From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
Is the switch to Breakpad because its more cross-platform?
I'm probably not the only one curious why they switched (especially since some functionality such as the agent user interface is gone). Could you post a link to some explanation on why Mozilla decided to replace Talkback with Breakpad? Perhaps some Mozilla developers blog entry? Tanstaafl 00:54, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
- Here's a link from the MozillaWiki Breakpad article:
- http://benjamin.smedbergs.us/blog/2006-09-12/deploying-the-airbag/ Alice 02:09, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
- Thanks for the link but I had already found and read that. I probably should have mentioned that. Its like not being able to see the forest for all the trees - there is lots of implementation/design information available but no high level explanation why they're developing Breakpad rather than continuing to maintain/evolve Talkback. Tanstaafl 12:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
- The Breakpad development and server operation article ("Seneca College Airbag Page" link in the MozillaWiki Breakpad article) has more information and other links to check out, if you haven't done so already. Looking thorough that article just now, I found a link to Bug 216827 – implement an open-sourced crash reporting tool to replace talkback with a lot of the background for why developers wanted to replace Talkback (add that bugzilla link to the article?). Alice 13:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
- Thanks. It looks like the current Talkback maintainer couldn't write a client for Linux due to a NDA for the old code, and they decided to go with a open source cross-platform solution. Tanstaafl 14:11, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Talkback was replaced because it was not open source. Netscape had a license to use it, which got passed on to Mozilla, but it was not maintainable because of that, and the original company that developed it no longer existed.
--Ted Mielczarek 22:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Rollback of last edits
I don't think that this page should have been redirected to MDC, at least not wiithout a discussion, so I rolled it back. Breakpad is equivalent to the Quality Feedback Agent article whiich is under the application categories, not development. Alice 17:23, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
- Hrmmm... I'm also seeing some differences in the articles, so I appreciate the rollback. On that note if the "crash reporting" gets sent off to Google instead of Mozilla in Firefox 3.X, I will definitely not install the feedback agent portion as Google is not Open-Source nor are they GPL/NPL approved from what I've read. Martimus8 02:41, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
This article is outdated and confusing, hence the redirect. It's outlived its usefulness. I would like to get rid of outdated documentation, as it doesn't help anyone, and will wind up confusing people.
--Ted Mielczarek 22:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
- The article has not outlived it's usefulness. The final versions of the applications that will use Breakpad haven't been released yet, so I suppose you can say that this article is a "work in progress". This isn't a development article, it's for users who will need it when Fx3/Tbird3/SM2 are released and is currently useful for people testing/trying out those applications. Breakpad replaces Talkback and is currently activated in test versions of Firefox 3 and SeaMonkey 2, both of which I use (same for Thunderbird 3, I gather). If the article is outdated or confusing, fix it or let someone else fix it, don't "get rid" of it by redirecting to MDC. Alice 23:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The following comment from Ted was posted to my User Talk page:
Can you tell me what you think is useful on Breakpad that is not present on the MDC page? I think the MDC page is much clearer, and the kb page contains useless information. "How to tell if Breakpad is installed", "Enabling Breakpad"--these are not useful information. In addition, the kb page contains factually incorrect statements, such as "Breakpad, also known as the Mozilla Crash Reporter", which creates confusion that I have tried very hard to avoid in everything I have written. I do think that some subset of the MDC page should wind up on the new support.mozilla.org site, but in general I think the kb page does not have any uniquely useful information, and also contains misstatements that make it a bad piece of documentation. Please feel free to contact me via email-- <snip>
--Ted Mielczarek 23:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
- Like I said, this isn't a development article so I don't want to redirect people to the the MDC page. You said that "Breakpad, also known as the Mozilla Crash Reporter" is factually incorrect. Why do you say that? Here is a screenshot from a recent crash notice on SeaMonkey 2:
Could you state what other useless, confusing or factually incorrect information is present in this article so that someone else can fix it, since you don't want to fix it yourself? Alice 00:08, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Speaking of factually incorrect information, the following is copied from the MDC page at http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Crash_reporting under "Where did my crash get submitted?":
- Mac OS X: /Users/<username>/Library/App Support/Firefox/Crash Reports/submitted/
...Shouldn't that be Application Support, like this article has it? Alice 00:23, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Alright, I'm tired of arguing. I'll explain myself one last time and then leave this alone. Breakpad is *not* the same as the Mozilla Crash Reporter. As the MDC page states, it is just a library that we use as part of our crash reporting system. I have spent considerable time trying to avoid that confusion. I also think that "how to tell if breakpad is installed" is no longer useful. It was when we first started enabling it on trunk builds, but it has been on for something like a year now, and all trunk products are shipping it, so this section is not useful as it stands. The same goes for "Enabling Breakpad". You are welcome to do whatever you like with this page, I'll leave you to your own devices.
--Ted Mielczarek 11:54, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
- Thanks for "permission" to continue updating and improving this article ;-) Seriously, I don't like arguments. I prefer constructive discussions. I see you added a section to the MDC page today about using "about:crashes" to view submitted crash reports,  , a couple of days after I added it to this article . I also see you corrected the Mac OS X path to "Application Support" as I mentioned above. Maybe this article wasn't as useless as you first thought, since this discussion got some improvements made to both pages. Alice 20:28, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
^ I will definitely not install the feedback agent portion as Google is not Open-Source... Martimus8, I don't have any installed version of Firefox 3 or SeaMonkey 2, only zip builds, so I don't know if Breakpad will be offered as a custom install option that can be deselected (like you can with the Quality Feedback Agent during a custom Firefox 2 install on Windows). I did a groups.google search and according to
Benjamin Smedberg's second post here, (quote: by making the crash reporter part of the core install'), that may be not be possible, since, "part of the core install" means that it is not a custom install option but is part of the "core" program. As to Breakpad not being open source ... ?... http://code.google.com/p/google-breakpad/ say that it is. Hopefully Ted Mielczarek will reply here, since he's the Breakpad expert. Alice 15:32, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
- I appreciate the findings. My main concerns are on other sites with google invading privacy by tagging users with a unique id. Last thing I need is Firefox providing that value by having it built into the browser. I may have to build a custom version of Firefox to remove it if it's not readily removable, or at least block the transmissions. Google, unfortunately, has gained a negative reputation (specifically malware too) in my closed networks for violation of privacy as well as net neutrality. I would definitely be interested in pinpointing it's sources that it notifies at google so I can block them and also let my network know what to block. I would hope that the Mozilla engineers are scouring over the code submitted by Google, looking for anything that would violate these items as i know any extension programmer would be instantly kicked off a.m.o if they added that from scattered discussions in the forums. xpt and so/dll files aren't usually open source items, and I've found a few of those around. Typically the c/pp code isn't included, but the cross-platform binaries are... which that usually makes it not open-source. Maybe Google is attempting to redeem their efforts in the o.s. community, but things haven't changed with their marketing as far as I can tell. IE has an equivalent of a "GUID" that identifies each browser, and of course when I'm in Windows, I do block that as well. I'm not alone in my concerns. Thanks. Martimus8 18:03, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Our use of Breakpad has nothing to do with Google. The Breakpad project was started by Google engineers, but all crash reports for Mozilla products go directly to Mozilla servers. Google is not involved in any way.
--Ted Mielczarek 22:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)