Firefox Headlines (November 7th, 2017)

Johann Hofmann jhofmann at mozilla.com
Tue Nov 7 18:22:34 UTC 2017


Hello everyone,

The Firefox Desktop engineering team met today, and we have prepared
another round of updates for your reading pleasure.

Thank you to Kit Cambridge and Mike Conley for helping me format these
meeting notes.

Here we go:
Highlights

   -

   Data preference changes
   <https://medium.com/@georg.fritzsche/data-preference-changes-in-firefox-58-2d5df9c428b5>
   have been streamlined in 58, and segmented into release and prerelease data.
   -

   Nihanth enabled the vibrancy effect
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1386721> from the default
   theme in the light theme on OSX.

[image: Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 16.42.24.png]

   -

   Extensions can now request to disable desktop notifications
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1364942>, and the theme
   API supports styling more
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1347190> color
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412595> properties.
   -

   Updated the installer icon
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1413568> for Firefox 57
   -

      Thanks to /u/jasonrmns on Reddit’s /r/firefox for bringing this to
      our attention
      <https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/7a0p6x/dont_forget_to_update_the_installer_icon_for_v57/>
      !
      -

   The JavaScript start-up bytecode cache
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1405738> has been enabled
   on Nightly!
   -

      nbp describes impact here
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1405738#c8>
      -

         “1. This removes on average 43 ms of every page load. (while being
         effective on ~50% of the page loads)
         2. Talos benchmarks reports a 15% improvement on google.com.
         3. On a personal Window computer with PGO, my personal Facebook
         page load improved from 641ms to 522ms.”
         -

   14 million Firefox Screenshots created in the last 30 days!
   -

   Firefox for iOS v10.0 is rolling out at max-spiffy with Photon style
   <https://twitter.com/madhava/status/927639389349531650> on November 14th

Friends of the Firefox team

(Give a shoutout/thanks to people for helping fix and test bugs.
Introductions)

   -

   Resolved bugs (excluding employees): https://mzl.la/2iC1Iqy
   -

      More than one bug fixed:
      -

         :prathiksha
         -

         Tim Nguyen :ntim
         -

      New contributors (🌟 = First Patch!)
      -

         🌟 Manish Kumar updated some variable name
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1408108>s used by
         Sync to make them more consistent
         -

         🌟 Andrea Casaccia fixed a Library panel glitch
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1402849> when
         middle-clicking on items in “Recent Highlights”
         -

         🌟 Mithilan Sivanesan enabled ESLint
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1403956> for the
         /chrome folder
         -

         🌟 Nicole Byer fixed expiry dates of session cookies
         <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410067> in session
         restore

Project UpdatesAdd-ons

   -

   The tabs API now supports a discard method
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1322485>.
   -

   The theme API can also return information about the current theme
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1349944>.

Activity Stream

   -

   Final sign-off has been made to ship AS on about:home and about:newtab
   in Firefox 57
   -

      We are launching studies in 57 to study how Activity Stream affects
      long-term Firefox retention for both new and existing users
      -

   The focus for Firefox 58 has been performance:
   -

      Landed improved image caching for better about:home perf
      -

      Landed streamlined localized string processing for faster startup
      -

      Working on a number of improvements to reduce dependency on Thumbnail
      service by using canned or harvested High Res icons more frequently

Browser Architecture
<https://mozilla.github.io/firefox-browser-architecture/>

   -

   De-XBL is moving forwards - follow along at our tracking website
   <https://arewexblstill.com/>
   -

   Support for custom elements in XUL is in review
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404420>

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

   -

   Mhowell heroics via a last-minute rename of the Windows shortcut from
   “Mozilla Firefox” to “Firefox”
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1413295> in 57, but
it was backed
   out <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1414416>. Now
   targeting 58.
   -

   Still aiming to land CFI support for client-side stackwalking
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1333126> in 58.

