Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 69


Screenshot showing the location of the reverse alphabetical widget on about:logins

  • The changes to extension sideloading that we announced back in October have landed!
  • Starting in Firefox 74, the preference to allow running extensions with embedded experimental APIs has been renamed from extensions.legacy.enabled to the more explicit extensions.experiments.enabled
    • If you need your WebExtension to use experimental APIs, then you’ll need to flip this preference.
  • The urlClassification property in the webRequest API, which classifies URLs into groups such as “tracking”, “cryptomining”, etc. is now available to all extensions (Bug 1589494)
  • Eager evaluation (aka Instant Evaluation) is now available on Nightly for DevTools! Check out the Console panel.
    Screenshot of the instant evaluation menu in the console

    Instant evaluation is showing the result (preview) of the current expression yet before it’s evaluated (i.e. the Enter key pressed). Selection changes in the autocomplete popup count too

      • Caption: Instant evaluation is showing the result (preview) of the current expression yet before it’s evaluated (i.e. the Enter key pressed). Selection changes in the autocomplete popup count too
    • There is also an option that can be used to control the featureScreenshot of the submenu were Eager Evaluation can be activated

Friends of the Firefox team


  • Introducing Bernard Igiri!

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • Alex Henrie
  • Andrew Swan [:aswan]
  • Andy Bruère [:abruere]
  • Florens Verschelde :fvsch
  • Itiel
  • Logan Smyth [:loganfsmyth]
  • Magnus Melin [:mkmelin]
  • Pranav pandey

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

The new contributors list is especially long this post because it contains new contributors since the last post went out!

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

Addon Manager & about:addons
  • Mark removed some old workarounds from about:addons (Bug 1610622, Bug 1565235) and fixed some issue related to the options page (Bug 1610227) and about:addons “categories sidebar” (Bug 1609069)
  • Extensions keyboard shortcuts can now be removed from the about:addons “manage shortcuts” view (Bug 1520119, and Bug 1475043 to allow the extensions themselves to unset a shortcut using browser.commands.update(…))


WebExtensions Framework
  • As part of the changes needed to fully adapt the WebExtensions internals to Fission, Tomislav ported the nativeApp messaging internals from MessageManager to the JSWindowActor based messaging (Bug 1602639)
  • Shane made sure that the manifest property content_security.isolated_world is aliased to content_security.content_scripts to improve Chrome compatibility of the changes to the extensions CSP (Bug 1594232)
  • Starting from Firefox 74 (Bug 1502525), the preference “extensions.webextensions.remote” (which makes the extension pages to run in a separate process when set to true) is now only being read once (which is useful to prevent unexpected behaviors when the preference is flipped at runtime)
  • The urlClassification property included in webRequest and proxy events details is now part of the public API available to all the extensions (Bug 1589494)


Fixed regressions


Other bugs fixed thanks to our contributors
  • atiqueahmedziad fixed the userScripts API schema (Bug 1605403)
  • myeongjun.ko fixed a bug in the storage.sync API (Bug 1561584)
  • aji.yash13 fixed a theme API bug (Bug 1592831)

Developer Tools


  • Autoclose brackets – The Console panel input now respects the Autoclose brackets option. Console automatically inserts the corresponding closing element for quotes & brackets (bug)
  • A new InactiveCSS warning landed. This one will let you know when one of the top, right, bottom, left and z-index properties are being used on a non-positioned element (bug)

Screenshot of the warning displayed for an inactive CSS property on an element

Check out the Rules side panel in the Inspector panel

  • The New Application panel is now enabled by default(in Nightly (only). Feel free to play with it if you have manifests and service works in your apps and report any issues you find here.

Screenshot of the new Application panel in Develeoper toolsNext steps include doing a UI review of this new panel and showing all workers for registrations.

  • WebSocket Inspector supports WAMP protocol, including JSON, MsgPack and CBOR (bug)

Available in the Network panel

WebSocket Inspector supports WAMP protocol, screenshot in the Network panel of Developer tools


New Tab Page

  • Discovery Stream enabled for rest of world in 73.
  • New stories recommendation updates available but preffed off in 74, going to run experiments with it.
  • Working on content collections for newtab stories experiment in newtab for 75. It’s a way to group similar stories based on a certain topic for a set amount of time, examples, if we wanted stories related to privacy, or entertainment, we could group them, or if we wanted to respond to something time based.
  • In 75 adding some prefs to enable stories in new locales, so we can run experiments on this before going live, initially this is going to be for the UK. Right now US, CA and DE see stories.


  • We are changing the minimum required version of NodeJS for Firefox builds from 8 to 10
    • Node 10 is the oldest Long Term Support version of Node that is still live. It was chosen (rather than Node 12) because we want to cause minimum disruption for older distributions still building modern versions of Firefox.
  • After this happens (I’ll post in the usual places), folks will need to execute `mach bootstrap` in order to get the updated NodeJS bits installed into ~/.mozbuild
  • Probably shouldn’t cause any problems, but if anything acts weird, feel free to contact or ask in #NodeJS on Slack

Password Manager


Performance Tools



Search and Navigation

Address Bar
  • Notable changes:
    • Fixed a regression in urlbar autofill when browser.urlbar.suggest.history = false – Bug 1602728
    • Search strings now ignore diacritics (controllable by pref) – Bug 1606731 
  • Visual redesign

User Journey

No comments yet

Post a comment

Leave a Reply

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