Starting at Mozilla Messaging

Today is my first day working for Mozilla Messaging. This will be very different to my old job, for starters, I will be working from home (in the UK). However I’m looking forward to it, and I already have lots of things to do. Currently I have on my list:

  • Address Book Reorganisation – Based on some ideas I put together, Joshua has already done a lot of work on actually implementing the first major parts of this. There’s more work on some of the interfaces to do, especially to support writeable LDAP directories. Once I’ve done that, I’ll blog a bit more about what we are doing and why.
  • Password Manager in MailNews – currently, MailNews requires the old “wallet” password manager, this is largely unmaintained code, and we want to move to using toolkit’s password manager. I have already implemented the necessary interfaces in toolkit’s password manager, I now need to work on the required changes to MailNews to complete this.
  • Automatic xpcshell unit testing – in the last few months, we have started adding some basic xpcshell unit tests to MailNews, however the SeaMonkey trunk tinderbox is the only one that runs these tests. We want to get the Thunderbird trunk tinderboxes running them as well, however that requires some issues fixing to do with the way Thunderbird is configured (because it is not a browser).
  • Automatic UI and Performance testing – Additionally we want to expand the capabilities of MailNews to include Mochitests (or something similar) and performance testing. I think these will take some time to set up properly, but I wanted to let you all know we are thinking about them.

Alongside those items, I’ll also be handling most of the “normal” background tasks, e.g. reviews, bug fixes, backend-improvements, helping the community, helping on bug days etc.

There’s lots of work for me to do, so I’d better stop writing the blog and get on with it 😉

SeaMonkey Rlk:0B

A few days ago, I wondered if any of the current “XPCOM objects created/destroyed from static ctor/dtor” warnings were caused by MailNews. A bit of digging later and I filed bug 424677 – nsImapProtocol.cpp had the only warning that came from MailNews; I checked in the fix a few hours ago.

It just so happens that the fix I checked in for the static object was additionally the fix for the last 4 bytes that the Rlk test on the SeaMonkey tinderboxes had been showing for quite a while. This is no where near a major leak fix, and although will still do leak (as per the newer Lk test), it is really satisfying to have at least one of the numbers at zero.

I’d like to note that the main part of reducing Rlk was done by Firefox, who last August, got its Rlk figure down to 0 bytes. Their work on reducing leaks in the core code has helped benefit everyone – I just happened to find the last bit for MailNews/SeaMonkey.

An End and a Beginning

As I start this blog, I have a week left at my current employer, Thales UK (Aerospace). In two week’s time, I will be starting my new job at Mozilla Messaging (yes I’ve got a week’s holiday in between).

For those who don’t know so much about me, here’s a quick resume:

  • I live in Leicester in the United Kingdom.
  • I am a Christian.
  • I left University in 2001 with a First Class degree in Electronic and Software Engineering.
  • Thales has been my employer since then (albeit with different company names).
  • I started hacking on MailNews around the second half of 2004 in my spare-time. Since then I’ve mainly worked on the Address Book, though I’m starting to branch out more now.
  • I am a member of the SeaMonkey council.
  • I am a MailNews peer.

The Mozilla Messaging job mainly came around because of my spare-time work on MailNews. Its an exciting prospect (though not without some nerves as it is a big change for me), and I’m hoping that with the support of the community, the Mozilla Messaging team can bring Thunderbird forward and produce the most useful, enjoyable communications tool possible.

More on what I’m actually doing in a few days…