Potential Projects

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This is a list of potential projects that need people.

Students: If you'd like to work on one of these, move the chosen project to the Project List and create a page for your work based on the Sample Project template.

Open Source Community Members: We welcome your recommendations for potential projects. Please create an account on this Wiki and create a description for your proposed project below. Please list your contact info (just an IRC or FAS2 name is OK) as well as links to any related web pages as Resources for the proposed project. (Questions? Ask Chris Tyler or David Humphrey).

SBR600 Potential Projects

For possible projects for the SBR600 Software Build and Release Course, lease see the SBR600 Potential Projects page.

Potential Eclipse WTP Projects

See the list of potential bugs here.

Potential Mozilla Projects

Sample Project

This is a sample project stub. You can use the template for Sample Project in order to create a project page for one of the stubs below. This is how you 'sign-up' for a project.

NOTE: if someone has already created the project page, speak to this person and see if you can join them. If so, simply add your name to the Project Leader(s) page. Otherwise, you can become a contributor later.

Improve Localization build system

Currently it requires many many steps to produce another language of Firefox. It would really easy to package these many steps to reduce the required knowledge to generate a new language.

Adding a few make steps to wrap this process would help everyone. This is a very easy project to tackle but very benefitial if the time and love is given to it.

Reference: armenzg

Create a cross-repo pushlog to see all locales's checkins

We currently check many different repositories to trigger builds when a developer makes a change. We also check the localizer's repositories to see if they have pushed any changes. The problem is that we have close to eighty different localization repositories and that takes a long time to check each one of them. If we had a joint view that would improve our systems. An example of that view is: https://l10n-stage-sj.mozilla.org/pushes/ but the format should be more like this: http://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/pushlog which is what our release engineering systems check for. This project would require you to hack hg and pushlog to make it work. armenzg has many blog posts explaining how to setup pushlog in your local machine.

Reference: armenzg - Bug 498641

Thunderbird SMTP Auto-Sensing

Modify Thunderbird so that it uses the correct SMTP server for your current network and IP. In other words, if you are at home, use your home ISP's SMTP, but if you use a school wireless network, switch to the school's SMTP. These various SMTP configurations should be manually controlled by the user, that is, you don't have to try and figure out which SMTP to use. Rather, it should be configurable in an options dialog.

References: #maildev

XULRunner Application Packaging

Help to develop an automated packaging system for XULRunner applications.

Resources: plasticmillion, mfinkle, #mozpad, #prism

'Compact databases' feature for Mozilla calendaring applications (Lightning, Sunbird)

Add the possibility to compact the database for local storage calendars based on SQLite using the VACUUM command. At the moment the local database for events and tasks will not get smaller even if you delete your tasks and events. This has serious performance implications for people, who work a lot with their calendar.

See also Bug 352976

Resources: ctalbert, daniel in #calendar on irc.mozilla.org

Spellcheck Extension for Arbitrary Web Pages

Write an extension to leverage the existing spellcheck code in Mozilla and add the ability to highlight spelling mistakes for a given web page (i.e., vs. a textbox).

Modify Firefox to handle files downloaded to Temp more appropriately

Often files downloaded by the browser are put in a temporary folder that is emptied on close. Users (and especially novice users) should be protected from inadvertent data loss as a result of important files being saved to this temp folder. This project will add fixes to the browser so that users are protected. Ideas include:

  • Make Firefox aware of common productivity file types (e.g., .doc, .pdf) and whitelist these types so they aren't deleted
  • Have office type files download automatically to a documents folder instead of temp
  • Firefox could check the timestamp of such files and delete them only if the timestamp is the same as when it was originally saved by the browser (i.e., has not been edited)
  • Warn the user on closing the browser that files are going to be removed
  • Assuming files still exist on start-up (see above), alert the user that these files are still there (similar to "New Session or Restart Existing?" dialog)
  • Have the browser pop-up a Save As dialog instead of automatically saving to temp, and use a documents path

Other ideas are possible, and a combination of these might be necessary. Ultimately, this fix should target regular users without much knowledge of the filesystem.

Resources: ted, mfinkle

See also: bug 280419 and bug 369108, and code here.

