Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects

Archive for the ‘Status’ Category

Status Reports: Mar 8, 2010

Posted by Dwight Deugo on 2010/03/10



  • Submitted a patch for Bug 303426 that fixes the unresolved issues with the previous patch. The package dropdown menu should now list the packages in the currently selected project, and update when a different project is chosen. The patch also makes sure the default package is listed as "(default package)" rather than a blank line.

Next Steps

  • Look into issues with the NewJavaClassConstructor class. Specifically, address Bug 303581 and several of the TODOs and FIXMEs in the code where possible.


  • Class deadlines and more midterms.



  • Did a little bit of work on my DND implementation.
  • I didn’t get a lot of time over the past week to work on eclipse. I’m allocating some more time towards eclipse later this week.

Next Steps

  • Continue work on DND implementation. I need to refactor the code, and fix some more bugs. I hope to post an updated bug patch within the next week.


  • Other classes



  • Refactored sections of the new Class creation wizards and constructors using the extension point for templates as suggested by Wayne. I am making progress on this but doing this correctly and in a way that will be easy to maintain has been time consuming.

Next Steps

  • Figuring out how to simplify the menus and toolbars.
  • Add further functionality to the Class creation constructor and wizards specifically relating to packages.
  • Make is so the Package field in the Class creation wizard is only displayed if there are packages created in the workspace.


  • None.

Posted in Eclipse4Edu, Status | Leave a Comment »

Thunderbird Update

Posted by wxwoo on 2010/03/10

Some quick updates from the Thunderbird team for weeks starting February 22nd and March 1st. (This is a point-form summary; see https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Students/StatusUpdates for each week’s full report.)

Tim (Bug: Windows 7 overlay icons – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=515907)

  • Wrote a short guide on Mozilla’s patch development process
  • Corrected a few issues related to incorrect usage of data types in his XPCOM component
  • Submitted a patch
  • Investigated test frameworks appropriate for testing his Windows 7 overlay icons implementation – this is tricky because Mozilla has A LOT of test frameworks. It turns out that Tim needed to do mochitests and although these are tests for Thunderbird, they have to be run from Firefox.
  • Plans to submit test cases this week (week of March 8th)

Kefu Zhao (Bug: automatically determine “From” address for “reply to list” – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=461669)

  • Working on retrieving the raw headers of an e-mail (still in-progress)

Wei Xian Woo (Bug: improved session storage and restoration in Thunderbird – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=408338)

  • Received feedback about my first patch from Blake and made the suggested changes
  • Improved some test cases and added a new one
  • Made additional changes to the session store manager to make intentions more clear
  • Submitted revised first patch for review
  • Brainstormed ideas for implementing support for persisting session state for other window types (right now, we only persist session state for the main Thunderbird windows aka the 3-pane windows).

Everyone else

Posted in Status, Thunderbird | Leave a Comment »

Mercurial is still flowing

Posted by Anton Markov on 2010/03/05

In Mercurial land, we’ve made progress in closer integration between bfiles and core Mercurial commands, a tool to “bfilesify” a Mercurial repository, and further work on the caseguard extension. More details below.

Due to various scheduling conflicts, we did not have a status meeting last week. This week the meeting happened on Wednesday at 9pm EST. We’ll be back to Thursdays at 6:30pm EST starting next week.

Chat transcript: https://ucosp.fogbugz.com/default.asp?W38

Status reports for two weeks:

Closer bfiles integration: as I’ve discussed in a previous post, bfiles is an extension to store history of big and binary files outside the repository. Currently ther bfiles extension has its own set of commands: ‘hg bfstatus’ analogous to ‘hg status’, ‘hg bfadd’ analogous to ‘hg add’, etc. We want to integrate them into the core commands like ‘hg status’.

While I spent my time discussing auto-status integration and debating the proper way to do it, Tessa and Wendy made significant progress on auto-put, auto-update, and auto-refresh. We are ready to try using and testing the parts together before making them ready for submission (as individual patches/branches).
[Edit 3/5/2010: removed confusing wording about “combining into a single patch”]

Paul has taken up the torch on a much-needed extension we call ‘bfilesify’ which would take a regular repository and convert it to using bfiles where appropriate. This is an exciting project which should greatly ease the transition to bfiles.

