Toronto meetings October 27/28

Patrick Cloke patrick at
Sat Nov 14 23:51:08 UTC 2015

On 11/14/2015 10:46 AM, Wayne Mery (Thunderbird QA) wrote:
> On October 27/28 Kent, Patrick and I ventured to Toronto (on our own
> dime) for meetings with various folks at the Mozilla offices.  Much was
> accomplished in just 1.5 business days. The following is a high level
> outline.
> We met with key people on the releng team, rail (Rail Alliev) and catlee
> (Chris Atlee), in a wide ranging discussion of near term and future
> needs.  releng is the critical team that helps keep Thunderbird building
> and shipping, and is the one team in Mozilla Corporation with  an
> explicit mandate to support Thunderbird and they do a great job for us.
>  Patrick took great notes which I expect he will post.

We had a great discussion with rail & catlee, I'll try to summarize it

First, the phrase that was used to describe release engineering's
tasking for this was "keeping the lights on" for Thunderbird releases,
i.e. ensuring that releases for Thunderbird CAN be made. This does NOT
include any new features or any Thunderbird specific features. Whenever
they have asked their management about this though, the answer has
always come back to ensure that Thunderbird is still important!

In particular, this means that bustages in the rel. eng. infrastructure
that are comm-central only fall very low in the priority to be fixed.
When trying to fix these issues, we should ensure to ping people (via CC
on bugs, IRC or email) when we need help: the current rel. eng. team is
unable to handle the influx of new bugs filed and may not see them all.

The last bit we discussed was hiring someone specifically to help TB's
build issues. Rel. eng. would be willing to put in effort mentoring
someone and would expect 1 - 2 months before they're productive. This
person should be focused on updating/upgrading the TB build processes to
keep up with Fx. catlee does not know anyone who could fill this role,
as he'd have hired him already for rel. eng.

Finally, some technical discussion is summarized:

* TaskCluster is replacing BuildBot
* Rel. eng. does not have the time / personnel to update Thunderbird to
use TaskCluster
* Can start experimenting with TaskCluster for Thunderbird for Linux

* Wraps Make/Mach/etc. to run the actual builds on Mozilla infrastructure
* Essentially moves the BuildBot configuration in-tree

SHA-1 signing:
* Starting in January, SHA-1 will no longer work on Windows (and maybe
Mac?); but Windows XP < SP-3 and some Windows Vista versions don't
support SHA-2
* Hopefully the build system will Just Work™ for Thunderbird, but no
* Also need to worry about downloading of binaries, i.e. browsers that
only support SHA-1 certificates need to be redirected to a different
site for downloading

* Balrog is used to control when/what updates are available for each
tree (central/aurora/beta/release)
* Someone on TB should have access to balrog
* Generally when we need to change if updates are available we should
file bugs (not ping people on IRC like I did last time, oops...)

This is a rough transcription of my notes, please let me know if I said
something that sounds completely wrong or you'd like more information
and I'll see if I can flesh out some details for you!


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