Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 53


  • The need for speed! Using some handy scripts from Florian, mconley was able to do some frame recordings on the 2018 reference hardware to measure start-up performance.
    • Firefox Nightly is running in the 4 frames on the left, Google Chrome is running in the 4 on the right.
    • Firefox Nightly is consistently faster to get to first paint, and faster to paint the browser toolbars.
    • The primary deficit appears to be presenting about:home, which we’ll be focusing on next.
Side-by-side comparison of Nightly and Chrome getting to first paint

Firefox Nightly is running in the 4 frames on the left, Google Chrome is running in the 4 on the right

Photo of Firefox running on a MacBook Pro with a search field and shortcuts in the Touch Bar

  • The team behind Firefox Lockbox, our password manager for Android and iOS, is working with the password manager team on a WebExtension for Firefox Desktop.
  • A new version of Firefox Screenshots landed in Nightly. This version disables screenshot uploads, and has migration instructions if you’ve uploaded screenshots before. There’s also a new Ctrl + Shift + S keyboard shortcut.
  • We’ve landed lots of Dev Tools improvements!
    • Logpoints landed in the Debugger, letting you add and edit console logs everywhere, without ever touching the files – thanks to Bomsy! Screenshot of debugger with context menu for logpoints
    •  📣 Call to Action:Use All The Breakpoints ✨ in the new debugger. Keep an eye out for issues. If you see something, say something.
  • The first Project Fission Newsletter is out!

Friends of the Firefox team

Fixed more than one bug

  • Abdoulaye O. LY
  • Avery Berninger
  • Special shout-out to Manish [:manishkk] for fixing 10 bugs in the last two weeks! 🎉
  • Martin Koroknay
  • Oriol Brufau [:Oriol]
  • Shivam Singhal [ :championshuttler ]
  • Tim Nguyen :ntim

New contributors

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions




Services (Firefox Accounts / Sync / Push)

Browser Architecture

Chart showing increased usage of Fluent for localized strings; decreased uses of properties and DTDs

Developer Tools

  • The new scrollable badge got enabled on Nightly by Patrick Brosset, letting you quickly find the element causing unwanted scrollbars.

Inspector showing existing "event" and new "scrollable" badge

  • The Debugger team is working across many fronts to provide you the Breakpoints quality that you deserve!
    • Brian Hackett is cleaning up the Debugger’s sources/script handling, which not only fixes long-standing issues with inline, console, evaled & gc’d scripts but also sets the foundation for shipping “windowless” worker debugging.
    • Landing: Logan Smyth unified the pause location logic in the Debugger Server & JS Engine. Expect rock solid & fast pausing/stepping!
  • Razvan landed the Copy support for the new Changes panel, so you can easily export the style modifications done the Inspector to share or apply in your IDE.

Style inspector with new "Copy Changes" context menu item

  • UX Contributor Florens Verschelde continues his icon update work with more and more batches.
  • Nicolas making it easier to copy and share traces from the Console by improving the copied formatting
  • Micah added a Copy Stylesheet URL to the Style Editor to make compat debugging easier.
  • Contributor Anthony X. added syntax highlighting to the Debugger’s conditional breakpoint input.
  • Contributor Jarim added the method filter to XHR Breakpoints.


  • Fission now has milestones in Bugzilla!
    • Milestone 1 (M1)
      • Render an OOP iframe
      • Targeted for end of February
    • Milestone 2 (M2)
      • Interactive OOP iframes
      • Targeting for +1 or 2 months, still TBD
    • Milestone 3 (M3)
      • Still being formulated
    • Please nominate bugs with Fission Milestone -> M1/M2/M3 if you think it applies to Fission
  • Groundwork for frame script replacement is landing at a fast pace.
  • Some docs for the front-end are on the wiki.


Password Manager


Policy Engine

Search and Navigation

Bookmarks & History

Quantum Bar

  • Lots of bug fixes and code cleanups, list too long.
  • Search one-off buttons have been added to the display, but currently can’t be selected/clicked on.
  • Now ported the majority of tests in the urlbar/ directory to work with QuantumBar. Likely to start on those outside the urlbar/ directory soon.
  • Working on getting the list of bugs remaining for Nightly down, will likely be looking at starting wider testing soon.

User Experience

  • After the implementation of Contextual Feature Recommender (CFR) for Extensions, the goal is to extend recommendations to include Firefox features, like Pinned Tabs. For example, if you open multiple tabs and repeatedly use these tabs, we may offer you a feature called “Pin Tabs” and explain how it works. Firefox curates the suggested features and notifies you in an appropriate context.

One comment on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 53”

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  1. MacTen wrote on

    The frame by frame comparison at the top is fairly useless if the rival browser and Firefox load entirely different pages.
    If you want a fair comparison load in both browser at startup a page like Wikipedia, New York Times or ArchiveOrg.

    Come on guys, don’t let this browser drop lower than 9%, and for g*ds sake, will you please fix the about:config page to allow:
    1) searching by value again
    2) sorting each column
    Massive feature removal! People have already criticized this on bugzilla. Will there be any action at all?


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