Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 56


  • Firefox Lockbox now available on Android! Check it out!
  • Responsive Design Mode in Dev Tools supports Meta Viewport, behind the devtools.responsive.metaViewport.enabled pref!

Responsive Design Mode with broken meta viewport handling Responsive Design Mode with fixed meta viewport handling

Screenshot of new "Logins and Passwords" app menu item

  • The autocomplete suggestion list has a spiffy new “View Saved Logins” button.

Screenshot of "View Saved Logins" button in autocomplete suggestion list

Screenshot of "Reload All Tabs" button in Privacy settings

Screenshot of new FxA avatar button in panel

  • Rust-powered bookmark syncing landed in Nightly, behind the services.sync.engine.bookmarks.buffer pref! This is an under-the-hood change that lets us share core sync logic between Desktop and mobile. Please file a bug if you notice issues.

Friends of the Firefox team

Here’s a list of all resolved bugs.

Fixed more than one bug

  • akshitha shetty
  • Carolina Jimenez Gomez
  • Dhruvi Butti
  • Fanny Batista Vieira [:fanny]
  • Florens Verschelde :fvsch
  • Helena Moreno (aka helenatxu)
  • Hemakshi Sachdev [:hemakshis]
  • Heng Yeow (:tanhengyeow)
  • Ian Moody [:Kwan]
  • Jawad Ahmed [:jawad]
  • Mellina Y.
  • Monika Maheshwari [:MonikaMaheshwari]
  • Neha
  • Nidhi Kumari
  • Syeda Asra Arshia Qadri [:aqadri]

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

Project Updates

Activity Stream

  • Preparing to launch the Pin Tabs CFR message globally in 68
    • Currently just en-US in Beta (around 10% of the people that open the message will also pin the tab)
  • We’re investigating Pocket New Tab startup performance
    • There is a regression on the reference hardware compared to the default (66) New Tab experience
    • The current theory is that it is caused by network calls/processing for fetching images
    • The target is to make Pocket New Tab the default experience in 68
    • Working on lazy loading images
    • Meta Bug for performance work

Add-ons / Web Extensions


Services (Firefox Accounts / Sync / Push)

  • Thom is working on an HTTP client abstraction for our Rust components. We’ll use Necko via GeckoView on Android, and system networking libraries on iOS.
  • Thom and Ryan are also working on a crypto abstraction, using NSS and OS-level crypto, for encrypting and decrypting sync records and push messages.

Browser Architecture

Developer Tools

  • Thanks to Fanny Batista Vieira (GSOC), Adrian Anderson (Outreachy) and nikitarajput360 (Outreachy) for working on bug 1115363 – Add a Copy context menu item to the Storage Inspector.
  • Thanks to Avi Mathur for working on bug 1291427 – Table headers are not removed when selecting an empty storage
  • Good number of external contributions for the Console:
    • Helena Moreno added support for Cmd+K to clear the console – Bug 1532939
    • Helena Moreno added support to open URL of network messages with Cmd/Ctrl + click in the console – Bug 1466040
    • Erik Carillo made the console less painful to navigate with the keyboard by adding a role=main attribute on the output – Bug 1530936
    • Bisola Omisore implemented NOT clearing the console input when evaluating, for the editor mode – Bug 1519313
      • lots of in progress bugs
  • Grouping of tracking protection messages in Console is in progress – Bug 1524276
  • Column breakpoints in the Debugger are faster and more polished, esp. on reload
  • Network Panel now has support for resizable columns (Bug 1533764). Kudos to Lenka, who finished this feature during her Outreachy internship and who already picked up the next feature.
  • Landed a blank markup view bug related to a CORS issue (Bug 1535661)
  • Landed a redesigned settings panel for RDM (thanks to our design contributors @KrisKristin) and will soon land the ability to edit devices
  • You can now (remote) debug service workers in e10s multiprocess if you are also running the new ServiceWorkers implementation (dom.serviceWorkers.parent_intercept) (bug)
  • The all new and improved about:debugging is getting close to shipping (try it by enabling or going to about:debugging-new). This new version allows you to debug Gecko in USB devices without launching WebIDE, amongst many other improvements.
    • If you test it and find bugs, please file them here and we’ll take care of them.
  • Removed Shader, Web audio, Canvas and shared components (see Intent to Unship for reference)


  • Ian Moody is rolling out the ESLint rule no-throw-literal across the tree.
    • This will help improve our error messages and handling.
  • Gijs is working on enabling at least basic ESLint parsing for XUL files.
  • ESlint is now enabled for docshell/, uriloader/, dom/browser-element/ and dom/url/
  • (Hopefully) landing soon:
    • ‘Automatic’ ESLint configuration for test directories.
    • Less .eslintrc.js files will be needed.
    • Directories where the path is of the following formats will be automatically configured and not need a .eslintrc.js file:
    • xpcshell:
      • **/test*/unit*/
      • **/test*/xpcshell/
    • browser-chrome mochitests: **/test*/**/browser/
    • plain mochitests: **/test*/mochitest/
    • chrome mochitests: **/test*/chrome/
    • I’m planning more follow-up work in the future to reorganise non-matching test directories to fit these structures where possible. Things like browser/base/content/test may get special exceptions.


Firefox for Echo Show

Android Components

Password Manager


This is a graph of the ts_paint startup paint Talos benchmark. The highlighted node is the first mozilla-central build with the hidden window work. Lower is better, so this looks like a nice win!

Performance tools

  • Added “Build Type” and “Update Channel” information to header metadata panel.

Metadata panel on Firefox Profiler that includes “Build Type” and “Update Channel” information

  • Added a “PID” label under the global tracks.

Parent Process track with PID under it

  • Working on PII sanitization before sharing a profile. Will be ready within a couple of weeks.


Search and Navigation

  • Studies:
    • Federated learning should launch in April
    • NewTab Search in private browsing is live
    • Quantum Bar in nightly is live
  • Working on remaining unit test failures, before landing built-in WebExtension Search Engines on Nightly 68

Quantum Bar

  • Nightly study is ongoing, got useful bug reports, keep them coming
  • Lots of autofill fixes and burning down list of blockers
  • Work continues on accessibility, RTL, flicker
  • Initial API design for future experiments, under discussion

2 comments on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 56”

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  1. Caspy7 wrote on

    FYI, the link for the “Search and Navigation” heading is broken.


    1. lina wrote on

      Good catch, fixed! 👀


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