[tbb-dev] Tor Browser for Android Roadmap/Proposal

Matthew Finkel matthew.finkel at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 22:58:35 UTC 2018

On Fri, Mar 09, 2018 at 07:46:18PM +0000, Arthur D. Edelstein wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 5:54 PM, Matthew Finkel <matthew.finkel at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Below is the current (rough) roadmap and outline of Tor Browser for
> > Android. There remains some uncertainly of some aspects (and timing),
> > but we should be able to make some decisions in Rome.
> Exciting to see this roadmap! I think one thing that would be useful
> to include in this document is: what features are required for a
> minimum viable product (MVP-alpha and MVP-stable)? Probably it's best
> to frontload implementing those features and postpone everything else.
> For example, maybe for the first MVP-alpha it's OK not to have new
> mobile fingerprinting protections, circuit display, pluggable
> transports, and reproducibility (just hypothetically). I think it will
> be helpful to have an alpha out as soon as possible.

Yes, I think this is part of the discussion we should have on Sunday. I
was hesitant to put too many details about what we need for an MVP.
There are certain required characteristics for something we are
comfortable calling "Tor Browser". Personally, I think reproducibility
is now an essential quality of a stable release, but maybe we (as a
team) are comfortable releasing an alpha version that is not

I don't foresee us having enough time for investigating fingerprinting
within the next 6 months such that we can evaluate many of the new
vectors.  We should be able to investigate the currently-known desktop
vectors, but the various additional sensors and APIs (?) may add
complexity. I haven't looked into this enough at this point.

I know we'll have a discussion about implementing the mobile UI this
week, and I think we'll have a better understanding of how much work and
time this piece will require. All of these are good points, and I think
we should keep them in mind as we work on the larger roadmap.

> >     - Begin auditing GeckoView and Mozilla Focus implementation as
> >       upstream of TBA
> Perhaps we should doing a preliminary audit of GeckoView and Focus now
> instead of Q3? Naively, I imagine the way GeckoView and Focus are
> implemented may have important considerations for how we build TBA. It
> would be a pity if we have to re-do work because the current TBA
> design ends up being incompatible with GekoView and Focus.

I think there are two goals we have and we should take into account. The
first is the current funder. As much as I dislike saying this, we only
have a limited amount of time and a relatively tight timeline for
shipping this. The second goal is the long-term maintainability and not
implementing something now that we know we'll re-implement later after
Fennec goes EOL.

I absolutely agree re-doing working will be a shame, and we can
prioritize evaluating Focus, but that will delay releasing the
Fennec-based version.

> >     - Focus has different "look and feel", evaluate UX impact
> Again, I think it would be good to look at the UX now rather than
> after a first UX has been implemented.

They are very different, I don't know if we can easily reconcile that or
design a UI/UX that matches both schemes. We can definitely keep this in
mind, though, as we discuss and work on it.

> >   In Q4:
> >
> >     - Release first version of TBA with TorLauncher integration
> Does this mean TBA-alpha or TBA-stable?

I'm hoping this will be TBA-stable (including Tor Launcher), and we'll
have a TBA-alpha earlier in the year (mostlikely still depending on

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