Standalone Test Harnesses

Mozilla uses several systems for automated testing, including Mochitest, Reftest, xpcshell unit tests, and crash tests. Currently, to run these test suites or develop new tests, you need to build your own Firefox with --enable-tests, and run the tests from the object directory. Ideally there would be a standalone package available for download that would let you run these test suites against any Firefox build, to ease development of new tests and allow more people to get involved with automated testing.

Add source checkout to buildbot

Unlike many open source projects, it's not possible to do a CVS checkout and build the code. This is due to the complex module and version combinations necessary to get and build a particular product, for example Firefox. To accomplish this, Mozilla uses client.mk, which provides a set of rules for getting and building the code.

Increasingly, Mozilla is moving toward using the Python based buildbot system for automated builds and tests. It would be good to add a Source class for client.mk checkouts. This would mean creating a a general Source class that understands the idea of checking out a file, and which could then be used to drive the checkout and allow for integration with client.mk.

References: Ben Hearsum (bhearsum), Rob Helmer (rhelmer)

Port the Firefox Release Repackager to other platforms

The Firefox Release Repackager allows one to take a released version of the browser, deconstruct it in order to add some custom extension, then repackage it. This allows organizations to ship slightly modified versions of stock releases, useful for their users. Currently the repackager only works on Mac.

Port this tool to Windows and/or Linux. In order to do this you'll need platform binaries of 7zip, or perhaps you can use P7zip to do a cross platform version. There are other ideas that can be added to this tool as well for making it more flexible.

Resources: mkaply, bsmedberg

gdb symbol server support

Microsoft's debugger allows the use of a symbol server, which it can use to download debugging symbols for programs and libraries. Mozilla provides this for nightly and release builds on Windows, and it's useful for people to debug their crashes locally without having to build a debug build. This functionality doesn't exist for Linux or OS X, where gdb is the debugger. gdb does support loading debug symbols from external files, so it could probably be extended to look for the symbols on a web server first.


  1. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=412722#c5
  2. http://www.linuxcommand.org/man_pages/objcopy1.html (see --add-gnu-debuglink and --only-keep-debug)
  3. http://www.totalviewtech.com/Documentation/Tips/gnu_debuglink.html

Resources: ted, Stan Shebs, Jim Blandy

gdb support for minidumps for post-mortem debugging

Microsoft's debugger allows for loading a minidump produced during a crash and then performing post-mortem debugging. GDB supports using core files for the same purpose. In Firefox 3, we produce minidump files on all of our supported platforms for use with our Breakpad crash reporting system. Sometimes people may want to debug a crash locally using one of these minidumps. On Windows, using the symbol server, they can simply load the minidump in their debugger. Currently there is no equivalent on Linux or Mac. Extending gdb to support loading minidumps for post-mortem debugging would be useful. This project may rely on the gdb symbol server project to be truly useful.


  1. http://code.google.com/p/google-breakpad/source/browse/trunk/src/google_breakpad/common/minidump_format.h
  2. http://www.codeproject.com/KB/debug/postmortemdebug_standalone1.aspx
  3. http://sourceware.org/gdb/current/onlinedocs/gdb_3.html#SEC7
  4. http://sourceware.org/gdb/current/onlinedocs/gdb_9.html#SEC80

Resources: ted, Stan Shebs, Jim Blandy


Make it possible to look for bugs across old nightly builds of Firefox using automated tools. For example, regression-search is a script that allows you to do binary searches across binaries, looking for the existence of a bug. This could be improved through the use of tools like co-scripter. Ideally the user could look for bugs in automated ways, without having to download and install tons of browser versions.

Resources: db48x, ted

Extend Try Server to test Thunderbird patches

"Specifically, Mozilla has a great system called “try servers” where one can submit patches against the tree, and the build system runs builds on Linux, Mac and Windows, using those patches, then serves those builds for testing. This is really helpful to figure out if proposed patches solve specific problems...The only problem is that there’s a little bit of patching needed to the try server code itself to make it able to work with other targets besides Firefox, as described in bug 431375" (Ascher)

Add DTrace probes and scripts for Mozilla code base

DTrace was created by Sun in OpenSolaris to allow developers to write simple scripts in order to probe and instrument executing programs in a way not possible otherwise. One of the advantages of DTrace is that it allows you to turn on probing when you need it, but not incur an execution penalty with regard to performance (i.e., when probes aren't being scripted, they aren't run). This requires developers to add "probes" to their source code. For example, if you wanted to know when a particular function is entered/exited, get info about what happened, etc. you could add probes to the particular function. Writing the probes is not difficult, however there are hundreds or thousands of probes that Mozilla would like across its code base.