Last but not least, Alex has been polishing up caseguard and improved its performance to the point where the impact on speed from using caseguard is negligible. Caseguard has also become a somewhat regular topic on the mercurial mailing lists – a good indication that it sees real use.

Posted in Mercurial, Status | Leave a Comment »

Status Reports: Mar 1, 2010

Posted by Dwight Deugo on 2010/03/03



  • Worked with Cory on fixing the patch I submitted for Bug 299965 (updating the view when a class is made in the default package of a project with a source folder). He made the fix and submitted the patch.
  • Submitted a patch for Bug 303426 (Class Creation Wizard lists projects in the package selection menu). It fixes the main problem, but is not complete yet.

Next Steps

  • Implement the second step for Bug 303426 so that the list of packages updates when the currently chosen project is changed.
  • Look into highlighting the currently selected item from the dropdown list.


  • None.



  • Assisted Brenda on hiding package references (Bug 299965). I think we figured out the refresh issue, and I posted a new patch fixing that.
  • Started work on the drag and drop feature (Bug 299878). Submitted a first-pass patch towards this feature.
  • I dedicated a fair bit of hours to eclipse this past week as I had a break in my other classes; I’m expecting my next week or so will be dedicated to those classes instead – as usual I get plenty of new assignments at the last minute.

Next Steps

  • Continue work on drag and drop.
  • Look into small things as they arise.


  • Other classes



  • Refactored sections of the new Class creation wizards and constructors.
  • Moved more of the customizability of the wizards and constructor to the templates so that the templates along with a template specific action really drive all of the differences between templates in the rest of the classes.

Next Steps

  • Mostly the same as my last report.
  • Add further functionality to the Class creation constructor and wizards specifically relating to packages.
  • Make is so the Package field in the Class creation wizard is only displayed if there are packages created in the workspace.
  • I would really like to start spending some time on figuring out how to simplify the menus and toolbars. This is such a big problem with the plug-in that it would be nice to get this fixed by the end of the semester.


  • No real roadblocks.
  • I guess I would love to get some higher level feedback on the refactoring that has been done to the new Class constructor and wizards. Thoughts about the way things are fitting together, other possible designs, as well as what kinds of issues to be aware of when writing this kind of code would be educational.

Posted in Eclipse4Edu, Status | Leave a Comment »

Veronica’s Midterm Report

Posted by Veronica on 2010/03/02

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the term. Congratulations to all the progress you’ve made, everyone!

Initial expectations:

  • Apply what I’ve learned from courses and work. Check.
  • Explore techniques that I haven’t had the chance to practice at work. E.g. Personas, but that’s on the back-burner.
  • Collaborate closely with the developers. See below.

What’s going well:

  • I think the code sprint at the beginning of the term has been invaluable in terms of motivation. There’s the immediate reward of sitting together and hammering through a bunch of tickets, but there’s also a psychological byproduct of meeting everyone who you’re going to work with and won’t be seeing for the next few months. Being able to put a face to a name helps motivate me to push out a mockup because I know a person is waiting on me. There’s accountability, sort of like a hard deadline vs. soft deadline?
  • From a development standpoint, I don’t think I’ve learned anything new as of yet, but the experience is certainly reinforcing everything I’ve accumulated from PEY/school/freelancing:
    • Practices from work/school: wireframe/prototype, annotate, pass to developers, discuss–rinse and repeat.
    • Collaboration is difficult; especially when you’re not occupying the same space or time as your team.
    • Communication is difficult: mailing lists, IRCs, IMs… Everyone has their preferred method of communication which fits into their respective workflow, but it doesn’t always play nicely with others.

