Private Browsing – Unit Testing Area – Places Released & What’s Next?

Hot off the presses arrives my first ‘release’ of the first testing area that I selected back in September. Private Browsing, a feature (to be landing very shortly) obviously needs extensive testing and the area I first selected to work with is, the testing area/component places, or what you know as history and bookmarks. Unlike a typical release, I will be focusing on different testing areas to help contribute towards the success of private browsing, therefore, in my context, a ‘release’, has a different meaning. Each successful testing area builds upon one another so that come late November, I will have developed a testing suite of the areas that need extensive testing. The testing plan can be seen here.

Now, about my first testing area I have completed –

Places Unit Test – Complete / Milestone 0.1 Achieved

Private Browsing Testing Area Private Browsing Unit Test (My Work)
Places Unit Test test_248970_history.js
Visual representation of this testing area – Click Here (older blog post)

To test out the unit test

The unit test must be placed in ‘src/toolkit/components/places/tests/unit

make SOLO_FILE=test_bug248970.js -C objdir/netwerk/test check-one

What I learned through September & October?

  • Mozilla Tree – Structural Layout
  • Unit Testing – How to write a unit test
  • Private Browsing – Functionality, features and usage
  • XPCShell – When it’s used, how it’s used, why it’s used
  • Blocker/Dependency Bugs
  • Patches – How to apply the following patches: #248970 #457110 #458954
  • Building – Clean builds with fresh applied patches
  • Philosophical Question + New Bug: #454752

Community Interaction through September & October

1. Whenever I ran into trouble, I confronted the Mozilla Developer Centre. Majority of the time my answers were addressed there to questions raised. When I could not find an answer to a specific issue, I contacted (2) Ehsan.

2. Ehsan, very kindly without hesitance provided me with the support I needed in jumping into the unfamiliar world of Mozilla. During the first milestone phase we discussed many topics such as: private browsing, patches, places, session store, unit testing, XPCShell testing, chrome browser testing.

3. Of course the friendly help of peers and professors and other Mozilla developers derived from channels on, IRC.

What’s Next?

Next stop —- Session Storage

Work has begun on the next testing area focusing on the chrome-browser unit and browser tests handling session manipulation on-entry – in-between and on-exit of private browsing sessions. This testing will be complete shortly as of next week due to the following:

As of recently it has arisen that work on the testing areas needs to be completed sooner then expected as Mozilla is on a completely different schedule than mine – which is of the norm. This fact is something I have come to accept and learn. Thank you Dave Humphrey for helping me consult the fact. Private Browsing is to be landing shortly into Mozilla Firefox and that is awesome, I love working on new technology and software that people will actually be using, and to help contribute towards it is brilliant. Selecting this project, I honestly had no idea that the feature was being worked on to be included so quickly – but that is 100% OK. Testing is never complete and there are similar and many other areas where testing is needed, which is perfect!

So my next ‘release’ will contain my next testing area and testing of another Mozilla area that does not need immediate completion so that I can in essence, take it easy, I have four other courses! I would have enjoyed working more on private browsing but it is nearly ready to be used by you and I (if you’re wondering, some other testing areas were already written by my mozilla contact).

Anyhow, keep up with the information in #248970 & – private browsing is nearly ready!

PS: Need more contributors for private browsing, visit my wiki contribution page or ask for help on IRC (AaronMT)

Cheers, see you guys @ FSOSS


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