[Go Faster] System add-ons and safe mode

Mike Connor mconnor at mozilla.com
Tue Sep 8 19:47:51 UTC 2015

My mental model here is that system add-ons are indivisible (conceptually)
from the base app, except that we can push updates out of band from core
release cycles.  To that end, I don't think reverting to release-time
versions makes the most sense, since updates may include
security/crash/other critical fixes that would be chemspills in a
monolithic model.

I would counter-propose that "Safe Mode" should load the latest stable
version.  That could involve downloading the stable version (if there's an
update we haven't applied), which is okay, because the goal is to get users
to the latest known good configuration.

On that note, I also wonder if Safe Mode should update to the latest
version as a part of the launch process. Obviously that's scope creep, but
in terms of "get a user to a working configuration" updating to latest
would seem like an improvement for users.  Something to think about, at

On 8 September 2015 at 12:10, Dave Townsend <dtownsend at mozilla.com> wrote:

> They are in the Firefox install anyway so always available to fall back to
> in various cases.
> On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 9:02 AM, Laura Thomson <lthomson at mozilla.com>
> wrote:
>> It makes sense to me. I'm assuming it also means keeping a copy of
>> release-time system add-ons locally?
>> On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 11:54 AM, Dave Townsend <dtownsend at mozilla.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Currently Firefox's safe mode disabled all add-ons bringing the user
>> back to
>> > stock Firefox. What about system add-ons though? We've been talking
>> about
>> > system add-ons as being required pieces of functionality that the user
>> won't
>> > see in the add-ons manager and (generally) won't be able to turn off.
>> > Treating them as normal add-ons for safe mode purposes breaks that.
>> >
>> > The point of safe mode is to revert the user to a working state almost
>> like
>> > having a clean profile so I propose that in safe mode any system add-ons
>> > that have been updated mid-cycle are ignored and instead we revert the
>> user
>> > to the system add-ons that shipped with their current Firefox install.
>> >
>> > Any arguments against?
>> >
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