Telemetry is a way to gather stats about Firefox. Currently histograms are the main mechanism by which to gather data. There are 3 histogram types currently supported: exponential, linear and boolean. Exponential+linear histograms can accumulate numbers between 0 and a user-defined integer maximum, they differ in bucket size increments. Boolean histograms are meant to store 0 or 1.
Steps to Add a New Metric
1) Add a histogram definition to TelemetryHistograms.h specifying a histogram id, parameters and a description. For example HISTOGRAM(MYHGRAM, 1, 10000, 50, EXPONENTIAL, “Time (ms) taken by shiny new metric”) defines a MYHGRAM histogram with a minimum value of 1, maximum 10000 and 50 buckets that grow exponentially with the description specifying units as milliseconds. 2a) C++:
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3) Install about:telemetry addon, go to about:telemetry to check that the chosen histogram type and parameters summarize your data in a useful way.
4) Commit and wait for results to come in. FAQ Q: What about those UMA* macros?_ A: Don’t use them. I added TelemetryHistograms.h so telemetry can be easily reviewed by security and privacy police. It also avoids a few pitfalls such as accidentally initializing the same histogram with different parameters, etc.
Q: How do I access the gathered telemetry data? A: TBD. Data is stored on metrics server, we will figure this out soon.
Q: What about addons? A: TBD. At the moment addons are free to inspect telemetry data in their browser. We haven’t decided on a process to let addon authors add new probes and access stats. For now, addons should not participate in telemetry.