Eulogy for a Founding Father, revisited


In response to my post earlier this week on Tinderbox’s end-of-life, reader Carsten Mattner asked:

Reading [your post], I couldn’t figure out what replaced Tinderbox for the Mozilla builds. What feeds tbpl? Does Mozilla not use Tinderbox to build continuously?

When I left Mozilla in 2007, there was a Release Engineering project in progress to actively replace Tinderbox (Client) with buildbot. So in short, no, Mozilla does not use Tinderbox Client to drive its continuous integration builds, and hasn’t for some time.

Do they still use buildbot today?

I didn’t know the answer to that question, so I tracked down Coop on IRC, who graciously gave me a few minutes of his time to answer exactly that.

He said:

  • Mozilla currently uses “95% buildbot, with 5% Jenkins for random small projects”
  • There are multiple buildbot masters that drive the buildbot clients
  • Unlike the out-of-the-box buildbot master setup, the masters query a job scheduling database instead of monitoring source control for changes themselves; they then report their results to a database, which tbpl (and other services) use to generate their reports/dashboards; the buildbot master waterfall pages aren’t accessible to the external world (which makes sense, because they include unsecured administrative functionality1)
  • There are about 60 masters right now, but Coop said “number keeps growing though, so we need to rethink the whole solution”

So there’s your answer, Carsten!

1 A long standing criticism of mine, among others