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

   -

   Fixed a few compatibility issues with top sites for the MVP.
   -

   Fixed a footer issue that affects form history.
   -

   Fixed a preview issue when autofilling <select> elements.
   -

   Credit card syncing is green for rollout in 58.

Mobile

   -

   Firefox iOS


   -

   We are putting Firefox iOS v10.0 up for app review today


   -

   We brought back 1Password support


   -

   More iPhone X compatibility improvements


   -

   We will be shipping with 73 locales included


   -

   We have an improved Night Mode


   -

   New 'Hide Images' mode that blocks image loading at the network level to
   reduce data usage


   -

   Start using Mozilla's Unified Telemetry
   <https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/telemetry-ios> for tracking user
   counts (DAU/WAU/MAU); this component is available as a stand-alone iOS
   library for other projects to use


   -

   We've started looking for rel="canonical" links when the user copies or
   shares a URL, to stop AMP links from spreading.


   -

   Revamped our L10n screenshots using a newly updated ScreenGraph
   <https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios/pull/3303>, which we were
   already using for UI testing. This is a tool that helps you describe your
   app as a graph of screens and states, and then uses GameplayKit to navigate
   around the app. <https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios/pull/3303>


   -

   We are planning our 10.1 release already

PhotonPerformance

   -

   Tab warming <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1397426> got
   another round of review, and now investigating test failures after applying
   the feedback.
   -

   Working on the tab strip scrolling speed regression
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1403563> when not working
   on tab warming

Structure

   -

   Mike, together with Drew fixed up
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1387808> the panels in
   cases where scrollbars would overlap
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1409377> the content,
   instead of properly show it.
   -

   Mike made it so that adding a bookmark now defaults to ‘Other Bookmarks’
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1120110> from everywhere.
   -

   Sam fixed and is still working on polish issues with the new panel
   transition <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1395674>.
   -

   Jared removed unused PanelUI-popup code
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410666>.
   -

   Mike updated the Send to Device icon
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1408205> in the Page
   Actions menu.
   -

   Drew spent quite <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412170> a
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1392733> bit effort
on reconciling
   WebExtension page actions and Photon page actions
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1395387>.
   -

   Gijs made it so that private browsing and other titlebar placeholder
   icons, like minimize/maximize buttons, can not be opted to be pinned to
   the overflow menu <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1411011>.

Visuals

   -

   Johann made the overflow menu get larger when opened through touch
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410352>, like the other
   Photon menus.

[image: screenshot.PNG]

   -

   Bug 1299286 <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1299286> just
   landed and enables users to touch-drag customize mode items on Windows
   touch devices. If it sticks, this makes it easy to add touch support to
   other drag interfaces by adding a DOM attribute (next up is dragging
   tabs in the tabstrip
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1362065>).
   -

   Some more bug fixes
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?f10=OP&f1=OP&o7=greaterthan&list_id=13868908&f0=OP&f8=CP&j6=OR&resolution=FIXED&f13=CP&o2=substring&v7=2017-10-24&f9=CP&f4=CP&j11=OR&query_format=advanced&f12=cf_last_resolved&j1=OR&f3=CP&f2=status_whiteboard&v12=2017-11-07&f11=OP&bug_status=RESOLVED&bug_status=VERIFIED&bug_status=CLOSED&o12=lessthaneq&f5=OP&f14=CP&f6=OP&v2=photon-visual&f7=cf_last_resolved>
   .


Privacy/Security

   -

   Since IndexedDB access has been managed via the cookie permission for
   some time now, Prathiksha removed the IndexedDB row
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1334411> in the
   “Permissions” section of page info. Next up is getting rid of the dead
   permission prompts <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1405742>
   and other remnants <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1354500>
   of this permission.
   -

   You no longer need to restart your browser
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1363969> to change the
   Tracking Protection blocklist.

