Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 50


Friends of the Firefox team


  • Gijs introduces Patricia Lawless (:plawless)! Welcome!

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Project Updates

Activity Stream

  • CFR experiment (addon recommendation) in 63
  • Prefed on (in nightly) the new implementation of snippets on about:home and about:newtab
    • Same looks but removed security risks
  • Using attribution parameters to show different onboarding messages to user based on how they installed Firefox

Application Services (Sync / Firefox Accounts / Push)

  • A lot of exciting work happening on mobile. 🦊📱
    • Mark has history sync working between the Android Components reference browser and Desktop! 🕒
      • Showing the Firefox Sync settings in the Android Components reference browser

        Hooray for code re-usability!

    • Mark also wired up our Rust Places library to provide autocomplete suggestions for the Android Components AwesomeBar. 📇
    • Edouard and Ryan wired up the Android Components reference browser to the new client instance metadata API. This will power device names, as well as the new, faster “send tab to device”. ✉️
    • Thom is continuing to improve our FFI layer, which lets our Android projects (and iOS, and, some day, Desktop!) consume our Rust syncing and storage libraries. 🛠
    • Thom and Nick have also been working on shipping composite builds, with all the Application Services Rust components in a single library. 📦
    • JR is sketching out an API for a Rust Push component, which we’ll use on mobile first, and eventually replace the push client on Desktop. 📣
    • Lina added history collection to GeckoView and the GeckoView engine in Android Components, and some fixes for new bookmark sync. 📚




Android Components
  • Last week we released version 0.31.0 and this week 0.32.0 of Android Components. Some highlights of those releases:
    • NestedGeckoView / NestedWebView implementations to synchronize scrolling with a toolbar or other views (e.g. hiding the toolbar when the web content is scrolled).
    • A new component called concept-fetch defining an abstract definition of an HTTP client for fetching resources. In 0.32.0 we landed two implementations of this concept based on HttpURLConnection and okHttp (GeckoView/Necko implementation to follow soon). Eventually all HTTP client code in the components will be replaced with concept-fetch and consumers can decide what HTTP client implementation components should use in an app.
    • Permission requests of content (e.g. camera, location, protected media playback, ..) can now be observed and processed via the browser session component.
    • A rewritten, configurable session storage for persisting the session state to disk.
  • In addition to that we landed a lot of improvements in our Reference Browser (Nightly builds available here):
    • Integrated crash reporting using lib-crash component.
    • Added awesome bar using browser-awesomebar component.
    • Toolbar is hiding automatically now when scrolling web content.
    • Added browser-storage-sync component for saving and syncing browser history soon.


  • dthayer
    • Work on document splitting is ongoing. This will allow us to eventually output these to separate framebuffers which we can hand to the OS compositor, allowing us to not have to paint the whole window every time something in the chrome changes / animates.
    • Doing some scaffolding work to support having async work inside PromiseWorkers.
  • Felipe
    • Tab animation work is ongoing
    • Try builds generated and waiting for feedback from UX
    • Cleaning up patches to start feedback/early-review cycles
  • Florian
    • QA is testing the new about:performance features.
    • Fixing more bugs (rtl, minor layout issues, etc.)
    • Working on a tool to explore BHR (background hang reporter) data – feedback welcome!
  • Gijs
    • Continuing to experiment with lowering vsync frame rate on low-end devices to improve performance there.
    • Landed a fix to make the initial tab remote immediately, to avoid loading about:blank in the parent first. Continuing work on reducing about:blank-loading overhead.
    • Chasing a Linux-only leak regression in our printing tests that seems to have to do with the focus manager holding on to a content window indefinitely.
  • mconley

Policy Engine

  • Uplifted to beta and ESR policies for:
    • Certificates
    • Locale switching
    • Startup choices (restore session, new tab page..)
    • Updating Extensions
  • Platform-level macOS support also uplifted for beta/ESR
  • Removed the concept of GPO machine-only policies, which simplifies usage and documentation

Search and Navigation

Search Shortcuts Improvements
Quantum Bar

Web Payments

5 comments on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 50”

Post a comment

  1. John M. wrote on

    Something is wrong with the latest builds of nightly, for example Firefox Note not working correctly, I can not highlight texts, even the textbox is not clickable.
    Win10 x64, Firefox Note 4.2.0 .


  2. Andy wrote on

    Interesting, Note extension not working on Nightly, what you guys did to the Nightly!!
    More info:


  3. BelFox wrote on

    Thank you to the Mozilla team and all contributors and testers for yet another year of great Firefox releases!

    Please keep providing us with powerful privacy and customization features as well as extending the WebExtensions API (toolbar API!). I’ll keep promoting FF whenever I can 😉


  4. John Pluto Smith wrote on

    Is the blog not updated anymore?


    1. Pascal Chevrel wrote on

      Yes, don’t worry, we are just all a bit busy lately 🙂


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