Photon landing strategy

Gijs Kruitbosch gkruitbosch at
Fri Mar 31 20:47:45 UTC 2017

I wanted to follow-up here in light of the thread about Dawn and plans 
about aurora. You voiced concerns there that longer nightly cycles would 
make the life of Photon devs harder. I'd like to understand those 
concerns better. AIUI, ifdefs and/or prefs would be workable and a 
longer nightly cycle wouldn't really make a difference there, right? 
We'll have to write the ifdefs/prefs anyway...

Related brainwave: I wonder if we could have a general pref here and 
expose it in CSS as a custom (-moz-photon) media query (via small 
amounts of CSS c++ code hooked up to a prefcache). That would avoid 
ifdefs for the CSS and would also avoid forks / custom themes, and it 
would mean that toggling the pref would immediately update the UI, more 
or less for free (minus invalidation issues, which in an ideal world 
don't exist, but at least it won't be a build-time switch!).

In general, if it's possible to end up with pref switches rather than 
ifdefs, that would be preferable, IMO, as it reduces the threshold to 
test this stuff out, and makes it easier to quickly test a change in 
both settings / versions, without rebuilding.

~ Gijs

On 30/03/2017 09:42, Dão Gottwald wrote:
> It's quite possible. Could just be a different theme folder with a 
> build-time switch. However, I don't see how that's better than a 
> project branch. It seems like a different way to fork stuff with 
> roughly the same overhead due to having to synchronize it.
> 2017-03-30 0:04 GMT+02:00 Mike Conley <mconley at 
> <mailto:mconley at>>:
>     Hey folks,
>     Not sure if my suggestion got lost in the shuffle, or if it's
>     malodourous / obvious enough that it didn't prompt reply, but
>     would landing the appearance changes as a new complete theme be
>     out of the question? I know we're tearing out the support for that
>     stuff, at least for third-party extensions, but for this kind of
>     theme development, it seems quite well suited.
>     Or am I wrong?
>     -Mike
>     On 29 March 2017 at 08:37, Dão Gottwald <dgottwald at
>     <mailto:dgottwald at>> wrote:
>         2017-03-29 14:18 GMT+02:00 Gijs Kruitbosch
>         <gkruitbosch at <mailto:gkruitbosch at>>:
>             On 29/03/2017 11:42, Dão Gottwald wrote:
>>             2017-03-28 14:22 GMT+02:00 Gijs Kruitbosch
>>             <gkruitbosch at <mailto:gkruitbosch at>>:
>>                 On 28/03/2017 08:06, Chris Peterson wrote:
>>                     It seems like some of the smaller visible UI
>>                     changes could probably ship in 55/56 without
>>                     needing a pref. Users probably won't notice some
>>                     of the UI polish features until everything is
>>                     into place in 57. Shipping these smaller bits in
>>                     55/56 would give us more testing.
>>                 Can you elaborate on this? What are "small visible UI
>>                 changes" that users "won't notice"? I'm skeptical
>>                 these even exists, looking at (for instance) things
>>                 like
>>                 <>
>>                 . comes to mind... And yes, of
>>                 course these are extreme examples, but I'm also
>>                 looking at the mockups I've seen and thinking I don't
>>                 see anything that falls in the "small polish"
>>                 category in our main theming & structural changes.
>>             You're reading Chris too literally.
>             I fail to understand what is "literal" about my reading
>             and how yours is less so, and I'm disappointed that you're
>             turning an honest question into "you're (reading it) wrong".
>         No need to take it personally, I was just trying to answer
>         your question. Clearly, there is no UI change that is
>         guaranteed to go unnoticed with every single user. Reworded as
>         "most users won't notice", are you still skeptical that such
>         changes exist?
>>             We're not trying to make it look like there were no
>>             changes at all between 54, 55 and 56, but the changes
>>             shouldn't particularly stand out and take away from Photon.
>>             <snip>
>>             For the visual refresh, I'm trying to be smart and divide
>>             the work into parts that can be tackled early and parts
>>             that should wait. Nihanth is going to start with
>>             integrating our new SVG toolbar button icons in bug
>>             1347543 -- this should land when it's ready (I've checked
>>             with shorlander, he's fine with this)
>             I wouldn't have thought that changing the icons over to
>             the Photon icon set would be something we'd do before 57,
>             as that's pretty noticeable.
>             (To be clear, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't do this
>             stuff prior to 57 if people are on board with it, but to
>             me this is a surprising example of "small changes".)
>         From what I've seen the icons are a bit sharper and thinner,
>         but in the grand scheme of things it's a rather subtle and
>         incremental change.
>         dao
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