The challenges:

  • Having a 9-5 full-time job restricts the timeframe in which I can work on Basie. Weekly meetings are on Tuesday, and while everyone else is chipping away at the project throughout the week, I can only find the time to sit down and think things through on the weekends. I try to keep on top of questions on the mailing list during the week, but I’d love to be able to ride the same wave as everyone else.
  • At the beginning of the term, I had planned on blogging my progress. But between mocking up features and answering questions, writing about what I’m doing seems less important than actually doing it.
  • Collaboration with teammates is difficult, and the challenge is two folds:
    • With teammates in different parts of Canada, we can only communicate online, and that limits the means in which we can effectively work together. I can’t sketch, or make gestures, or talk and point–there’re tools that try to simulate the experience, but it’s cumbersome. It’s difficult enough to find time to meet with people in the same university, but factor in time-zones and physical distance, it just makes sense to work independently.
    • I’d love to be able to bounce ideas off another user experience designer who understands the context of the system. I’m falling back on experience, posing questions during meetings, and the occasional chats with Victoria (from MarkUs) and people at work, but sanity checks with someone who knows the project and who has that sort of thinking would be awesome.

Next steps

Overall, I think I’m still on track with the work even though I’ve been mostly reactive (to questions and tickets) as opposed to being ahead of the curve. What I’d like to accomplish before the end of the term:

  • Aside from addressing outstanding features (so that we don’t have half-finished items for the next batch of students), I’d like to finish a complete set of wireframes/mockup for the system even if they’re just broad strokes.
  • For the same reason that the ReviewBoard is important for keeping bad code out of the repository, I’d also love to do a style guide so that there’s a set of rules that developers can refer to to streamline the UI for inconsistencies.

Posted in Basie, Status | 1 Comment »

Evan’s Midterm Report

Posted by evanstratford on 2010/03/02

For many of the same reasons raised below, I haven’t been as productive as I had expected; in particular, this has largely resulted from the intersection between front-heavy term workloads and the various bureaucratic demands of graduation/full-time employment.

That said, I finally posted my vCard import patch for review this past week, along with some modifications as suggested by Standard8. This patch involves roughly 800 lines of code in the middle of the complex multi-threaded wonder that is Address Book; it even comes complete with xpcshell-based tests (which pass!) and should hopefully be ready for commit some time within the next two weeks or so.

I’m setting these goals for the next 5-6 weeks:

  • implement vCard export;
  • submit patches for review on at least four separate Address Book bugs (including vCard import/export);
  • commit at least one patch;
  • be available at least 10 hours a week on #maildev and #education;
  • catch up on my weekly status updates.

The first goal is a natural continuation of vCard import; with import/export functionality, I imagine most users will find their vCard-related needs met. The next two goals are meant as a very rough quantity requirement – although quantity and quality do not necessarily correlate, I’d like to have enough of the former to justify four months of part-time development. The final two goals are aimed at personal development; I could definitely benefit from further improvement in communication/collaboration.

Posted in Status, Thunderbird | 1 Comment »

Blake’s Midterm Report

Posted by bwinton on 2010/03/02

As contrasted with some of my students, I’m fairly happy with the amount of coding work they’ve gotten done. I think this is largely because I had more realistic expectations coming in to the course. After 15 years in industry I’ve come to realize that there’s a whole lot more to fixing bugs than fixing the bug, and the other stuff is what takes the time. Stuff like figuring out what’s going wrong, and how the code fits together, writing tests, getting it reviewed, fixing the things the reviewer points out, getting it committed, and (hopefully) writing up their weekly status reports.

So, yeah, most of the students seem on track to get their bugs committed by the end of the term, and I’m pretty happy with that. The only thing I could ask for is more communication. Even though I’ve been getting more email and seeing more questions in IRC recently, I would also like to see some blog posts so that other people can take advantage of the things the current crop of students are learning.

Posted in Status, Thunderbird | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Wendy’s Midterm report

Posted by q6yang on 2010/03/01

It has been a very good learning experience for me to work with Mercurial team so far.

What I learned:

To be honest, I had no experience in python coding or Mercurial at the beginning of the semester.  I was terrified that I had no idea how to start my worm-up project tagmerge extension at the code sprint. Thankfully, Benjamin was really patient with me and guided me where to start off.  After couple of weeks working on tagmerge, I become comfortable with python and familiar with some mercurial libraries.

