[tbb-bugs] #25694 [Applications/Tor Browser]: Activity 3.1: Improve the user experience of updating Tor Browser

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Wed May 2 19:59:33 UTC 2018

#25694: Activity 3.1: Improve the user experience of updating Tor Browser
 Reporter:  isabela                   |          Owner:  antonela
     Type:  defect                    |         Status:  assigned
 Priority:  Medium                    |      Milestone:
Component:  Applications/Tor Browser  |        Version:
 Severity:  Normal                    |     Resolution:
 Keywords:  ux-team                   |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                            |         Points:
 Reviewer:                            |        Sponsor:  Sponsor17

Comment (by mcs):

 Additional tickets related to this task:
 #23721 (website banner)
 #25580 (Torbutton should trigger update)

 Kathy and I have been testing the revised updater UX that we get "for
 free" with our upcoming update to an ESR60-based Tor Browser. The main
 change compared to the older UX is that doorhangers are used to inform
 users about update-related things instead of a Big Ugly Window. Hopefully
 an expansion of what was done for Firefox will meet our needs. There are
 hidden preferences we can adjust so that Tor Browser users are nagged as
 soon as an update is available (Firefox delays some hours or days before

 Another thing to keep in mind is an architectural issue that we should
 resolve — Tor Browser currently uses two separate methods to determine if
 the browser needs to be updated:
 1. The traditional Firefox-based update service mechanism, which pulls
 down XML data from https://aus1.torproject.org/torbrowser/update_3/....
 These checks occur twice per day and trigger an automatic download and
 staging of the update.
 2. Retrieving
 This is used by Torbutton to display the update needed warning and
 associated arrow on the about:tor page. This kind of check occurs when a
 new window or tab is opened (including once during browser startup).
 Kathy and would like to eliminate the second method and simply reply on
 the update service checks, unless we need redundancy to make it less
 likely that a bad actor can mount a successful "denial of update" attack.
 If we keep both mechanisms, we should integrate them in a smart way.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25694#comment:4>
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