standards set web designers can work their own way which could break some functionality of a browser. To find those issues is a hard job and sometimes it’s not possible at all because the website requests a login. In such a situation we need the help of the reporter to track the issue down or the company itself which hosts this web site. Isn’t it a tech evangelism bug we can then inform the developers to fix this bug in Firefox. But until we reach this point we need a way to get as much as possible feedback.

That’s why a small project which tracked the coverage of banking sites was already created during the Firefox 3 development cycle. But because of the usage of a Wiki page it wasn’t easy to get everything in sync for the public anonymous page and the internal page with contact information. Exactly the same feeling I had in February this year when I started to revise this project as extra work. We sent an email to all the users and asked for their help in testing the upcoming Firefox 3.5 beta3 release. As result users added their results to the public page and/or internal page and synchronizing both pages was up to me. Everybody how knows the wiki style can imagine that this work is hard. And even with a couple of reported results it was a half-day work for me. That’s not the way I wanna go for the release of Firefox 3.5 and hopefully more then 200% incoming messages daily. So we decided to move this project into a web application. This work was done by me and with the help of Murali Mnandigama in the last months. We used PHP and MySQL to setup a small web page which let us track the results very easily. After some iterations the project was released, on May 8th, on the Mozilla QA website and is open for everyone’s feedback now.

For the first time we mainly focus banking and financial sites. That means we have to create a list of major companies around the world so users can run tests against their website. Because we are not able to get all those information on our own we need the help of our great community around the globe which will supply us as much as possible different companies which we will add to the list. All of them will be displayed on the Website Testing results page.

If you find some time please join us and help this project by sharing your knowledge with us, so we can make Firefox 3.5 better as it already is right now. To get the first instructions head over to the project page itself where everything is described in detail.

And not to forget to mention one last important item: Please don’t forget our planned Website Testing testday this Friday on June 5th.