Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 71

Highlights

  • Pour one out because irc.mozilla.org is no more! Now raise a cup, because we’re all chatting on Matrix now, come join us!
  • The Network Monitor now shows links to the place where the request was initiated. Clicking on the links navigates the user to the Stack Trace side panel, with the entire stack trace showing.
    • The Network Monitor Developer Tool is showing a list of outgoing network requests in a table. One of the columns is Initiator, and it lists the file and line number where the request was initiated. That column is circled.

      🎶 Where did you come from, where did you go? 🎶

  • The password doorhanger icon now appears (by default) as soon as a password field is edited on a webpage. This allows the password to be saved to Firefox on any site where the user hasn’t chosen to never save! Please file bugs on this new feature.
  • Today’s Firefox 74 release includes Picture-in-Picture toggle adjustments for Instagram, Udemy and Twitch
  • The new search configuration format has now been turned on for Nightly builds. If you see anything unexpected with your default (Firefox-provided) search engines, please let us know by filing a bug.
  • Both Pocket Collections and Pocket stories in en-GB are in beta, and moving along to release now. We have a smoke test experiment going out in beta.

Friends of the Firefox team

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • aarushivij
  • dw-dev
  • Florens Verschelde :fvsch
  • Itiel
  • KC
  • Kriti Singh
  • Outvi V
  • Sebastian Zartner [:sebo]
  • Thal Marcelin
  • Tim Nguyen :ntim
  • Uday Mewada

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

WebExtensions Framework
  • Fixes related to geolocation and browserSettings optional permissions (Bug 1618398, Bug 1618500).
  • privacy is now supported as an optional permission (Bug 1618399).
  • Starting from Firefox 74, the dns permission doesn’t trigger a permission prompt anymore (Bug 1617861). uBlock has recently started to use this API to block trackers that disguise themselves as first party, but the wording for the DNS permission in the prompt was confusing (e.g. See Bug 1617873).
WebExtension APIs
  • Starting from Firefox 75, tabs.saveAsPDF supports two new optional properties: fileName and pageSettings (Bug 1483590). Thanks to dw-dev for contributing this!
  • The browserSettings API now supports the new zoomSiteSpecific and zoomFullPage settings (Bug 1286953), thanks also to dw-dev.
  • Tom Schuster fixed an issue triggered by calling browser.find.highlightResults with result objects that are missing the option rangeIndex parameter (Bug 1615761).
Addon Manager & about:addons
  • about:addons ot a small fix to make sure that the options menu doesn’t reopen when the user clicks on it again while it’s already opened (Bug 1603352)

Applications

Sync and Storage

  • Durable Sync, a project to port the Sync storage backend to Rust, is rolling out to more users! We’re going from 50% of new Sync users to 75% on March 11th.

Developer Tools

Console

  • In the Browser Toolbox, you can now select the context in which you want to evaluate a given expression (Bug 1605329)
    • A dropdown at the bottom of the Browser Toolbox console displays a dropdown that lets the user choose which context to run JavaScript in. parser-worker.js is currently selected.

      Context is important!

Network Monitor

  • It’s possible to use wildcards to block requests. See async-*.js example of the following screenshot.
    • A table in the Network Monitor developer tool shows a series of requests. Two of the requests are marked as "Blocked by DevTools", and a column shows that this block is due to a regular expression in the Blocking pane.

      Blocked by DevTools!

  • It’s possible to filter WebSockets messages with regular expressions (bug)
    • A table in the Network Monitor Developer Tool shows a series of requests, one of which is a WebSocket connection. The messages being sent over the WebSocket connection are being filtered by a regular expression in the side pane.

      This can be pretty handy if there’s lots of traffic going over the WebSocket.

Fission

  • Bernard finished his first fix, to get the unselected tab hover ported to Fission. This allows video decoding to start when hovering over a tab one might switch to.
  • Porting front end actors/components to JSWindowActors is now ⅔ complete.

Installer

  • Started work to move the installer UI out of NSIS and into a web based framework so that developers can make UI changes using plain ol’ (literally, it has to run in the old Internet Explorer rendering engine! 🗿) HTML and CSS.

Lint

Mobile

  • Fenix has support for WebPush! 🌐🖐 You can now get push notifications from sites that support it (e.g. Instagram, Twitter). Please file bugs for sites that don’t work.

New Tab Page

  • Starting to work on moving v2 recommendation code into a web worker.
  • We’ll also be exploring some new New Tab layouts designed for higher engagement, and exploring story density configuration. This gives the user back the ability to configure how much Pocket they see.
    • Both these ideas are in early design and likely see dev work in 77.
  • All development is now happening in mozilla-central (GitHub repo is frozen), and docs are updated. See this mailing list thread.

NodeJS

  • `mach vendor node` and other automation work is being scoped out. Anyone potentially interested in helping out with implementation is highly encouraged to ask @dmosedale or in the #fx-desktop-dev room on Matrix!

Password Manager

Performance

Performance Tools

  • The brand new capturing workflow has landed and you can use it on Firefox Nightly! You can enable it on profiler.firefox.com if you haven’t already.
    • A new panel for the Profiler Toolbar icon is displayed. It shows a single dropdown allowing users to select domain-specific settings. The current setting is "Web Developer".

      Shiny and new, and easy to use too!

  • There is a context menu for the timeline markers now.
    • A context menu is displayed over the tracks in the Firefox Profiler letting the user perform various actions on the region that was clicked.

      This is a very handy addition to the profiler UI!

  • Now you can drag and drop the profiles into profiler.firefox.com even though there is an opened profile already.

Picture-in-Picture

Search and Navigation

Search
  • Dale has fixed an issue with right-clicking and selecting search when using DuckDuckGo Lite.
  • Mark fixed an issue where shutting down in the middle of search engine startup could write an incomplete cache.
Address Bar
  • Notable changes:
    • Unified address bar and search bar clickSelectsAll behavior across all the platforms (prefs have been removed) – Bug 333714
  • Visual redesign (update 1)
    • Release scheduled for Firefox 75
    • Will run a pref-flip study in 74
    • Various minor fixes around design polish, telemetry and code cleanups
    • When Top Sites are disabled in the new tab page, the address bar fallbacks to the old list – Bug 1617345
    • Top sites are shown when the address bar input is cleared – Bug 1617408
  • Make Address Bar modules more easily reusable by other projects
    • Making the code more self-contained and less depending on the browser code layout
  • Address Bar results composition improvements
    • Aimed at improving results composition by fixing papercuts and improving frecency
    • Don’t suggest switching to the current tab – Bug 555694

Updater

User Journey

One comment on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 71”

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  1. klop*cz wrote on

    Thank you for these newsletters. I like reading of them very much. Please keep posting.

    Reply

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