Categories: Uncategorized

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 82


  • Urlbar Update 2 enabled on Firefox Beta. This work includes Search Mode, refreshed one-offs, and tab-to-search results.
  • We recently introduced tab-to-search results that are shown when a search engine’s domain is autofilled (e.g. The first few times we show tab-to-search results, we now show a larger onboarding result.The Urlbar is open. The second result is larger than the others and reads "Search with – Search with Google directly from the address bar"
  • Overflow debugging has been enabled in Nightly (call for feedback and comments)
    • Done as part of GSoC and a larger team collaboration between DevTools and Platform. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the meta!
    • New Scroll badge next to elements that do have a scrollable overflow area.
      • You can also click on the “scroll” badge for scrollable elements to toggle highlighting of the overflow causing elements, which also have a new “overflow” badge next to them.The DevTools inspector is shown. One element has a label next to it that reads “scroll”. Another element has a label that reads “overflow".
        The DevTools inspector is shown. The scroll label is highlighted. Some DOM elements are highlighted in purple.
  • In Firefox 84, the Add-ons Manager now shows optional permissions which the user can directly manage (until now only the extension could initiate the grant and revoke of the optional permissions) – Bug 1624513
    • Limitations: at the moment only the <all_urls> and “all urls”-like (e.g. https://*/*) host optional permissions are being listed and can be managed in about:addons, Bug 1497075 is the follow up that is tracking further improvement in this area (“giving the user more control on the host permissions”)The options page for an extension is shown. Under the Permissions tab, permissions are grouped into “required permissions for core functionality” and “optional permissions for added functionality”. The optional permissions have an on/off toggle next to them.

Friends of the Firefox team


Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Fixed more than one bug

  • Ben D (:rockingskier)
  • Hunter Jones
  • Itiel
  • Miguel Roncancio

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

WebExtension APIs
  • Richa Sharma contributed a fix that makes sure that when browser.tabs.sendMessage is called on an invalid tab id (e.g. related to a non existing or a pending tab) the API call rejects with a more clear “Could not establish connection. Receiving end does not exist” error (instead of the generic “An unexpected error occurred”) – Bug 1665568 (previously regressed in Firefox 79 by Bug 1583484)


  • Jared fixed an issue where favicons in the bookmarks toolbar flicker when starting Firefox or opening a new window (see 1597084)

Developer Tools

  • Continue making DevTools Fission compatible (wiki with known issues)


  • Nightly experiment is underway! This turns on Fission for a subset of the Nightly population to gauge stability, performance and usability. Users can also opt-in to Fission on Nightly in about:preferences#experimental.

Installer & Updater


  • The feature that shows additional recommendations in the panel when saving a page to Pocket just went out to release!

PDFs & Printing

  • Emilio added support for “Print Selection Only” from the context menu when you have text selected Bug 140718 (19 year old bug!)
  • Emma fixed a bug where printing immediately after changing some settings could lose your change Bug 1668476
  • Sam has a patch (pending test failures) to handle more cases where users might have invalid paper size prefs saved Bug 1666523
  • Emma added some more telemetry to record any unexpected errors Bug 1668242
  • Neil has a patch in review to move PrintingChild to a JSWindowActor (it’s the last legacy actor :o) Bug 1669369


Performance Tools

  • Lots of improvements, bug fixes and code maintenance during the Outreachy contribution period! Complete list can be found here. Thank you all!
  • Flame graph tooltips now show the add-on name as resource (NisaSource).Data about the performance of a Javascript call is shown. One of the data points shows “Extension ‘uBlock Origin” as the Resource.
  • If a marker has stack information, tooltip also shows when that stack information is captured (km-js).
  • Better timestamps for the Styles and Reflow markers. It was always showing the invalidation time as milliseconds, now it finds the most suitable unit (Cheederah).
  • Made the text of stack information more accessible by selecting a color with better contrast ratio (hetpatel33).Grey text from the Firefox Profiler is highlighted, showing its new color.
  • Made the origin texts of markers more accessible by selecting a color with better contrast ratio (hetpatel33).
  • Add-on icons now contain add-on names as alternative texts in the call-tree (Cheederah).
  • Made the screenshots bigger in the timeline (CipherGirl).The Firefox Profiler is shown. The user is highlighting a thumbnail and a large, floating screenshot is shown on top.



Search and Navigation

  • Fixed a bug where the urlbar couldn’t search for single words with a default POST search engine – Bug 1667931
  • Urlbar Update 2
    • Various polish fixes for both tab to search and search shortcuts
    • Search mode is now supported by Session Restore – Bug 1655486

User Journey


3 comments on “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 82”

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    Good work!


  2. Lukas Müller wrote on

    Is there a way to customize tab-to-search, i.e. enabling the functionality for certain websites?


    1. Harry Twyford wrote on

      Tab-to-search is shown when a website is installed as a search engine and its hostname is autofilled. There are a few ways to add a search engine; one is from the page actions menu in the address bar. This is dependent on the site offering this functionality. Here are some screenshots showing how to add a GitHub tab-to-search item:


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