Firefox Headlines (March 28th, 2017)

Mike Conley mconley at mozilla.com
Tue Mar 28 22:44:03 UTC 2017


Hey folks,

This shouldn't come as a surprise to most of you: the Firefox Desktop
engineering team met today to discuss the goings on in Firefox-land. I also
sprinkled in some Mobile updates while I was at it. Check it out:

Headlines

   -

   We’ve now got 4 content processes on by default on Nightly
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1336398>!
   -

   Background tabs are being restored in the content process by default now
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1256472>, improving
   perceived session restore performance, especially for users with a large
   number of tabs.
   -

   Netflix just enabled support for Firefox on Linux
   <http://techblog.netflix.com/2017/03/update-on-html5-video-for-netflix.html>
   !
   -

   Activity Stream 1.7.0
   <https://moz-activity-streams.s3.amazonaws.com/dist/latest.html> has
   been released on Test Pilot
   -

      Experiment for improving Top Sites engagement
      -

      Lots of customization improvements! Here’s the changelog!
      <https://github.com/mozilla/activity-stream/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md>
      -

   Firefox Screenshots (formerly Page Shot) is still on track for beta
   uplift in 54
   -

      Special thanks to Mark Banner for writing the patch for Firefox, and
      Dave Townsend and Kris Maglione for reviewing the add-on.
      -

      If interested in learning more, #screenshots on IRC
      -

   We’re now doing off-main-thread animation
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=759252> on tab throbbers,
   which should improve perceived smoothness by being 60fps as often as
   possible
   - Here's an animated GIF! <http:///>
      -

      -

   Please submit your ideas
   <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ViXNAWEFTfSI_NW8C7ta2JDG4g5exzQFkcyv5I2UA8Y/edit>
   for new Firefox features that we can try as Test Pilot experiments! 🍕🎉


Friends of the Firefox team

   -

   Resolved bugs (excluding employees) <https://mzl.la/2ocJNZA>
   -

      More than one bug fixed:
      -

         Deepjyoti Mondal
         -

         Federico Padua [:fedepad]
         -

         Hrishikesh Barman[:geekodour08]
         -

         Jan Beich
         -

         Jan Henning [:JanH]
         -

         Meghana Gupta
         -

         Paavini Nanda
         -

         Prathiksha
         -

         Tomislav Jovanovic :zombie
         -

         flyingrub
         -

      New contributors (🌟 = First Patch!)
      -

         🌟 Bharat Raghunathan got rid of an icon
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1343827> that we
         don’t need anymore!
         -

         🌟 Clinton Feng removed some unnecessary Telemetry
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1346208>!
         -

         Deepa switched over some of our Telemetry code
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1344741> to use
         async and await!
         -

         ganesh2583 fixed some glitches
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1342370> with our
         in-content focus rings!
         -

         🌟 Hrishikesh Barman[:geekodour08] cleaned up some of our CSS
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1347111>!
         -

         🌟 Joseph Cameron changed which Sync API version
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1345023> that we say
         we support!
         -

         🌟 Konstantin (:trx) beefed up our Flake8 checks
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1344853> for some of
         our Telemetry code!
         -

         🌟 maxim fixed a bug in about:preferences
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=493527> where we
         weren’t properly resetting custom settings when switching between
         history-remembering modes
         -

         Meghana Gupta fixed a broken Learn More link
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1346236> for a
         certificate pinning error page!
         -

         Paavini Nanda beefed up our Flake8 checks by enabling another rule!
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1344840>
         -

         Prathiksha fixed a styling inconsistency
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1299281> in our
         about:neterror page!
         -

         Subhdeep Saha switched over yet even more
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1344743> of our
         Telemetry code to use async and await!

Project UpdatesAdd-ons

   -

   Here’s a blog post on a slight change to compatibility milestones
   <https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/03/27/update-compatibility-milestones/>
   -

      Firefox won’t run in multiprocess mode unless all enabled add-ons
      have the multiprocessCompatible flag
      <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/Install_Manifests#multiprocessCompatible>
      set to true or are WebExtensions
      -

      Developers who haven’t set this flag don’t have to worry about
      multiprocess compatibility and can focus on porting to WebExtensions and
      making the Firefox 57 deadline

Activity Stream

   -

   timspurway reports that the team has re-evaluated their schedule for
   landing in Nightly - new estimate puts Activity Stream in Fx57

Electrolysis (e10s)

   -

   There will be an e10s-multi experiment once Firefox 54 reaches Beta that
   will test 4 different cohorts: 1 content process, 2 content processes, 4,
   and 8. 25% of users in each. The goal is for e10s-multi to ride the Firefox
   55 train.
   -

   A reminder that sync IPC and sync messages are to be avoided at all costs
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1331674>

Firefox Core Engineering <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox_Core_Engineering>

   -

   We will soon be running an experiment on Nightly that makes Flash
   click-to-play (and fallback to HTML5 video if available) by default with
   some default allow/deny lists as well.
   -

   Reminder: crash pings (both main and content) contain raw crash stacks
   as of 53.
   -

   Verified that some clients did not receive updates to pushed system
   addons when the updated addons were included in a subsequent build
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1350064> (such as, say,
   websense-related). This has been fixed.

