Search persistence, a new migrator and more! - These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 129

Skip to first unread message

Mike Conley

Dec 15, 2022, 4:29:37 PM12/15/22
to Firefox Dev
Hello, all!

The end of year holidays are quickly approaching, but the Firefox Desktop team had an opportunity to get together to swap notes and updates on various things that are going on in the codebase. We've taken the liberty of massaging those meeting notes into something a bit more palatable for you all.

Special thanks for Jared Hirsch and Niklas Baumgardner who put these notes together with me!


  • James from the Search team has been working on persisting the search term in the address bar after you do a search in it. It is now enabled on Nightly (see bug 1802564). Try it out, file bugs if you see them and let us know if you have any feedback.

    • [Screenshot]
      • Caption: A Firefox window is shown with the search term "mozilla" in the URL bar. The search term is persisted there even though the results have been loaded already in the content area. The search input has some informational text below it saying: "Searching just got simpler. Try making your search more specific here in the address bar. To show the URL instead, visit Search, in settings."
  • Evan, one of the students working with us from CalState LA, landed a patch that adds a new Opera GX migrator

    • It’s currently disabled by default, but can be enabled by setting `browser.migrate.opera-gx.enabled` to true in about:config

  • For WebExtension authors: thanks to Alex Ochameau’s work in Bug 1410932, starting from Firefox 110 the errors raised from extension content script contexts will be logged in the related tab's web console

  • The screenshots component now respects the setting “Always ask you where to save files” when downloading screenshots. Set `screenshots.browser.component.enabled` to true to use this feature.

Friends of the Firefox team

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Volunteers that fixed more than one bug
  • Gregory Pappas [:gregp]

  • Itiel

  • Janvi Bajoria [:janvi01]

  • Jonas Jenwald [:Snuffleupagus]

New contributors (🌟 = first patch)

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

Addon Manager & about:addons
  • Improvements to “all sites” optional permissions support in the about:addons permissions view - Bug 1778461

WebExtensions Framework
WebExtension APIs

Developer Tools

  • Zac Svoboda improved the color of errors in the JSON viewer (bug)

  • We added scrollend event in the Debugger Event Breakpoints panel (bug)

    • [Screenshot]
      • Caption: The Firefox debugger panel is open and is paused on an event breakpoint. Informational text is present saying: "Paused on event breakpoint. DOM 'scrollend' event". A list of Event Listener Breakpoints is also highlighted showing that the debugger can break anytime "scrollend" events fire.
WebDriver BiDi
  • Julian fixed a bug in webDriver where WebDriver:FindElements would not retrieve elements if the Firefox window was behind another app’s window (bug)

  • Sasha added full support for session.subscribe and session.unsubscribe commands (bug, spec)

  • Henrik added support for serialization of Node objects (bug)

  • James implemented the browsingContext.captureScreenshot command (bug, spec)

Desktop Integrations

ESMification status

Lint, Docs and Workflow

Migration Improvements (CalState LA Project)

Performance Tools (aka Firefox Profiler)

  • Made searching in markers more generic. Now any property can be a searchable property, the gecko engineers can now change this themselves without changing the frontend. (PR #4352, Bug 1803751)

  • Landed some changes in the category colors (more contrast, brown is now really brown, added a new magenta color).

  • Changed the treeherder performance regression template to output the before and after profile links for each regression (PR #7588)

    • [Screenshot]
      • Caption: A table is shown in a Bugzilla comment showing various regressions being reported for a patch in that bug. A new column is highlighted in that table. The header of that column is "Performance Profiles", and each row has a set of "Before" and "After" links linking the reader to useful performance profiles for debugging the regression.

