Swarms

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This page describes on-going development effort for a new feature in Firebug. Nothing described on this page is deployed yet. Your comments welcome.

Contents

User Experience: Roles

Of course in many cases the same person may be doing eg the design and testing

Users

Users may install Swarms in one of these ways:

  1. Swarm Tools Menu Item: Firefox > Tools > Swarms
  2. Swarm firebug button: Firebug > Firebug Menu Icon > Swarms
  3. Firebug update info page
  4. Swarm based Firefox extension

Swarm Firefox Tools Menu Item

User picks Firefox > Tools > Swarms. A new Web page opens listing available Swarms. User selects a swarm by clicking on a link, resulting in a new Web page listing the extensions of that Swarm and the testing results. The User may select paid extensions and donate-please extensions. User clicks 'install', optionally pays, and all extensions are downloaded, verified, and installed. (For FF 3.6 reload is needed next).

This use case is expected to be uncommon, but we need it for bootstrap.

Swarm Firebug Button.

User picks Firebug > Firebug Menu Icon > Swarms. The implementation is the Swarm Firefox Tools Menu Item.

Not essential, nice to have.

Firebug Update Info Page

User updates Firebug. The (future) Firebug update page is launched, with links to release notes, documentation, pledge campaign, and swarm list. User picks swarm link and the UX is as for Tools Menu Item.

This should be the primary path for 1.6.

Swarm Based Firefox Extension

User picks a Firefox addon from addons.mozilla.org or other site. The add-on is just the swarm installer wired to launch a particular swarm definition page and auto-install.

This will eventually be the primary path, but until Firebug can install without restart, this path will be clunky: install, restart, install, restart.

Implementation

The User UX is implemented in the swarm Firefox extension. All of the paths are variations that lead to the swarm-list page. The swarm extension listens for clicks on the links in this page and any pages loaded from it. When it detects a swarm definition page, the install buttons are activated and invoke swarm install.

The swarm extension can be loaded independent of Firebug and thus bootstrap the install of Firebug along with all the other extensions. The Swarm-based Firefox extension implementation simply invokes itself after install; the Firebug update-info page, Firefox menu item, and Firebug button versions open the swarm-list page under supervision of the extension.

The swarm extension is generic and ideally will not depend on Firebug. Its just a multi-extension installer using an HTML page for its specification.

Testers

Testers install Swarm extension, Firebug, and FBTest (how?). In the FBTest window they select the testShell (where?). In the testShell they use file-pickers (TODO) to set up the test:

  1. swarm definition: pick local file or URL?
  2. test list: URL (defaults to the latest Firebug list), (TODO allow added tests)
  3. output template (defaults to a basic template).
  4. output file name (defaults to profile-dir/firebug/template-name.html)

The results of these picks are stored as defaults for the next run (TODO)

Testers then pick "Certified Testing" > "AutoRun"(TODO) or "Install", "Test", "Export". If the results are satisfactory, the tester uploads the output file. Else the tester reports problems somehow.

Implementation

The testing features layer on the swarm extension and FBTest. The testShell is just a web page running in the FBTest window and instrumented by the swarm-install functions. The shell, swarm definition, and output template all rely on specific HTML class or id values which need to be documented (TODO).

Designers

Developers

Personal tools