Search and Navigation <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Search>Address Bar
& Search

   -

   Remote search engines now can use icons larger than 10KB
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=361923> (up to 20KB, then
   they will be rescaled if possible). Fixes a recent regression with the
   Baidu engine icon <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412832>.
   -

   Fixed the Address Bar results right alignment, lost when maximizing the
   window <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1411241>.

Places

   -

   We now make better choices when picking favicons from pages
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1403829>. Fixes some
   blurry icons (including Youtube).
   -

   The Places Async Transactions prefs have been set to ride the train to
   release 58 <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404267>:
   -

   deleting lots of bookmarks
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1411891> at once is now
   faster
   -

   More <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410940> fixes
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404909> are planned for
   moving lots of bookmarks at once
   -

   Improved performance when removing history , due to orphan icons removals
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1376149>
   -

   Reliability project
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1410877>
   -

   Validation of bookmark backups is more lenient
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1404631>. It will try to
   restore as many bookmarks as possible from the backup, fixing up invalid
   data when possible

More

   -

   Fixed filename sanitization for downloads with Content-Disposition:
   inline <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1413074>
   -

   Removed the image XBL binding
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1403231>

Sync / Firefox Accounts

   -

   `chrome.storage.sync` works again: the server is now handling about 50k
   requests per minute.
   -

   Thom fixed a bug where we’d schedule five unnecessary follow-up syncs
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1415012> in a row if the
   current sync failed.
   -

   Lots of code cleanup: unifying our HTTP request wrappers
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1413685>, removing dead
   code <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1388224>, refactoring
   how we download records
   <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1368209>.

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

   -

   Currently photonizing the Test Pilot website
   -

   Minvid experiment preparing for Shield study
   -

   Screenshots update:
   -

      Engagement research: Jared added
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412411>
      uploads/downloads to main Telemetry ping
      -

      Site-specific engagement experiments: Ian landed a patch
      <https://github.com/mozilla-services/screenshots/issues/3674> to
      enable running multiple A/B tests on the site at the same time. We’re
      hoping to run 3 this quarter.
      -

      Usage is remarkably steady over last 30 days, with downloads slightly
      stronger than uploads.

Web Payments <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Features/Web_Payments>

   -

   Showing the total and origin in the payment dialog
   -

   Prototyped a large portion of the dialog using Custom Elements with a
   Redux-like data subscription to evaluate the approach.
   -

      Next step is to get feedback on this approach and then start
      implementing the UX spec

Below the fold

   -

   [mconley] ABP
   <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/> and Chrome
   Store Foxified
   <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/chrome-store-foxified/>
   have been made 57+ compatible!
   -

   [MattN] Has anyone seen ContentTask.spawn failing due to its
   loadFrameScript not working?
   -

   [Pike] Nightlies scheduled in UTC - an hour earlier now that summer time
   is over
   -

   [MattN] Some more convenient DOM APIs exist (since Fx49) as alternatives
   to appendChild and insertBefore. They support strings to create text nodes
   and take a variable number of arguments. Example: let is = new Image();
   myNode.after(“This”, is, “awesome”)
   -

      ChildNode.before()
      <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ChildNode/before> /
      ChildNode.after()
      <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ChildNode/after>
      -

      ParentNode.prepend()
      <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ParentNode/prepend>
      /  ParentNode.append()
      <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/ParentNode/append>
      -

   Lint
   -

      ESLint 4 upgrade coming soon
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1371293> - aiming for
      after 58 branches.
      -

         Better configuration options that should help reduce the number of
         .eslintrc.js files
         -

         Processor plugins can be updated to include autofix support (we
         have a couple).
         -

      ./mach try should be running Linting tasks again by default
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1408352>
      -

      No-cpows-in-tests has been improved
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1246896> and enabled
      for browser mochitests
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412778> across the
      tree.
      -

      The “use-services” rule continues being rolled out and is enabled
      <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1412893> for all of
      toolkit/components (as well as browser/components).



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.

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 we can
get their updates.

Keep on rockin' the free web,

Johann
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