Mega status update

I’m terrible at remembering to send out regular status updates, so here’s a belated list of things I’ve been up to recently in Firefox-land…

* CrashKill. We’ve been making a big push to reduce Firefox crashes. I’ve largely been working with 3rd party crashes (eg bug 519340). Some of these 3rd parties are very responsive and quickly work to resolve the crashes their product is causing, others are… less so. It was surprising to me to find that other software is directly responsible for a huge number of Firefox crashes… Antivirus software, Flash, and malware seem to be the worst.

* Firefox on Tegra. Working on getting Firefox 3.6 running well on Tegra netbooks, and diving into localization issues so we can fully support Windows CE like other platforms.

* Firefox application updater. I mentioned in a previous update that my fix for bug 517102 made the updater 3x faster. I’m working on what should be another big performance and reliability boost in bug 529464.

* Password manager fixes and features. These have been in-flight for a while, but unfortunately didn’t make Firefox 3.6. But I’m pushing to wrap them up in coming weeks and get them into the next release. Notable changes are bug 499417 (refactoring the “master password” code, a first step to bigger changes), bug 499233 (finally killing multiple master password prompts on session restore), bug 465636 (add timestamps to login metadata), and bug 223636 (support automatic login for HTTP Auth).

* Rewriting the Weave’s crypto backend (bug 513798). Last year I rewrote Weave’s crypto code to use NSS (Firefox’s own crypto library) instead of OpenSSL. That’s been working swell, but it’s a binary component, and is a real pain to deal with when making Weave available on other platforms (like all the new mobile devices we’re working with). Dan Witte recently landed JS-Ctypes, which allows JavaScript code to call into native libraries. So now I’m porting the Weave C++ code to JS to take advantage of this.

* Using CSS Transitions in HTML5 video controls (bug 521890). David Baron has added support for the CSS Transitions spec to Firefox trunk, so I took a look at having our HTML5 video controls use this feature. When I implemented the controls for Firefox 3.5, I had to use a pile of JavaScript timers and callbacks to implement the fade and slide effects… CSS Transitions GREATLY simply doing such things. Currently blocked on one issue.

* Performance work. Noticed an issue with Necko not caching protocol handlers well (unknown what the perf impact is yet), looked how often we check perferences at runtime (a LOT, no bug yet), and am starting to look at the impact of all the timers we have firing and how they might be impacting power usage. Also investigating a problem with restoring maximized windows. We inefficiently restore the size, which slows down opening a window on Tegra devices (which generally use maximized windows).

* Got a speedy new Windows 7 desktop, and have been getting it configured and running.

My next big project is finishing up Doorhanger Notifications, which are a critical UI feature for the revamped Firefox 3.7/4.0 themes. Matt Noorenberghe started the implementation this summer as an intern, so I’ll be wrapping that up and making it fit updated designs.


2 thoughts on “Mega status update”

  1. Is there a stand-alone build of tracemonkey with js-ctypes enabled?
    Is the call ‘traced’ by the js-engine?

  2. 3.6 is definitely something to be excited about. What I love about Mozilla is that you all put so much effort into even the tiniest of details.

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