QA Monkey makes mistake

Ruarí first started working as a browser tester 10 years ago but he still has things to learn.

Ruarí in a monkey costume

While much of my day-to-day job involves testing and release management, from time to time I have had the opportunity to fix and improve parts of the browser, typically related to Linux packaging.

During the off-site in Iceland, I worked on packaging issues, primarily related to Widevine and proprietary media. My blog post from two days ago, gleefully announced the result of that work.

There was one minor issue, however. While the title of that blog post states “Better Widevine (EME) support for Linux”, none of the Linux builds offered in the snapshot are able to use Widevine… at all!

So how did that happen? Well, while I worked on automatic Widevine fetching and updates, many of my colleagues worked on the Chromium 71 update. We have thousands of automated tests but there are still a number of things that are tested manually (Widevine working being one of them). When I finally committed my changes to our master branch, we were still based on Chromium 70 and my fixes worked. The next commit, however, was the big Chromium update and unbeknownst to me (since I never tested it), this broke the loading of Widevine on Linux.

On Wednesday as we did the final testing before releasing the snapshot, my colleague Maria asked if I had checked Widevine on Linux in the latest builds. In my head, I assumed she meant my system for fetching it, so I duly checked and Widevine was fetched. Job Done! What I didn’t do, is actually check that Vivaldi for Linux would load the Widevine lib that was fetched, because I was too busy writing the blog post saying how great everything would be now!

It was only as I read more comments and feedback from the blog that evening, that it slowly dawned on me what had happened.

So what next? Well the good news is that we have a fix for Widevine loading on Linux (you’ll get it in the next snapshot). As for me, I shall wear the monkey suit of shame and think about my actions. I should probably also add a (rather embarrassing) known issue to the last snapshot.