[tbb-dev] Tor Browser version strategy

Mark Smith mcs at pearlcrescent.com
Fri Mar 21 17:24:33 UTC 2014

Radical proposal of the day:  Can we use the Firefox major version 
number in the Tor Browser version?  This would mean that TBB versions 
would be 24.0, 24.1, 24.1.1, etc.

Why consider making this change?  Because doing so would allow us to 
greatly simplify the patches needed for bug #4234 (Use Firefox updater).

For the Firefox updater to work correctly, it needs to be able to check 
the version of an advertised update against the version of the software 
that is currently installed.  At the same time, for add-on compatibility 
the browser version itself must be close to that of the Firefox release 
it is based on.

We already have patches for #4234 that modify our Firefox build process 
to pass the TBB version through and use it inside all of the 
updater-related code (and to use the 24.x Firefox version when we need 
to do so).  However, the patches are messy and I don't think Mozilla 
could ever accept them; Mozilla has no need for a bundle version that is 
separate from the Firefox version.

If we used a version number for TBB that was close to the Firefox 
version number, we would not need to patch anything; we would just use 
our version number as THE version number.  Doing this would also allow 
us to eliminate the torbrowser.version hidden preference.  And it might 
help end-users who want to figure out what version of Firefox the Tor 
Browser is based on.

Mark Smith
Pearl Crescent

More information about the tbb-dev mailing list