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Automation Development report – week 36 2013

It looks like since everyone is back from the summer vacations we keep our productivity kinda high over the last couple of weeks. During the last week we finished again a couple of important tasks.


As announced in last weeks report we were going to upgrade our Mozmill continuous integration system to the latest LTS release of Jenkins. That task has been done now, after a full week of observation on our staging instance. Everything looked fine, so Henrik pushed the upgrade to production on Monday. Since then the system hasn’t shown any instability, but gave us a fantastic improvement in terms of memory usage. The mean heap usage dropped from about 1.6 GB to only 800 MB, which is only 50% compared to the formerly usage! Also with other updates for used plugins we were able to close some long outstanding issues.

As requested by Mozilla QA a while ago we were finally able to get our Windows 8.1 enabled and activated for testing. The crashes we have seen here frequently when logging into those machines were really related to the remote desktop service. With a hint from Clint Talbert to use VNC instead (what we actually do already on all the buildbot machines), we were able to stop the crashes by simply using UltraVNC now. Since the tests are getting run on that platform no specific regressions have been observed. So as of now all looks good for a release on Windows 8.1.

Given that the release of Mozmill 2.0 is really close, we started to work on a transition plan, which would allow us to easily flip between Mozmill 1.5 and 2.0 in our mozmill-ci system. To accomplish that we have decided to release mozmill-automation as a package on PyPI from now on. That means the appropriate version will be pre-installed in the mozmill-environment, which the Jenkins jobs are using. A bit of work has to be done on the CI side too, but once that happened we will have a second CI instance, which will run Mozmill 2.0 in parallel to our production system. If all is green we will release 2.0 next week.

Henrik is also working to get the mozmill-l10n tests moved to our production mozmill-ci. As of now those were running on an old Mac Mini located outside the datacenter. All the code it was using was outdated too, so after lots of updates we pushed the changes to staging last week. By next week I will give some more details about it, probably by a separate blog post.

But also on the Gaia front we were able to make some good progress. Dave found the time to finally create a command line interface tool to directly communicate with Gaia via simple commands. You should really check this out!

A big step for us was also the fact that Dave was able to get the Gaia-UI endurance tests landed into the main Mozilla Gaia repository for the v1-train! With that landing the Jenkins instance has been updated to run the tests with nightly builds from the new location now. If you are interested in running those tests on your own, you shouldn’t miss to read the blog post from Rob in how to run the Gaia-UI endurance tests.

In terms of Eideticker Dave also was able to make progress and setup the first working version of the Eideticker CI. Over the curse of the next couple of week it will get further improvements, so we will have a trusted source of test results.

Last but not least Dave also pushed a new version of Marionette Client 0.5.37, which is able to forward command line arguments to the application under test by simply specifying them via –app-arg. That new feature was necessary for us to get failures in B2G desktop better investigated.

Individual Updates

For more granular updates of each individual team member please visit our weekly team etherpad.

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