Categories: News

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 78


  • The tab modal print UI work is still in full swing, and is aiming for Firefox 81.

A screenshot of the new printing dialog in Firefox. A pane on the left shows a render of how Firefox's Wikipedia page will appear on a printed page. Many printing options appear to the right, including the printer destination, number of copies, and whether to print in portrait or landscape.

  • A new and colorful “Alpenglow” theme is included in Firefox 81, and is available from about:addons, about:welcome and the Customize UI.

A screenshot of a theme picker. Text in the image reads: "Choose a look. Personalize Nightly with a theme." Under are four images representing Firefox themes, labelled "Automatic", "Light", "Dark", and "Firefox Alpenglow".

  • Address bar Design Update 2 is enabled in Nightly, including search mode. Search mode unifies search engine one-offs and @aliases.

A search for "coffee" in Google search mode. Coffee-related Google search suggestions are shown in the address bar.

A search for "coffee" in Wikipedia search mode. Coffee-related Wikipedia search suggestions are shown in the address bar.

Quickly switch between search engines!

Friends of the Firefox team

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • Kriyszig
  • manas

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

  • 🌟 aichi.p.chang fixed an issue with how we were passing parameters to observers in our region-detecting code.
  • 🌟 codywelsh improved the grid layout in DevTools fission preferences.
  • Duncangleeddean upgraded eslint-plugin-jest.
  • Luc4leone added an option to the debugger editor context menu for the user to be able to wrap / unwrap long lines.
  • Nikhilkumar.c16 swapped the collapse and block icons for blocked network messages in the DevTools Console.

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

WebExtensions Framework
WebExtension APIs
  • Fixed a regression on the API, which was excluding non-first party cookies in the requests triggered by the API if the extensions do not have explicit host permissions (regressed in Bug 1437626 and fixed in Bug 1655190)
  • Thanks to Tim Giles, Firefox will now be showing in about:preferences if an extension is controlling the password saving pref by using the API (Bug 1620753)

Developer Tools

  • Our top priorities for the next while are Fission compatibility, both for DevTools and Marionette (which is powers internal and third-party browser testing tools)


  • A slightly re-organized about:processes is coming:

about:processes shows a table of processes, and within each process, a tab and subframe that’s running inside of it

Installer & Updater

  • Bug 1647422 – Profile Counter Telemetry
    • Although there is an existing profile count metric, this new metric counts across OS users and across reinstallations.
    • Implemented as a scalar: browser.engagement.profile_count
  • Bug 1647443 – Langpack Updates
    • Users who are working with langpacks see their Firefox version flip back to the English with each update because the langpack hasn’t been updated yet.
    • At the start of patch download, we now call the add-ons manager to start the langpack update process. We then defer signalling that the update is ready until the language packs are staged.
  • Bug 1639067 – Downloadable Filetype Improvements
    • Similar to the work done to allow users opening PDFs to do so in Firefox, we’re adding to the list of file types that we’ll allow you to open with Firefox after downloading them. We’ll now support users who want to open .xml, .avif, .svg, and .webp files in Firefox in addition to .pdfs.


New Tab Page

  • Working on turning newtab Pocket stories on in new regions.
    • English stories for en-US/en-GB browsers in Ireland and India.
    • Creating a generic English story feed to turn use for en-US globally.
    • German stories for de browsers in Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium.
  • We’ll be running an experiment to show the default browser notification toolbar on the New Tab Page.

Password Manager


Performance Tools

  • Added experimental event delay tracks. They are disabled by default, you need to enable it from the devtools console by calling `experimental.enableEventDelayTracks()`. Example profile
    A Firefox Profiler timeline view is shown. The x axis is time, the y axis is CPU activity. The graph on the bottom shows jagged red lines representing event delays.
  • Added an “Uploaded recordings” page to see your previously uploaded profiles: More features will be added, like deleting uploaded profiles.

A screenshot from the Firefox Profiler. Text in the reads "Uploaded Recordings". Underneath, two timestamped text entries list profiler recordings.


  • Picture-in-Picture should now be compatible with out-of-process iframes
  • We’ll be testing some variations on toggle appearance and positioning in Firefox 81.
  • User Research is compiling a report based on a week of user studies on the Picture-in-Picture feature. We hope to use this to better inform our future investment in the feature.

Search and Navigation


User Journey


  • We’re testing a default placement of the indicator, where it’s placed at the top-center of the last browser that spawned it
  • mconley has patches up that update the mic/camera buttons in the new indicator to do global muting

The WebRTC global sharing indicator showing that the user is sharing a Firefox window, the camera and the microphone. The camera icon shows that the camera is globally muted.

  • The new indicator is sticking to Nightly while we continue to refine the UX.


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