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These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 80


  • We now show three recommended articles when saving a webpage to Pocket.
The “Saved to Pocket” doorhanger is open. A “similar stories” section is open at the bottom with articles about cooking.

The “Saved to Pocket” doorhanger is open. A “similar stories” section is open at the bottom with articles about cooking.

    • To enable this, set extensions.pocket.onSaveRecs to true, and restart.
    • This is an enhancement and thus will be turned on by default without an experiment.
  • We implemented a minimal skeleton UI which will display immediately when starting Firefox, intended to give early visual feedback to users on slow systems. Windows users can turn this on by setting the pref “browser.startup.preXulSkeletonUI” to true (currently only works for the default Firefox theme.)
  • We’re mentoring a set of students from MSU on various Picture-in-Picture improvements. Recent fixes include:
  • Changes to the Add-on Manager to support the Promoted Add-ons pilot program have been landed in Firefox 82, in particular to:
    • show in about:addons the new “Verified” and “Line extension” badges (Bug 1657476)
    • allow “Verified”, “Recommended” and “Line” extensions to be hosted on third party websites (Bug 1659530)
  • Reminder: You can help us test Fission (out-of-process iframes) in Nightly by setting fission.autostart to true in about:config, and restarting the browser
    • If you find any Fission bugs, please report them under the meta fission-dogfooding. The Fission team appreciates your help. 🙂

Friends of the Firefox team

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • Chris Jackson
  • Kriyszig
  • Michael Goossens
  • Reid Shinabarker

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

  • 🌟 Tanner Drake made sure that we always respect the pref.
  • 🌟 Ben D (:rockingskier) implemented STOMP WebSocket message parsing.
  • 🌟 Chris Jackson, 🌟 Hunter Jones, 🌟 Reid Shinabarker, and 🌟 Manish Rajendran fixed many Picture-in-Picture bugs! See this issue’s PiP section for details.

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

WebExtension APIs

Developer Tools

  • Shipping Server Sent Events (SSE) Inspector – Server-Sent Events (SSE) is a server push technology enabling a client to receive automatic updates from a server via HTTP connection (mdn). The SSE Inspector is part of the existing Network Panel in DevTools reusing the user interface for inspecting WebSockets.
    • Contributed by a student (former GSoC candidate)
  • DevTools Fission M2
    • Working on main architecture changes and adopting panel by panel.
    • Focusing on testing (preparation for the Fission Nightly experiment, Oct 9)
  • Marionette Fission
    • Main infrastructure changes landed, focusing on individual commands now.


  • The next milestone M6b has 29 remaining bugs. The most significant remaining change remaining is moving most of the session history to the parent process rather than each child. The current plan is to enable this for M6b. You can try it out by enabling the ‘fission.sessionHistoryInParent’ preference along with ‘fission.autostart’ preference and report any bugs related to bug 1656208.
  • A fission nightly experiment will be launched soon in early October.
  • In early October, Fission will also be available as an opt-in feature in about:preferences for Nightly only.

Installer & Updater

  • bytesized is taking on the long-standing update related papercut known as the staged updates bug (353804). When this happens, you may see Firefox update…only to be prompted to update immediately again afterwards. The work is still in planning stages (see details here) and will apply to partial updates only. Currently targeting Firefox 84.
  • nalexander is adding attribution support for macOS (1619353) which is targeting Firefox 83.

Password Manager

PDFs & Printing

  • Looking at potential blockers for 82
    • Some users are seeing long dialog loading times
    • Some users are seeing incorrect page sizes where the page is very small
    • Custom margins can no longer be set, adding support for them
    • Occasional preview errors when opening the dialog as the page is loading


  • bigiri has continued working on the ASRouter refactor and is down to just a few remaining broken tests
  • emalysz has been working on migrating the page action strings to fluent and lazifying the page action menu
  • gijs fixed pgo file writing to ensure we collect profiling data from non-webcontent child processes
  • gijs has been investigating different ways we can reduce the DOM size
  • mconley, gijs, florian, dthayer, and esmyth met to discuss the future of BHR, which the team will be working on next month


Search and Navigation

  • Separate private browsing engine feature (Nightly-only) has been disabled, while we figure out its destiny – Bug 1665301
  • Cleanup the search service after config modernization – Bug 1619922
    • The work completed, any remaining changes will be handled as usual bug fixes.
  • Consolidation of aliases and search keywords – Bug 1650874
    • UX working on a restyle of search preferences
Address Bar
  • Urlbar Update 2
    • Release moved to Firefox 83, including both search shortcuts and tab to search.
    • Lots of fixes and polish for the search shortcuts functionality (Bug 1659204, Bug 1662477, Bug 1657801, Bug 1658624, Bug1660778, …)
    • One-off buttons support key modifiers – CTRL/CMD to immediately search in new tab, SHIFT for the current tab (override search mode) – Bug 1657212

User Journey


  • New indicator has slipped again. Thankfully, we seem to have converged on a design that we think we can ship by default, so hopefully that will ride out in 83!
  • mconley is adding Notification Area icons to show device sharing state on Windows
    • This nearly made it in before the soft freeze, but got stymied by an unexpected shutdown leak, which mconley is now investigating.

One comment on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 80”

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    Awesome work! Thanks!


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