Search and Navigation

  • [James] fixed context menu search terms to be displayed in the address bar for certain engines. Bug 1801602 

  • [Drew] has refactored quick suggest telemetry tests. Bug 1804807 

  • [Drew] did a bunch of refactors to support row buttons in all row types. Bug 1803873 

  • [Dale] updated a few strings for the quick action buttons. Bug 1783153 

  • [Dale] turned off quickactions on zero prefix by default. Bug 1803566 

  • [Stephanie] fixed a bug so we can record search telemetry from different search engines who have the same underlying ad provider. Bug 1804739 

  • [Mandy] fixed a bug where search engine order was modified. Bug 1800662 

  • [Standard8] has refactored multiple files in search:

    • Bug 1804520 - removed the callback argument for SearchSuggestionController

    • Bug 1803911 - replace Cu.reportError calls in newtab

Storybook / Reusable components

  • Our Storybook is online

    • Currently a manual deployment process, will look into automating it soon

  • moz-button-group element landed in about:logins, standardising/simplifying a few modal buttons. See Bug 1792238 and Bug 1802377

    • Before:
      • [Screenshot]
        • Caption: A dialog box showing warning text that passwords are being exported in plaintext to a file. The buttons at the bottom of the dialog are spaced with "Cancel" on the left, and "Export..." on the right.
    • After:
      • [Screenshot]
        • Caption: A dialog box showing warning text that passwords are being exported in plaintext to a file. The buttons at the bottom of the dialog are right aligned.
  • Emilio updated stylesheet loading to be sync for our privileged shadow DOM, avoiding flashes of unstyled content (FOUC) Bug 1799200

Below the fold

  • General triage:

    • mkaply, jhirsch, Neil, and Johnathan Sudiaman are this month’s triagers!

    • mstriemer, hjones, niklas and sclements will triage starting 2023

  • [Mossop]: No meeting 27th December

  • [Mandy] Question

    • The Fx Desktop meeting seems to be sharing demos and updates across the broader engineering team. There've been really cool updates and demos in the past. There is a newsletter that gets sent out and the updates are posted in the Mozilla wiki. But I am worried and concerned that these updates are not getting to our users. There's been a recurring theme that our features are not discoverable. Example, searching tabs, bookmarks, and history using shortcuts on the address bar.

    • I'm wondering if there's a way to bring these updates we discuss in our Fx desktop meeting and make it more discoverable for our users? Sort of like a newsletter and tips for specifically our users, that they can always go back to and find it again. Maybe something like, an about:tips or about:new-features pages.

      • mconley: this hits the nightly blog after comms review, that's the most accessible spot currently (posting to fx-dev less so)

      • bit of a missing step here: 8 week gap between nightly and release. easy for nightly users to forget about stuff by the time there's a release-oriented comms cycle

      • jaws: where do we think our users are? how could we reach them? it depends

        • mconley: and do they want to be reached? There’s a fine balance, I think, between informing users and annoying users.

      • jaws: post more to a firefox nightly youtube channel? (except marketing-sensitive stuff)

      • mstriemer: Chrome updated for me recently and it has a really nice promo page on update with new features + promoting existing ones

        • mandy: screen share showing this page in chrome (with historical updates and latest updates)

        • mconley: I recall a What’s New feature in Firefox… a gift-box button. This was intentionally removed during Proton (2020).

        • amy: I used to work on the whats new page and they might be excited for some input / updates. Happy to help bridge connections there.

        • mconley: This does also feel like something related to Release Management… like, each release has an assigned Release Manager that is tracking each release. Feels like an overlap between Release Management and Marketing.

        • jaws: Engineering has a role here as well. We need to give Release Management and Marketing material to work with.

      • Actions:

        • Amy Churchwell to find out who is responsible for updating the What’s New page, and what process they use to get their information.

    • DevTools team started to put updates in Release Notes (e.g. )

    • [jaws] relnote-firefox tracking flag! Use this (set to `?` and fill in the form) to alert our Release Managers / Marketing team about things that are relevant to a release.

This information, including all of the previous updates, are fully available in this doc:

Also note that I'm really just synthesizing and humanizing the stuff that's on the Wiki, which is freely available from here:, so check that out if you want the source material. It'll also be posted (minus the Below the Fold stuff) to the Nightly blog.

Finally, if there's a Firefox-ish team that you feel isn't being represented here, please let them know about the above meeting so we can get their updates.

Keep on rockin' the free web,


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
To view this discussion on the web visit
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages