Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 54


  • Firefox Account is experimenting with putting an avatar next to the hamburger menu. It will give users visibility on their account, sync status as well as links to manage the account. Targeting landing soon!
    • A default toolbar button in the Firefox UI displays a panel to turn on syncing.

      Take Firefox with you!

    • A default toolbar button in the Firefox UI offers some Firefox Account options now that the user is logged in.
  • We have added support for blocking known fingerprinters and cryptominers with content blocking! This is currently enabled in Nightly.
    • This is currently enabled in Nightly, and is still experimental. It might break some sites.

  • Lots of DevTools goodies this week!
    • In the DevTools Debugger, the XHR breakpoint type (ANY, GET, PUT, POST, etc.)  can be now specified through new UI. This was done by a volunteer contributor, Jaril!
      • A dropdown in the DevTools debugger allows developers to break on different types of XHR requests, like GET, POST, PUT, HEAD, and DELETE.
  • Log points UX has been improved (including syntax highlighting, context menu and markers), thanks to contributors Bomsy and Florens
    • Log points are different from breakpoints – they don’t break JS execution, they just create a log when hit.
    • The DevTools debugger now allows developers to set "log points" that log some value when reaching a section of code.
  • It is now possible to copy all collected CSS changes done through DevTools UI. Thanks to Razvan Caliman!
    • A "Copy all changes" button has been added to the "Changes" panel in the DevTools Inspector.
  • Auto discovery of layout CSS properties (done by Micah Tigley). Hold shift and mouse over any defined property in the box-model widget (in the Layout sidebar). This will highlight the corresponding CSS property in the rule-view.
    • The DevTools Inspector now sends you to the rules that defined the various dimensions of the box when clicking on those dimensions in the Layout panel.
  • The Password Manager team has added a “View Saved Logins” footer to the password manager autocomplete popup  (disabled until the follow-up is resolved)
    • A "View Saved Logins" option now appears at the bottom of the login autocomplete list.
  • Tim Huang and Tom Ritter added letterboxing (an anti-fingerprinting technique) to Firefox
    • An anti-fingerprinting technique now adds additional padding around the content area.

      Note the gray margin in the content area.

Friends of the Firefox team

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • Hemakshi Sachdev [:hemakshis]
  • Manish [:manishkk]
  • Oriol Brufau [:Oriol]
  • Rainier Go [:rfgo]
  • Tim Nguyen :ntim
  • Trishul

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

Project Updates

Activity Stream

  • Landed and uplifted MVP for experiments, Beta smoke test started Monday.
  • Preparing to run 16 layout experiments in Release 66 cycle for better engagement, e.g., large Hero articles vs List of articles
  • The team is helping Pocket engineers transition to increase ownership of new tab
  • CFR for Pinned Tabs will be our next recommendation experiment!
    • First experiment recommends add-ons, e.g., Facebook Container, Google Translate
    • Current experiment will suggest pinning tabs, e.g., Gmail, productivity / messaging sites

Add-ons / Web Extensions


  • Latest server release is on stage environment for testing prior to release (Changelog)
    • We have now exposed server shutdown strings to web localizers. In case anyone asks, Screenshots is not being removed from Firefox, just the ability to upload shots.
    • This upcoming server release will include tools to help users download their saved shots
  • This past sprint continued the focus on foundational work:
    • [lorchard] “Reveal Password” functionality (#84)
    • [loines] Define & document telemetry metrics (#82)
    • [lorchard] Expect a complete Login when updating in addon Logins API (#80)
    • [6a68] Re-style the list view on the management page (#76)
  • Our work is tracked as the ‘desktop’ repository within the Lockbox waffle board
  • We don’t yet have any good-first-bugs filed, but swing by #lockbox if you want to contribute ^_^
Services (Firefox Accounts / Sync / Push)
  • New FxA device pairing flow landed in Nightly, but pref’d off for now. You’ll soon be able to sign in to FxA on Android and iOS by scanning a QR code, instead of typing your password!
    • Check out this Lucidchart sketch to see the flow if you’re curious to learn more!

Developer Tools

  • Resizeable Columns – Our Outreachy #17 intern Lenka Pelechova is finishing support for resizeable Columns in the Network panel. Currently focusing on Performance (bug)
Layout Tools
  • Our UX Designer Victoria Wang published survey for CSS Layout Debugging. You can help us build better CSS debugging tools (quick single-page survey)
Technical debt
  • Firefox 67 will soon display a removal notice (in the Options panel) about the Shader Editor, Canvas and Web Audio panels, which are going to be removed in 68. Work done by Yulia Startsev. Until the MDN page is up, you can look at the intent to unship post in the mailing list.
    • Warnings being displayed next to various panel toggles in the DevTools Settings panel, letting users know that these panels are deprecated.
Remote Debugging
  • Showing backward compatibility warnings in about:debugging (bug)
    • A warning is now displayed when DevTools is remotely connected to a Firefox that has a different version number.
  • Added a checkbox to enable local addon debugging (bug)
    • A checkbox has been added to about:debugging to enable extension debugging.
  • Open the Profiler for remote runtimes in about:debugging (bug)
    • A dialog from about:debugging now allows you to gather a performance profile from the connected instance of Firefox.



Performance tools

  • moved to and perf.html is now called “Firefox Profiler”.
  • I/O markers are now visible in the timeline. I/O marker stacks are visible when hovering them, and in lots of cases the path of the file that was touched is shown.
    • When capturing a profile, to have I/O markers, you need to check the “Main Thread IO” checkbox in the Gecko profiler add-on, or enable the “mainthreadio” feature using the MOZ_PROFILER_STARTUP_FEATURES environment variable when profiling startup.
    • We are investigating optionally collecting markers for off-main thread I/O, and enabling main thread I/O markers by default.
      • A FileIO marker with operation, source, filename and stack information

        A FileIO marker with operation, source, filename and stack information

  • We improved shutdown profiling: it’s now compatible with mainthreadio markers, and shows content process shutdowns. Here’s a profile with startup + shutdown, on a fresh profile, with I/O markers.
  • We have markers for <script>s, privileged js files, and nsObserverService::NotifyObservers now in the Firefox Profiler.
      • A Script marker with name information

        A Script marker with name information


      • A script marker and other SubScript markers that it triggers

        A script marker and other SubScript markers that it triggers


      • A “NotifyObservers” marker with “profile-before-change” name

        A “NotifyObservers” marker with “profile-before-change” name


Policy Engine


Search and Navigation

Quantum Bar

One comment on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 54”

Post a comment

  1. John M. wrote on

    So cryptomining blocker is not enabled by default in the latest build of nightly!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *