Making Test Frameworks Mobile - How to Stuff a 900lb Gorilla into a Smartphone

Mobile, Mozilla
Location: Meeting Room B1/B4
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)

In the beginning of the Mobile Firefox (Fennec) project, none of our existing tests would run on either the emulators or the devices. As one developer put it, “It’s like we’re driving down the road at midnight with no headlights”. Because much of the Fennec code reuses the same core platform technology that Firefox is based on, it made sense to move our existing test frameworks to the mobile OS’s.

That was a deceptively simple idea, but as we got started, we found that it is actually anything but simple. We hit every hurdle you could imagine: from the fact that our test system was too tightly coupled with our build system, to the memory and space issues you’d expect, to color palates, to reliability.

We will talk about all the various challenges we faced in stuffing these test frameworks into the tiny footprint of a phone. After confronting different instances of this problem for Maemo, Windows Mobile, and Symbian; we have learned a set of lessons and best practices that could apply to any project that is trying to “go mobile”.

Photo of Clint Talbert

Clint Talbert


Clint started with Mozilla as a volunteer by organizing a QA team for the Calendar project. From there, he became a calendar module owner, and then was hired by Mozilla to work on test development. He is currently the Test Development Lead for the Mozilla QA team.

Joel Maher


Joel has been a technical lead for the Mozilla effort to create the automation infrastructure on our mobile platforms.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

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