All humors aside… ;(

Hi Everyone,

tl;dr; I’ve messed up majorly and need to revamp the infrastructure; meaning further delaying any hopes of releasing ANYTHING. Blame lies solely on me as I had contracted the serious case of “Thomas the Steam Engine”-itis.

That said, things probably aren’t that bad; I’m just so deep into this hole that I’ve dug the project into, I certainly can’t see the light of day.

Call me, Mole…  Mr. Mole.

— Long Missive —

I have taken up the mantle of the person who will bring bad news. (Could be good news, depending on your point of view, I guess).

But first, a confession.

I screwed up. I admit it. In the past, our old infrastructure’s CI was manageable; just had to fix up some code. But now, things have become untenable as the current build process is completely incompatible with the current CI code and changing the whole backend codebase is requires understanding the current build process (which has changed dramatically since Mozilla moved to using TaskCluster).
(NB: No.. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming Mozilla. Just saying that *I* can’t keep up with their changes, which probably speaks volumes of my competencies and delusional thought process.) So what is needed is revamping the whole CI code to make it work.

That said, since time is of the essence, I’ve consulted with the rest of the guys and we’re moving to Jenkins, since revamping the old CI code would require some hacking at an already Frankenstein-like code, so the technical debt needs to be paid.

Is it the end of the world? No. I’m just particularly unhappy that we’re in this situation; but hindsight is always 20/20. So yes, this means any future releases will depend on getting the whole build process encoded into whatever way Jenkins requires.

Also note that SeaMonkey needs to completely stop relying on Mozilla’s infrastructure (*every single thing*, including this blog, bugzilla… you name it.. we need to be off it) by end of the year.

Anyway, I sincerely apologize for the mess; both to every single one of SeaMonkey’s users (both past and present) and to my fellow devs (again, both past and present).   As part of my defense, last year, I thought (with the delusions of competencies) moving to Azure wouldn’t be that problematic and while I did get a ‘running’ (though not really building) infra, everything went crazy near the end of last year as I had realized the required builds and branches needed new tool chains; and building these toolchains required a lot of time and energy.  At the end… a failed attempt at keeping up to date with the whole build process.

So… the project is at a standstill.

In any event, I would like to thank everyone for their support in the past and continual support and infinite patience as this project continues to climb this steep (or as Richie from “Bottom” would say, “f’ing” vertical) hill/mountain.



NB: In other words… Live and Learn.

17 Responses to All humors aside… ;(

  1. Aw man. 🙁 Don’t give up!

    • Adding my +1 to this:
      Don’t give up.
      Keep up humor because it’ll make it easier.
      As for me, I will wait till your next post, where you let us know you did it 🙂

  2. The massive work you do is appreciated more than you know, by more
    than you imagine. I wish you well in your endeavors. Sure wish I could
    code and help.

  3. Just in case you ever consider an alternative to Jenkins…

    As per may personal experience, TeamCity has way much more to offer. Once they started giving 100 agents for free, there’s little reason in sticking with Jenkins.

    Anyway, it’d be good to take a look at your “final” Jenkins configuration. I’d try to “port” it to TeamCity and/or Travis CI.

    Good luck!

  4. We’re all human, it’s alright!

  5. 1 – Set SeaMonkey up on a Gitlab repo.

    2- Build it against the Unified XUL Platform.

    3 – Profit!

    At least that’s how I would envision the project for the next years. Good luck, folks!

  6. Don’t know squat about the technology but have always loved SeaMonkey because of its speed. When you make it happen, it’ll be great. Good luck.

  7. I have been using Seamonkey since it was released in 2005 ish and it is still my daily email and browser client for which I thank you and all the devs for the upkeep over the years. If you get things on the go with the build process etc. that would be great but if not, its not the end of the world even though it will be sadly missed.

    One thought I have, what about joining forces with another FF fork such as Pale Moon?

  8. Does that affect your ability to do localized builds? Asking if doing 120 builds differs from doing 4.

  9. Axel, there is still a problem doing localized build with extensions. Tracked in bug 1231349. Workaround was/is to not include cZ, debugQA, DOMi and Lighning. Lightning is now working. Updated cZ and DOMi are provide for a separate install. Now configurable at build time in 2.53 and up so we can do local builds just fine.

  10. I am thinking, i’am a retired C/C++ developer with plenty of time, and looking for a C/C++ job to fill my time. Is Seamonkey written in C/C++ then i could maybe help.

  11. No problemo, everyone make mistakes. 😉

  12. There are only some c and c++ parts in suite itself. Most is in mailnews which nowadays is mostly covered by the Thunderbird devs.


  13. We all appreciate all the effort you and the small cadre of developers have put into saving SeaMonkey. You are the lineal descendant of Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Suite. I have been using this fine suite since beta days and whenever you are able to update it, I shall be a happy camper.

  14. I appreciate your efforts and keep at it. Still a great project! A great program and hope you can get the structure manageable again. Firefox and Chrome update so fast and then come with a new version number. Firefox messed you guys up a lot when they went to rapid release and with Quantum. One step at a time! :)!

    • Not only with Mozilla Firefox, but also with Microsoft Windows 10, George.
      MS is also doing “rapid releases” of Windows 10 by releasing two feature updates per year since 2017.

      There are no guarantees that Seamonkey 2.49.x will continue to run on future feature upgrades of Windows 10 like the upcoming 19H1, 19H2 & 20H1 versions.

  15. oh well, it happens sometimes.

    in 2nd half of 2019 (likely starting july 2019), i will no longer use any SM 2.49.x version and will permanently run at least an SM 2.53 version from wg9s on all my PCs that have Seamonkey

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