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Well.. After using cls’s demo as a starting point I’ve built up the tinderbox front end to look like my original designs release way back. Except now it’s not using json but is generated using Perl code directly in Here’s the work:


It looks good in elinks too (mind you there is no color though) so I’m hoping with a few more tweaks the changes will be close to done.

Though I’d still like to see a few more things added to the front page while I have it in my possession. For example, I’d like to add a link to log files generated during builds as well. The current setup of the front page also overwrites the existing showbuilds.cgi default. I’m not sure if this is a good idea up front because people may not want or may not be expecting a front page change.. Therefore I’m assuming putting a link from showbuilds.cgi to the new front page may be a better idea until the page is better adopted by the public.

This release also uses some CSS!  Therefore users will be able to craft their own stylesheets to  make tinderbox look as they please…


After a good 5 hours online with Rob Helmer I finally figured it out. I got Tinderbox working locally on my Ubuntu computer. The main pitfalls were finding which packages were needed to get the install actually working correctly. Afterwards, there were a few files that I needed to manually copy over by hand (thanks to broken makefiles) and it was golden.

I’ll post up a complete guide when I get the time to do so, otherwise anyone is welcome to come to me with questions. Note that I only got Bonsai (which is another required program) working just enough to get by.. So I won’t be of much help in that area.

Well, my tinderbox presentation on Friday went nice and smoothly. The class seemed to understand the project well and didn’t have too many questions. Despite my lack of contribution ideas I was presented with some good ones by Chris Tyler.

The main stumbling point for my project right now is getting a running instance of tinderbox on my home machine. This will allow me to test my new code that I’m trying to contribute to tinderbox that will make my front page possible. So far it’s been quite a challenge. The contribution idea was if anyone wanted to try their hand at setting up a Bonsai server or Tinderbox server then that would be greatly appreciated.

Well, unlike my previous release there are no flashy screen shots this time I’m afraid. The release for me this time was hacking away at the tinderbox Perl code *shudder*.

<tangent>I grew up on PHP and Perl is radically different to me. Never really taking the proper time to learn Perl seems to be a mistake at this point. Although, this past release I’ve revisited Perl with a trusty reference book by my side and realized its power yet again… Which would be files</tangent>

The idea with this release was to get a simple JSON listing for all tinderbox trees. In layman’s terms: Figure out how to get Perl to output something called JSON (A markup style for JavaScript) for all the build projects that Mozilla has. Well, lucky for me a JSON output method existed already. But it was full of overly detailed information that was not needed, and this was where I came in.

During my last release (which was turned down) there was concern expressed in the amount of server requests and processing time required to generate the relatively complex index page. Therefore, by trimming the “fat” out I’m hoping to speed things up.

Note that installing and running your own tinderbox is a monumental challenge (As is stated in the INSTALL file) and I never actually got it working.. at least yet.. (Needs bonsai as well, which is another challenge in itself) Therefore testing was not preformed.

The hardest part was probably just learning what all the code really did as I knew what I needed was there, somewhere. This also saved me from re-inventing the wheel and getting slapped on the wrist in a code review…

I’m interested to see how this one turns out. Let the fun begin 🙂

Patch can be seen here

Well, with a lot of help from the Mozilla community and especially Rob Helmer I’ve finally got a 0.1 to show for it. Its a index page for Tinderbox for those of you who don’t know. Here’s a screen shot snippet:

Tinderbox 0.1 Release

You can find the full screenshot and files at Bug #366784 for viewing / downloading. Now, it’s not exactly beautiful code and I had to make some compromises in terms of code flexebility.. but its here none the less. Nothing that can’t be “cleaned” later.

Well, its actually been submitted for review! So soon you might even see this as the default tinderbox index. (Which I find quite cool) To be able to see your work actually fit into the grand scheme of things like this gives me a good feeling. Like I’ve actually done something worthwhile. 🙂

Feedback always welcome!

Well, I’ve been in contact with Rob Helmer about redoing (or should I just say DOING) an index.html page for the server. As it sits right now tinderbox redirects your to showbuilds.cgi which is a huge and ugly list of trees available for viewing..

What the new index page will provide is a user friendly look at these trees that is useful to the developers using them. Bug 366784 deals with the topic talked about and has the following example by Rob Helmer:

Example Tinderbox layout

This example will be expanded and consist of multiple rows and columns showing tinderbox check in information much more pleasantly. I’ll go about building this page using panels that each trees generates dynamically, probably using iFrames or the like. Ideas are welcome for iFrame alternatives or server performance ideas.. (since this page will be pulling quite some info)