Intent to unship Developer Toolbar (aka GCLI)

Patrick Brosset pbrosset at
Mon Mar 26 15:25:43 UTC 2018

(my apologies to people both here and on dev-developer-tools for sending
this twice to them).

Tl;dr: The DevTools team is planning to pref off and later unship the
Developer Toolbar (aka GCLI), starting in Firefox 60.

The Developer Toolbar [1] gives a command line access to some power-user
and developer actions in Firefox.

It can be opened via the tools menu or with shift+F2 and appears as a
footer bar at the bottom of the browser window.

Some of the commands it supports are: restart (to restart firefox),
screenshot (to take a screenshot of the page), opening DevTools, listing
cookies, listing prefs, listing addons, etc.

It is based on GCLI [2] which is vendored in mozilla-central.

It was added to Firefox back in 2012 (in Firefox 17 I believe), but has
never received much usage over the past 6 years.

The main reasons being that it's a fairly hard to discover and that it's a
tool only for people comfortable with a command line environment.

As of Firefox 60 we intend to pref off the developer toolbar, and then
remove the associated code from Firefox in 61.

The reasons for this are:

- Both the Developer Toolbar UI and the GCLI upstream library have become

- Some of its features are broken, some ever since e10s ([3][4]).

- It is blocking the UnsafeSetInnerHTML work [5].

- Usage numbers are very low.

- Alternatives exist for the most used commands.

- We have other ideas for allowing power users to access common actions via
the keyboard which appear more adapted and more DevTools-related (e.g.
having special commands in the DevTools console, or having a command
palette like Chrome has which originally came from text editors like
Sublime Text).

The meta bug to follow the work around unshipping the Developer Toolbar is






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