Form Autofill <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Features/Form_Autofill>

   -

   Only a few remaining M1 bugs which means we will start calling for
   Nightly testing in a few weeks after some sanity checks and polish
   -

   Fixed
   -

      Fallback to form history if whole profiles doesn't have any data for
      the specific fields
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1338420>
      -

      Fallback to form history if the target field doesn't have data in
      selected profile
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1338482>
      -

      Allow manually adding an autofill profile from the management
      interface <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1019536>
      -

      Allow deleting autofill profiles from the management interface
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1019531>
      -

   In Progress
   -

      Interface to manage autofill profiles
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1019483>
      -

      Specify text color of selected profile item instead of inheriting
      from global autocomplete style
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1350208>
      -

      Improve subdialog.js to support multiple dialogs
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1340987>
      -

      [Form Autofill] A utility library for handling full name and
      separated names <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1348751>
      -

      Notify formautofill add-on of which item is being hovered in the
      suggestion dropdown
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1340468>
      -

      Implement label element extraction logic of an input field for
      filling form <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1347176>
      -

      [Form Autofill] Auto-create profiles based off submitted form data
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=990219>
      -

      [Form Autofill] Collect information on how much time users spent on
      page with forms (w/wo form autofill)
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1341569>

Mobile

   -

   The team ran user testing of Prox
   <https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/prox> v2, which emphasizes local
   sights, events, and multiple sources - full conclusions upcoming!
   -

   Firefox for Android 53 coming soon
   <https://twitter.com/manelbutterfly/status/840290792501579778> with RTL
   support for Urdu, Persian, Hebrew and Arabic!
   -

   Activity Stream is going live for 50% of the Firefox for Android Nightly
   audience this week. All Nightly users will see a setting to opt-in /
   opt-out (Settings -> Advanced -> Experimental Features).

Platform UI and other Platform Audibles

   -

   jjong landed a bunch of l10n fixes for the DateTime picker
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1344624>!

Privacy/Security

   -

   johannh reports that the team is continuing permission
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1349562> prompts
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1348257> polish work:
   -

   Nihanth changed the permission prompts for Desktop Notifications
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1341742> to always
   permanently save the permission (temporary push notifications doesn’t
   really make sense) instead of showing a pre-ticked checkbox by default.
   -

   Nihanth also fixed a bug
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1347503> where
   notification and geolocation permission would not correctly swap to a new
   window
   -

   Dao replaced the old fallback icon
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1345716> in the identity
   block with an SVG version
   -

   Paolo fixed some edge cases
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1345449> around how
   PopupNotifications are displayed and hidden

Project Mortar (PDFium)

   -

   evelyn reports that the front-end work for Mortar is almost done
   <https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/file/tip/browser/extensions/mortar>!
   A few bugs remaining, but it’s getting pretty polish-y.
   -

   The team is currently dealing with process separation work, and waiting
   on this bug <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=558184> to
   land which will allow us to create a special type of JS-implemented plugin
   -

   The team is also tackling the printing engine as well, as we want to
   make sure we print PDFs as accurately as possible
   -

   Blocked on spinning up QA help for manual testing, but we will first add
   more automation test and compare the result of pdf.js to understand how
   much improvement we gain. (Thanks to bsmedberg’s suggestion!)
   -

   Talking to release team on release to-dos, and how best to keep the
   system add-on up to date

Quality of Experience

   -

   New preferences organization
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1335907> should land
   sometime this week
   -

   Engineers now mostly segueing into Photon stuff (which should will
   probably get its own section in future meetings?).

Search <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Search>

   -

   Phase 1 of the hi-res favicons work should land
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=977177> before the next
   meeting.
   -

   The last big issue <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1295458>
   with one-off search buttons in the awesomebar is very close to landing.
   -

   Various <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1346736>
   miscellaneous <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1345080>
   fixes <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1334617> for
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1318070> the
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1214284> search and
   location bars.

