[tbb-dev] future of tor-launcher? - Firefox XPCOM / XUL based add-ons deprecation

Michael Carbone michael at qubes-os.org
Mon Jan 9 18:22:00 UTC 2017

> Georg: Patrick Schleizer:
>> Hi,
>> XPCOM / XUL based add-ons will be deprecated in Firefox. [1]
>> I've searched trac, mailing list, irc logs... I know you are aware
>> of that, but haven't found your plan forward. Is there already
>> one?
>> What are your plans regarding tor-launcher? Will tor-launcher be
>> ported over as Firefox WebExtension? Is that even possible?
> We investigated what we would need for porting the extensions over
> to Webextensions a while ago in 
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/17248.
> The current plan has not changed: we still plan to port our
> extensions over to the Webextensions framework. It might need some
> upstream changes which we would provide with own patches but we'll
> see.
> Georg

I had some discussions with Mark and Linda at the Tor Summit about the
various non-browser use-cases for tor-launcher, especially as a means to
allow the user to enable bridges/transports via GUI.

There is currently no GUI for users to select bridges/transports for
non-XUL tor project applications. The move to WebExtensions does not
seem to improve the situation.

I was wondering if this is still something being considered, even in the
longer term?

The move away from XUL could be an opportunity to address this by
building a more generic solution that could be used by the increasing
number of tor-powered applications/environments, such as onionshare,
ricochet, tails, qubes, subgraph, etc., in addition to tor browser and
tor messenger.

For background there had been a previously aborted effort to write a
python-based tor-launcher clone:



Michael Carbone

Qubes OS | https://www.qubes-os.org
@QubesOS <https://www.twitter.com/QubesOS>

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