Nightly Tester Tools 3.2.2 released

The Nightly Tester Tools extension for Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and Songbird is one of the most important extensions for our nightly testing community. It offers helpful features like customizing the title bar, retrieving the current build id, testing the crash behavior, and others. For a long time exactly since early January no new version has been released. The reason was that the maintainer hasn’t had that much time anymore to drive the project. Given the importance and our own usage of the extension, the Automation Services team has requested to take over the ownership and to maintain the extension in the future. That happened on Feb 6th and since that day a lot of work happened across the whole project to get the story of the extension continued. Today we can be proud because Nightly Tester Tools 3.2.2 has been released with a couple of bug fixes, users will be excited about. A special thank you goes to Szabolcs Hubai for his tireless efforts in fixing the recent title bar customization bugs, to Tony Mechelynck for temporary maintaining the extension, and all the other contributors who helped us to get the new version out.

So what has been done for version 3.2.2?

  • The title bar customization code for Thunderbird was broken due to changes in the application itself. Our code has been adapted so that you can customize the title again.
  • You can now customize the title bar by excluding the application name. Just select the ‘${TabTitle}’ in the Customize Titlebar dialog.
  • The pushlog feature has been extended to also cover the Aurora builds and let you see all the check-ins happened between your last and currently used Aurora version.
  • Binary components from the Crashme extension have been added to avoid broken releases like 3.2.
  • A reorganization of the whole repository happened to allow us in conjunction with the build script to easily build and deploy the extension.

If you are interested in all the details then check the complete list of fixed issues.

There is a lot more we want to work on in the next couple of weeks. First we want to ensure to fix known bugs before implementing new features. So if you are interested to help, contact us or inspect the list of issues on Github and get started. If you are new to extension development check for issues marked with the mentored label, which are easier to fix.

MemChaser 0.2.1 released

Yesterday a new version of MemChaser has been released. It was necessary due to the implementation of the new Garbage Collector API, which has been landed on Thursday for Firefox 14. Beside the new observers which report about CC/GC activity some of the console message keys have also been changed. That broke our parsing of values and MemChaser was not able to report any GC information.

Version 0.2.1 is a bug fix release and only contains the above mentioned fix. If you are interested in more information check our issue tracker.

There is a lot of work currently happening on version 0.3 which will also get support for the new GC API and will report way more information to the log file. Expect this version by end of March.

If you are interested in helping out with development or testing contact us via our usual channels.

MemChaser 0.2 released

Exactly one month after we have released our initial version of MemChaser, version 0.2 has been made publicly available. You can install the add-on as usual from addons.mozilla.org or if it is already installed, simply check for updates within the Add-ons Manager.

A couple of subtle changes have been made which will give a better experience for users. So we have combined the formerly two widgets in the Add-on bar into a single one to prevent other extensions from inserting their widgets in-between. At the same time the width has been reduced to not waste too much space (keep in mind that we are still blocked on a SDK bug which doesn’t let the widget size adapt to the content length dynamically).

Given the recent landing of the incremental garbage collector in Nightly builds of Firefox we had to do some extra unplanned updates to support this new feature. When you are running a Nightly build and an incremental GC happens, the ‘GC‘ label will be replaced with ‘iGC‘.

Further we have improved the parsing of the GC/CC console messages to allow us to add more interested entries dynamically. So this time we have added the reason and type (global or compartmental) for a GC, and the number of collected entries from the cycle collector. All three will be written together with all the other data to the log file and are not visible in the add-on bar.

As reported by an user MemChaser v0.1.1 was affected by some memory leaks which were caused by the Add-on SDK 1.4. Given the tireless efforts of the SDK devs nearly all of those leaks (except for widgets) have been fixed in version 1.5, which has been recently released and is now used by MemChaser 0.2.

Beside all those visible changes we also made some improvements to our development process. So we have added the Add-on SDK as a submodule to our own repository on Github. Also to get more traction we made the decision to move the MemChaser repository to the Mozilla account. And last but not least we implemented the Travis CI integration to get our code automatically tested with each check-in.

If you are interested in further information about the changes feel free to check our list of issues for 0.2.

We would also like to welcome everyone who has interests to help us with coding, ui work, or documentation. There are a lot of features we want to implement and need talented people for. Stop by on one of our channels and get in contact with us.