Mozmill status and goals for 2009

As a couple of you already know Mozilla QA runs its own set of automated functional tests which are separated from the tests in the automated test suite. The main goal for us is to shorten the test duration for manual functional tests so those tests will be run more often. There are Smoketests, BFT’s (basic functional tests), and FFT (full functional tests) available on Litmus which get partly run by QA during release testing or at any time by contributors. Given the fact that all those tests need a lot of time to execute manually, we are working on getting most of those tests automated.

There is a question which I get asked very often from developers: “Why do we need Mozmill tests when we already have a suite of automated tests available?” The clear answer is that those tests are used to simulate user actions on UI elements the same way as when a user would sit in-front of the computer. That means that for example clicks on hidden or disabled elements shouldn’t trigger the execution of the underlying command. That’s the difference to Mochitests which always trigger the command when the synthesizeMouse function is used to click on an element. Another really helpful feature is the capability to run restart tests of any sort. That’s not possible with the existing test harnesses which makes Mozmill test unique.

Seeing the importance of those tests we want to have a full suite of BFT tests for Mozmill by end of Q2 in 2010. The total number of 196 doable tests, except the ones which require OS level interaction, would allow us to run 82% of the tests automated. At the moment 65 of the tests have been already finished and can be run with Mozmill against builds from the 1.9.1 and 1.9.2 branch. For detailed information about the current state and actual work please check the Google spreadsheet.

To get more tests automated the following goals have been set by the QA execution team for Q4 in 2009:

  • Firefox 3.6 will be released this quarter. To enhance our testing we want to automate all of the tests in 4 BFT subgroups prioritized as P1. In general these subgroups are: Awesomebar, Add-ons Manager, Download-Manager, and Tabbed Browsing. This will incite us to write the next 40 tests. A list of all available subgroups and their prioritization can be found in the Feature Ownership document.
  • For us who are working on release testing, software update tests have to be performed for the betatest, beta, releasetest, and release channels. Given the manual work which have to be performed here automation will help a lot. I will finalize my software update tests so they can be run by everyone.
  • Running Mozmill tests you will get results reported in the terminal. Even with the integrated capability to send those reports to a server we don’t have a web frontend to display those results. We want to use Brastacks to visualize Mozmill results similar to the Fennec test results. This work will be a joined effort with Testdev.

If anyone is interested in helping us to write or maintain Mozmill tests you can read more about it in the test creation tutorial or simply join us on IRC and get in contact with whimboo or aakashd. But you can also send me a mail or comment on this blog post. Thanks!