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Categories: Firefox

Making the Building of Firefox Faster for You with Clever-Commit from Ubisoft

Firefox fights for people online: for control and choice, for privacy, for safety. We do this because it is our mission to keep the web open and accessible to all. No other tech company has people’s back like we do.

Part of keeping you covered is ensuring that our Firefox browser and the other tools and services we offer are running at top performance. When we make an update, or add a new feature the experience should be as seamless and smooth as possible for the user. That’s why Mozilla just partnered with Ubisoft to start using Clever-Commit, an Artificial Intelligence coding assistant developed by Ubisoft La Forge that will make the Firefox code-writing process faster and more efficient. Thanks to Clever-Commit, Firefox users will get to use even more stable versions of Firefox and have even better browsing experiences.

We don’t spend a ton of time regaling our users with the ins-and-outs of how we build our products because the most important thing is making sure you have the best experience when you’re online with us. But building a browser is no small feat. A web browser plays audio and video, manages various network protocols, secures communications using advanced cryptographic algorithms, handles content running in parallel multiple processes, all this to render the content that people want to see on the websites they visit.

And underneath all of this is a complex body of code that includes millions of lines written in various programming languages: JavaScript, C++, Rust. The code is regularly edited, released and updated onto Firefox users’ machines. Every Firefox release is an investment, with an average of 8,000 software edits loaded into the browser’s code by hundreds of Firefox staff and contributors for each release. It has a huge impact, touching hundreds of millions of internet users.

With a new release every 6 to 8 weeks, making sure the code we ship is as clean as possible is crucial to the performance people experience with Firefox. The Firefox engineering team will start using Clever-Commit in its code-writing, testing and release process. We will initially use the tool during the code review phase, and if conclusive, at other stages of the code-writing process, in particular during automation. We expect to save hundreds of hours of bug riskiness analysis and detection. Ultimately, the integration of Clever-Commit into the full Firefox developer workflow could help catch up to 3 to 4 out of 5 bugs before they are introduced into the code.

By combining data from the bug tracking system and the version control system (aka changes in the code base), Clever-Commit uses artificial intelligence to detect patterns of programming mistakes based on the history of the development of the software. This allows us to address bugs at a stage when fixing a bug is a lot cheaper and less time-consuming, than upon release.

Mozilla will contribute to the development of Clever-Commit by providing programming language expertise in Rust, C++ and Javascript, as well as expertise in C++ code analysis and analysis of bug tracking systems.