Sync / Firefox Accounts

   -

   Fixes:
   -

      Sync will discard folder child order
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1349703> if the local
      timestamp is newer than the remote. This shows up most
frequently on first
      syncs.
      -

      First sync for passwords was broken
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1349709> in Aurora and
      Nightly.
      -

   Push-driven sign-in confirmation is coming! Design doc in progress;
   should have more updates in the next meeting.
   -

   If you’re curious…
   -

      I wrote up how Sync tracks bookmark changes
      <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PnbPg4KX3oqrK31NB0-ht121viYgbTk696jKdv4KIAQ/edit?usp=sharing>
      on Desktop.
      -

      Grisha wrote up how Android Sync works
      <https://docs.google.com/a/mozilla.com/document/d/17njXz0MryGT7_KdXgHGM0VIv3PDtvhV479tatxa6fcM/edit?usp=sharing>
      .

Storage Management

   -

   [fischer] The project target due date is 4/17.
   -

   [fischer] The implementations are almost done. The remained 3 bugs are
   expected to be resolved before the target 4/17.
   -

   [fischer] Bug 1312349
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1312349>: Hide the section
   of Offline Web Content and User Data in about:preferences
   -

      Because the Storage management handles appcache as well, after the
      Storage management completes, the Offline(Appcache) group will be hidden.
      -

      The pref to control hide the Offline group is
      browser.preferences.offlinegroup.enabled

Test Pilot <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Test_Pilot>

   -

   We are trying to track down some performance issues with the Test Pilot
   addon (“Test Pilot is making FF run slowly”). Any advice is welcome, ping
   fzzzy in #testpilot
   -

      This notification is only displayed on Nightly
      <http://searchfox.org/mozilla-central/rev/7419b368156a6efa24777b21b0e5706be89a9c2f/browser/components/nsBrowserGlue.js#430-432>
      -

   First ever Test Pilot QA community event happened in Bangladesh last
   week!
   -

      Volunteers installed Test Pilot & did some manual testing of the Test
      Pilot addon and experiment addons
      -

      Event page
      <https://reps.mozilla.org/e/firefox-testpilot-sprint-dhaka/>
      -

      Tweets <https://twitter.com/FxTestPilot> and photos
      <https://twitter.com/6a68/status/845140556602732544> of the event
      <https://twitter.com/Hossainalikram/status/845683616520687616>!

Below the Fold

(tips/tricks/FYI, productivity improvements, industry news)

   -

   [felipe] faststripe to be removed (bug 1351258
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1351258>)
   -

   [felipe] Using native async/await instead of Task.jsm
   -

      Task.async => async
      -

      yield => await


   -

   [mconley] Should we be adding a section on the re-theme effort?
   -

   [mconley] In case you didn’t notice, MozReview allows you to comment on
   commit messages now. 🎉 There was also a big discussion on commit
   messages on dev-platform
   <https://groups.google.com/forum/#%21topic/mozilla.dev.platform/3ig8TZ-0rN8>,
   and a number of our high IC engineers expressed a desire for more clear
   commit messages before requesting review.
   -

   [florian] bug 1316187: the browser_all_files_referenced.js test landed.
   -

      It will fail whenever you remove the last reference to a chrome file
      and forget to remove it, or when pre-landing chrome files that
aren't used
      anywhere yet.
      -

      It contains a long list of exceptions with bugs on file to cleanup
      existing unused files. This should be an easy source of good
first bugs if
      you are looking for mentoring opportunities.
      -

   [florian] getComplexValue/setComplexValue should no longer be used with
   the nsISupportsString type for preference values with unicode characters.
   Instead just use the new getStringPref/setStringPref methods (bug 1345294)
   -

      not to be confused with getCharPref/setCharPref
      -

      eslint will report code using the old pattern
      -

   [MattN] "skin" vs. "content" stylesheets after Complete Theme removal
   (Fx57+)
   -

      Sounds like removing the concept of “skin” packages will be best

This information, including all of the previous updates, are fully
available in this doc: https://docs.google.com/a/mozi
lla.com/document/d/1u9YH3ULNRYg6G-fN-Udkvfkcvg0alJfzi_zIAfFN
kL8/edit?usp=sharing

Also note that I'm really just synthesizing and humanizing the stuff that's
on the Wiki, which is freely available from here:
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Meeting, so check that out if you want the
source material. It'll also be posted (minus the Below the Fold stuff) to the
Nightly blog <https://blog.nightly.mozilla.org/>.

Finally, if there's a Firefox-ish team that you feel isn't being
represented here, please let them know about the above meeting so I can get
their updates.
Keep on rockin' the free web,

-Mike

<https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1axvrNaDkdA0KaadntiZH3F_rsAew72V4ZhBLqCADUpU/edit#gid=0>
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