11 May 2013

First Week Back

This week marks the first week of my full time employment at CDOT. I'll be getting to work on Mozilla projects all year long! Yayyyy.

I was off last week which was really good since it's been non-stop for me pretty much since the beginning of school last September. The only downside was that when I got back this week it was really slow going. This is the most unproductive I've felt in a while—not that I didn't get anything done this week. It's just that I got back to work, sat down to get some bugs updated/fixed and write some WEBVTT code, and ... I forgot everything. My brain felt sluggish—what is the proper way to malloc a pointer-to-a-pointer in C again? Typical programmer forgetting everything they've ever done.

The week kicked off with an orientation day at CDOT which pretty much took all day. This ended around 3:00 pm when we got to set up our physical work stations at our new desks (I'm not in a glass cage anymore where people can point and laugh at the programmer!). I get to work on a beastly new Linux box that can build Mozilla-Central from scratch in ~10 minutes and a sleek looking new 15 inch Macbook Pro, so my work output won't be as constrained by build times now :). Then on Tuesday I set up my build environment; downloading all the necessary packages, dependencies, software-dev tools, and repos. So it was only really until Wednesday when I got to sit down and look at some actual code and bugs. This is when I realized how much I had forgotten about during my break. That was pretty much all of Wednesday gone! :( However, I'm happy to say that as of today I'm back in commission and ready to churn out code like no tomorrow.

We also got two new people on the Mozilla team! Ali and Igor welcome to the team :). I've been helping them with the few questions they've had about things like Git, Bugzilla, IRC, etc. I'm really impressed at how fast they are picking everything up though. They've even fixed there very first bugs. Awesome!

The main things that I was able to get done this week was to implement the <lang> tag, a new part of the spec that was snuck in when we weren't looking. This entailed adding a new stringlist pop function and new tests to go along with it. I also wanted to refactor the code a bit as the <lang> tag introduces some complexities that make the solution kind of a hack at this point. We haven't fully refactored it and I think we won't until after we get back from Taiwan as we'd like to focus our attention on getting WEBVTT landed in Nightly so we have something to show for it. We're almost to that point. Ralph will be hopefully landing bug 833385 on Monday, bug 833382 will follow quickly, and then we need to land WEBVTT 0.5 in Firefox to and we should be good to go. I also addressed most of the review comments on bug 833382. I've yet to post a WIP because I still have one more thing left to address. It's sitting over on integration right now though if you want to check it out. Final thing I worked on code-wise was trying to reproduce a sec-critical bug. I have to run an ASan (Address Sanitizer) build of Firefox for it. I'm still working on that currently and will be back with more updates next week.

Oh yeah. I'm going to Taiwan! Ralph was kind enough to invite Caitlin and I to the Web Rendering Work Week out in Taiwan this year and Mozilla was kind enough to allow us to attend! We'll be leaving Friday the 17 and coming back Saturday the 26. It's going to be awesome. I'll make sure to tweet and blog a lot while I'm out there.

The other really cool things that happened this week was that I was able to get a glimpse into what's going on with Webmaker at Mozilla as most our team at CDOT is working on it. I might do a little in the future, we will see. We attended an e-meeting and it was awesome to see some of the really cool work that is going on.

Final thing that happened is that Ralph, Caitlin, Marcuss, and I set up a meeting time on Fridays after the Webmaker meeting. We had our first today and it was super beneficial to me. I was feeling slightly lost this week in terms of the WEBVTT project and the meeting really helped me refocus and see what our immediate goals should be.

Until next time.

- Tagged in mozilla and open-source.

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Wow coding Copyleft Richard Eyre 2013

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