Build Firefox for Android on Ubuntu and test it on Windows!

Sadly, right now (and until bug 1169873 is fixed), it’s not possible to build Firefox for Android on Windows. That’s not nice, especially if you need to track down some Android-only failures triggered by your code 🙂 Until recently I was able to run my Android Virtual Device within my Ubuntu Virtual Machine (yeah, tricky). Then something broke in OracleVM (ticket 12941), preventing me from starting the Android emulator. Here comes the good news: there’s a way to spawn an Android emulator on Windows, build Firefox for Android on a VM and then run it....

December 31, 2015 · 2 min · Alessio Placitelli

Spark 101: getting the status of your job

As Roberto Vitillo says in his excellent post about Spark best practices: Running Spark jobs without the Spark UI is like flying blind. And that’s especially true if your spark job keeps crashing or it’s crunching big data (yeah, I had to use the expression at least once). If you don’t want to setup a SOCKS proxy or, for some reason, that simply doesn’t work for you (my case!...

December 19, 2015 · 1 min · Alessio Placitelli

Firefox output in the command prompt on Windows? Foxyeah!

On Linux and MacOS is quite normal to see the standard output in the shell when running Firefox from the command prompt. On Windows, this isn’t that easy, as the “-console” command line switch creates a new window that quickly disappears when Firefox shuts down. Luckily, there’s an interesting option that seems to produce the desired behaviour on Windows: “-attach-console“. As reported on MDN, “[…] use -attach-console to use the existing console....

August 31, 2015 · 1 min · Alessio Placitelli

Fixing Seagate/Maxtor HDDs with a Raspberry Pi: 0 LBA, BSY and CC erros

Just imagine this scenario: one day you turn off your pc and you try to turn it on the following day. And it doesn’t or, more precisely, your trustworthy Maxtor/Seagate HDD (Model No. STM3320614AS) is no longer detected during the boot or shows a size of 0GB. You get mad, you get angry. Then you try to figure out how to get your data back. It appears that, due to a firmware bug, some particular Maxtor and Seagate HDDs lock up their SATA port (BSY bug) or corrupt show as 0 sized (0 LBA)....

June 1, 2014 · 3 min · Alessio Placitelli

Visual Studio project generation for Mozilla Firefox

Recently, the Mozilla Firefox build interface, aka mach, was enhanced with a great feature for Windows developers: the ability to generate Visual Studio project files. Such project files are not maintained in mozilla-central, hence the need for a way to generate them. Thanks to the awesome work done by Gregory Szorc, generating project files using mach is as simple as issuing the following command: [bash] ./mach build-backend backend=VisualStudio [/bash] The solution file will be available in your object directory, under the msvc folder (i....

March 22, 2014 · 1 min · Alessio Placitelli