Resources: sayrer

Plugin Code Test Suite

Create a plugin test suite. There are currently no tests of any kind, and this code is very brittle and not well understood. This would involve creating a plugin or set of plugins and some html/js to drive that plugin in order to push test coverage. Maybe look at the JRE tests, create some specific plugin cases (e.g., swf to load that tests flash specific code). The newly announced Google Chromium browser seems to have something like this with regard to using the npapi for driving tests via plug-in. See also docs on IPC and plug-in design in Chromium.

This will require C programming, as well as light web development (html, js, perhaps swf).

Resources: jst

Create self-serve symbol upload system

Mozilla has a symbol server which is used by developers to debug issues in release builds that don't include debug information (i.e., symbols). However, many crashes are related to third-party binary plugins or extensions, for which Mozilla has no symbols. This project would create a web-based self-serve solution for third-parties to upload symbols for their binary components in breakpad-formatted .sym file format. Ideally this could happen in an automated way, such that third-parties could add a step to their build system to do it automatically with each release. See bug# 419879.

Resources: ted

Add OpenLayers test suite to Mozilla

Mozilla uses many common JavaScript library test suites to add additional coverage to it's JavaScript implementation. One test suite that is not currently used by Mozilla, but could be, is the OpenLayer's js test suite. See bug# 399311.

Resources: sayrer

Import sqlite test suite

Mozilla uses an embedded version of SQLite extensively to store data such as bookmarks, history, etc. To insure that it runs properly within Mozilla, it would be good to add the entire sqlite test suite to Mozilla's tests, so that testing the browser also means testing sqlite. The sqlite test suite is written in TCL and needs to be ported to JavaScript. Some work has already been done, but more is required to get full test coverage.

References: bug 391756, http://www.0xdeadbeef.com/weblog/?p=368

Resources: sdwilsh

Take : Park,KiWon

Make chromebug work in Thunderbird


Help gristmill move forward in Thunderbird


Help Calendar integration on Trunk


Resources: Fallen

HTML page set sanitizer

The Talos performance testing system at Mozilla currently runs on a large set of web pages pulled from the Alexa Top 500. These pages can't be redistributed, since they're mirrors of copyrighted web pages. In addition, many of them contain adult content. This makes it difficult for people to duplicate the Talos results or to test changes that have an expected performance impact.

A useful solution to this problem would be a tool that takes a mirrored copy of a website and "sanitizes" it, by changing the page text and image contents (making them junk or filler text or something). The caveat here is that this *cannot* change the performance characteristics of the page. For example, taking a page that is all Chinese text and replacing it with "Lorem Ipsum" filler text would cause the page to take different text rendering paths, which would change what is measured. As another example, making all JPEG images solid black would likely make them decode and render much faster. Any solution should have some analysis performed that shows that performance is not significantly altered in the sanitized page set.

Resources: ted (but find someone better!)

3D object picking

Canvas 3D JS Library is a library for the creation and manipulation of 3D scenes in the browser without needing to know much 3D programming. Part of this project is to handle mouse input. This particular project looks at how to perform "picking". That is, when given a coordinate within the canvas, return the 3D object at that location.

Resources: cathy, Andor (http://www.c3dl.org)

Potential OOo Projects

Sample Project

This is a sample project stub. You can use the template for Sample Project in order to create a project page for one of the stubs below. This is how you 'sign-up' for a project.

NOTE: if someone has already created the project page, speak to this person and see if you can join them. If so, simply add your name to the Project Leader(s) page. Otherwise, you can become a contributor later.

Generate an OOo XREF based on Dehydra

Using Dehydra, build OOo and generate an xref in the same way we are indexing for dxr.

TODO: more info....

Resources: humph, taras

Existing Subjects proposed by OpenOffice.org Education Project

FIXME : the projects proposed on the OpenOffice.org Education Project will be adapted to the current section.

Waiting we encourage you to have a look at the OpenOffice.org Education Project Effort page

Other links:

OpenOffice.org Education Project on the Wiki

Ericb 21:05, 26 September 2008 (UTC)