Intent to ship: IndexedDB API in Private Browsing Mode

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Harveer Singh

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May 16, 2023, 1:56:03 PM5/16/23
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In Firefox 115, we plan to enable the support for IndexedDB (IDB) in Private Browsing Mode (PBM).


Bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1639542 

Specification: The IndexedDB standard in normal mode has been already supported for a long time. There is no formal specification for PBM in general; there is a draft.

Preference: dom.indexedDB.privateBrowsing.enabled

Other browsers: Blink: shipped, Webkit: shipped


IndexedDB exposes an API to store persistent data in the form of key/value pairs. Data is namespaced by a combination of an origin and IDB Database (DB) name. On disk, persistence is guaranteed by a sqlite database and there’s an on-disk sqlite database for every IDB DB. IndexedDB has been standardized long ago and it has been used extensively by developers, see here: https://www.w3.org/TR/2015/REC-IndexedDB-20150108/.


However, as privacy and security are becoming increasingly prevalent, users often prefer to use browsers in private browsing mode (PBM). Storage APIs are a bit tricky to support in PBM and Firefox only supported LocalStorage for quite some time now. IDB is the next in the line-up we are enabling support for. Some other browsers like Google Chrome already have full support for IDB in PBM. There’s still no formal standard or specification for PBM in general as it’s still an evolving feature (https://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/private-browsing-modes/). In order to support IDB in PBM, we started to work on a prototype some 3 years ago and it was behind a preference (disabled, by default) but could not be completed for other priorities for a while. With some recent work, the feature is now ready to be consumed by a wider audience. After preliminary enabling on nightly last week to shake out any issues, we are now planning to enable it and let it ride the trains to 115.


Should there be any questions, besides posting it here please feel free to reach out to #workers-and-storage on matrix.


Thanks,
Harveer

Andrew Overholt

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May 17, 2023, 1:51:51 PM5/17/23
to Harveer Singh, dev-pl...@mozilla.org
It's great to see this shipping, Harveer and team! It's been a long journey so congratulations on getting here.

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