Following the summary of what we've achieved in the previous year in
web-platform-tests, I'd like to set out the plan for priorities in the
coming year, and solicit feedback.
There are several key things that we would like to achieve over the
course of the year:
* Give the platform team and others the tools to know where there are
interop problems in the features they own, and the ability to triage
those failures, so they are able to identify and prioritise issues
likely to lead to web-compat problems.
* Continue to expand the reach of web-platform-tests by identifying and
fixing cases where cross-browser web-platform features are untestable in wpt
* Improve the developer ergonomics of working with web-platform-tests,
both by fixing pain points for test authoring and debugging, and by
improving the documentation.
For the first point in particular, the current thinking is to create a
dashboard based on wpt.fyi that focuses on cases where gecko has a
different behaviour to Blink and/or WebKit. By annotating results with
links to bugzilla and web-compat.com it should be possible to
effectively triage these differences and ensure that we can identify and
fix the issues most likely to end up causing compatibility problems.
There are also interesting possibilities to link in gecko-specific data
like code coverage information. Feedback on what people would find most
useful here is needed to ensure we get this right.
I would also very much like to hear about remaining pain points and
reasons that developers choose to write browser-specific tests for
web-platform features. Those are issues we need to prioritize fixing.
On a more general note, I believe this is a critical time for the web
platform. With recent developments to Edge we are staring down a future
in which the web is a product, defined by an implementation, not much
different than Android today. Ensuring that we have excellent
compatibility between different engines is a necessary—but certainly not
sufficient—condition to ensure the long term health of the platform.
Like performance, compatibility is complex and doesn't permit a single
simple solution. Testing for interoperability is only one part of the
puzzle. But as is the case with performance we can succeed if we have a
culture that recognises that it's essential to our future success. We
know that when people pull together on this we can win; large complex
features like CSS grid have launched with a level of cross-browser
consistency that was unheard of a few years ago.
Testsuites such as web-platform-tests and test-262, are the public
health initiative of the web; not a cure for all ills, but a mechanism
to prevent many issues upfront when it's cheap and easy. The genesis of
web-platform-tests came with the decline and eventual failure of Presto:
it became clear to those working on it just how hard it is to fix
compatibility issues after the fact. Success requires considerations of
compatibility and interop to be an integral part of the process of
building and shipping a browser. In the time since we have made a great
deal of progress, but the web itself has got more complex and fragile.
We need to carry that progress into 2019 and beyond to build the future
we want to see.
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