Same as many other members on the team, this is also my first experience working on an open-source project. In my co-op experience, I usually only discuss issues with my supervisor or co-workers.  Issues are only discovered during the QA process. When doing development in Mercurial, we have to handle both development and do our best to cover all the test cases. It is very important to discuss issues we encountered through mailing list or IRC instead of just with only supervisor or co-workers, because other developers may identify scenarios I missed or give me ideas on how to implement some features.  All these suggestions are very helpful for my work and my own development.

What I work on:

We each started with a warm-up project to get familiar with Mercurial. I worked on tagmerge extension to merge hg tags. I successfully finished the development and testing and announced it a few weeks ago. However, I still need to work on some improvement before get it published.

The team is currently focused on bfiles extension now. Three of us from UW are working on integration of some bfiles commands. As everyone else mentioned, we are a bit slow due to the midterm period. I had my part of design set, and hopefully, will finish the draft by this week.

Overall, I think I’m doing good so far. I’ve learned a lot from my projects, keeped up with weekly reports, meetings and tried to join discussions on mailing lists. However, I always started real working from Monday, which leaves me less time to get reviews of my code before the Thursday meeting. For the rest of the semester, I will improve my time management and try to contribute more of my work to Mercurial.  I’m excited about the challenges ahead.

Posted in Mercurial, Status | 1 Comment »

Dwight’s Midterm Report

Posted by Dwight Deugo on 2010/03/01

This term’s version of IDE4EDU is much the same as last terms. The output of our three students (Brenda, Cory and Miles) has been comparable to last term’s effort and Wayne and I are happy with their consistent progress. On the communication side, there has not been as much online traffic as last term, but that has not seemed to prevent the group from moving forward.

Like last term, the main issue IDE4EDU faces is the action of committing code. Since IDE4EDU is a “real” Eclipse project and must adhere to the Eclipse project rules, committer status is not given from the start to anyone wishing to work with the project. That right has to be earned and takes time, which is longer that one term. Therefore students submit patches through Bugizilla and must wait to have the patched added or rejected in or from the build. Wayne and I are working on being as reactive as we can to new patches, but we know the reviews can be slow. I think this is more of an artifact of working on a worldwide open source project that is part of a large foundation, rather than a closed project that will be put into the open source space.

Again like last term, those wanting to develop for Eclipse need to build up some inertia with the environment. Since there are so many things to know, Wayne and I rely on people asking for help with what they don’t know so we can direct them rather than sprinkling information everywhere. In hindsight, a more directed approach would have been useful and a longer training session at the orientation would have helped.

Our expectations are for the students to continue performing as they have in the past and keeping up active communication with all involved.

Posted in Eclipse4Edu, Status | 1 Comment »

Marcel’s Midterm Report

Posted by marcelguzman on 2010/03/01

I have to say I’m disappointed with my progress so far – not so much in terms of understanding the code and bug fixing, but more in terms of turning my lines working code into accepted patches (and all the communication and time management that goes along with that).

Toronto was a great opportunity to learn about the deep inner workings of the Mozilla codebase (an opportunity which, considering the size and scope of the code, was invaluable). I’ve been able to build on the understanding gained there to learn about the areas of code that I’ll be working in. The only difficulty I have is when I’m stepping through huge uncommented functions that call deep into Mozilla’s low-level libraries, but IRC is a great resource for things like that, thankfully!

As mentioned, I’ve got a decent amount of code written (2 fully written patches, feature-wise, and finishing off a third). Mozilla’s strict (and excellent :)) quality standards prevent me from actually getting these patches in the source tree, however, as I also need to write tests, which means a significant time investment online reading about how these tests work and talking to people on IRC about how they work. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk about this yet as I’ve mostly been working on transit, offline.

I’m going to focus on getting these patches in the source tree ASAP. Ad-hoc work “when I feel like it” is obviously not working, especially since I’ve been bad with status reports and blogging. I’m going to have to treat this more like a job and less like a hobby/personal project whose sole purpose is fun/learning. Of course, I’m still going to have fun and learn a lot, but I need to get my act together and commit to my responsibilities as well. I’m pretty confident I can turn this around and be highly productive by the end of the term, and beyond, as I also really enjoy working with Thunderbird!

Posted in Status, Thunderbird | 1 Comment »