[tbb-dev] Tor/Mozilla Meeting Notes on tor-in-firefox integration

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Thu Nov 9 14:14:00 UTC 2017

isis agora lovecruft:
> Hi everyone!
> Attached are the meeting notes from the video conference call we just had
> with Mozilla folks to talk about the ongoing project to integrate tor into
> Firefox's private browsing mode.
> This mostly concerns the Network and Browser teams, but towards the end the
> UX team was mentioned a lot as well.

Thanks for the notes, really appreciated.

I wonder what the deal with the proposed Tor Launcher integration is?
One thing I miss in the notes is the question about how this would work
on mobile. For instance, is it really supposed to work to have XPCOM
extensions running there, even if they are system addons? But that
question aside why would we want to have Tor Launcher as an extension in
Firefox anyway?

Back in the days we had the Vidalia hack to somehow control tor and
interact with the user. That got replaced by Tor Launcher which improved
the experience considerably. But it feels to me it's still kind of a
hack. The reason we chose that route was that it would be pretty fast to
get the desired results (IIRC). But that should not matter much in the
case of the tor integration project.

For instance I don't see why we need all the extension related overhead
when thinking about controlling tor from Firefox. There is no need for
that. The controlling functionality could be nicely integrated into the
native UI, e.g. get made available once one is about to start/use tor.
That would have the additional benefit that it feels much more natural
than having a separate thing, an extension, in the browser. No need to
think about complex signing problems of extension code either in that

To answer the point Roger brought up: The design requirements we already
have are the ones that are needed. They don't only specify the behavior
of THE Tor Browser but rather give a guide as to what we want, Tor
Browser being the example here. See the text in 2. Design Requirements
and Philosophy before section 2.1 starts.


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