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Barbara’s Portland Ascend Project Blog

Blog posts by Barbara Miller

    Last Week

    17 Oct 2014 »

    I began the week still waiting for feedback on my second and third patch submissions. Comments arrived for both Tuesday morning, just in time to compete with my final presentation preparation. This morning I received feedback on my latest submission for the second bug, and oddly enough, it gave me the ending I needed for my presentation—thanks, Andrei!

    After an hour of technical delays (even Mozilla has trouble with streaming, not just small local non-profits), today’s presentations began, and everybody again rose wonderfully to the occasion. Today’s should be posted at air mozilla in the next couple of days.

    This may be my last post here, but you can follow my further adventures and find a variety of ways to contact me at my web site.

    Week 5

    10 Oct 2014 »

    It’s already Friday?!?

    We had a great day, Tuesday-ish, learning presentation tools with Dia Bondi (I probably haven’t gotten her name quite right).

    I’m waiting to hear more on my second patch submission, and I made a third today that I should probably revise a bit, since it splits one file into two new ones, and the patch properly shows only the two new added files.

    I aspire to get going on an OPW application this weekend…

    first bug landed! and other week 4 notes

    03 Oct 2014 »

    My first bug landed!

    Earlier this week, we enjoyed great talks by Marina Zhurakhinskaya about Gnome’s Outreach Program and by Lars Lohn about Firefox crash reporting and analysis, based on his Open Source Bridge talk, When Firefox Faceplants—what the fox says and who is listening.

    And I found out a lot more about the Outreach Program, on IRC, #opw on, many thanks to mvolz and fhocutt!

    curious bugs

    24 Sep 2014 »

    update 2014-10-03: first bug patch landed! for Bug 1069325

    additional mozmill (testing) bugs

    …because I’ve already been looking at this code, feels manageable

    Bug 1000832 - Update “notification_popup” case in LocationBar.getElements() methods to get the specific notifications

    Bug 661245 - Handle errors when gathering metrics

    release engineering

    …because fixing this bug is pretty clearly useful, and requires both python and bash scripting

    Bug 1004617 - should also update bug status once they are in production


    more documentation than coding? Bug 1011091 - New test website (for


    …because I’d like to know more about how this works.

    but! someone else has submitted a patch that’s under review… Bug 1003731 - Remove transliteration

    someone’s interested in this one, though already working on another bug… Bug 974259 - Consolidate PluralForm and GetStringFromName into a single function for convenience in pluralization


    …because it’s an interesting new project, and I’d like to see who else has tried remixing the same one I’ve remixed.

    someone’s requested assignment, back in June… Bug 891923 - Expose all remixes in make details

    week two

    19 Sep 2014 »

    This week we got a local fork of the web site running on our machines, and we’ve tested, and tested some more, after a challenging install or two.

    I’ve written a quick tutorial on using MozTrap to do manual testing.

    how to moztrap

    Thursday afternoon ended with automated mozmill Firefox testing, and flying Firefox windows!

    My test results:

    created using this test command…

    testrun_functional --report= /Applications/

    how to moztrap

    17 Sep 2014 »

    finding and running MozTrap tests for the Firefox web browser

    MozTrap home

    on your mark

    1. Go to
    2. Sign in with your Persona account (it’s a small text link towards the right).
    3. Click Run Tests.

    get set: find a test suite to run

    finding a MozTrap test suite to run

    1. On the next page, select from Products “Desktop Firefox”.
    2. Select from Versions the version you will test… Nightly will be latest, at the end of the list (35 as of 2014-09-17), preceded by Aurora (currently 34), preceded by Beta (currently 33), preceded by the current release (currently 32).
    3. Select from Runs a test to run. (Sometimes, there’ll be no tests listed, when no tests are set up for the version you’ve selected. Return to step 5 to choose another version to test).
    4. Set your Build value. You can find this by opening about:config in a new tab or window (be sure to do this in the Firefox version you are testing, which may or may not be the version where you’re using MozTrap). You’ll probably see a warning: “This might void your warranty!”; click “I’ll be careful, I promise!” Now search for “buildid”. You’ll see several items that have the same value, beginning with the current year. Double click any of those items to open an edit window, then copy the Build value. Click “Cancel” to close the edit window. Return to your MozTrap window, and paste the Build value in its box.
    5. Set your Operating System (for us Portland Ascenders, OS X 10.9, or OS X 10.8 if 10.9 is missing) and Platform (OS X) from the dropdown menus.
    6. Click the green “run tests in …” button.

    go! run a test

    run a MozTrap test

    1. On the next page, in the list of tests available in your selection, click the little arrow button at the left end of a test line to show its detailed steps.
    2. For each step in a test, you can report a failure with the pink button to the left. Reporting a failed step marks the whole test as failed.
    3. If the test overall is unclear or otherwise invalid, you can report this using the yellow warning button.
    4. If all the steps pass, click on the green PASS TEST button.
    5. If there are additional tests in the test suite, you can start again from step 1.

    need help?

    Check #qa on irc, at

    get a badge!


    claim the MozTrapper badge

    end of the first week

    12 Sep 2014 »

    A poem I came across earlier this week reminded me of why I’m participating in ascend and what I love about it. I’ve begun a Webmaker Thimble make using this poem.

    first day at ascend project

    08 Sep 2014 »

    I had a great day meeting all the Portland participants and learning about my and their strengths, but not any of our technical strengths. We are all welcome here, and all have many strengths to offer, whatever our particular technical skills.

    What a wonderful change from those old computer science classes!