[tbb-dev] proposal for #28044 (Integrate Tor Launcher into tor-browser)

intrigeri intrigeri at boum.org
Fri Feb 8 15:39:10 UTC 2019


> Filename: NNN-integrate-tor-launcher-into-tor-browser.txt
> Title: Integration of Tor Launcher into Tor Browser Core
> Author: Mark Smith and Kathleen Brade
> Created: 22-Jan-2019
> Updated: 7-Feb-2019
> Status: Draft
> Ticket: #28044

Sorry for the delay: we were busy with preparing our major 3.12
release when this proposal came up, and I've just come back
from holiday.

>  R3. Allow users and projects such as Tails to disable Tor Launcher
>      at runtime via environment variables and hidden preferences as is
>      possible today.

Thanks a lot for including Tails in your considerations,
much appreciated :)

>  R5. Continue to maintain a separate git repository for Tor Launcher. This
>      will allow development of Tor Launcher to proceed outside of core
>      browser development and will also facilitate continued use of Tor
>      Launcher as a XUL/XPCOM extension by those projects that have that
>      requirement, e.g., TorBirdy.

OK. I understand this will allow Tails to:

 - Build and ship a Tor Launcher extension (disabled in our main Tor
   Browser profile, as per R3).

 - Run Tor Launcher just like we currently do, until we switch to
   68esr in October. Once we're based on 68esr, we won't be able to
   run Tor Launcher as a XUL/XPCOM extension anymore, and we'll need
   to replace it with another tool.

If I got it wrong, please let me know.

> 4.1 TL_LOGO and pkg-prepare

> Tails uses Tor Launcher for their Tor network configuration UI. To avoid
> confusion, they include the Tails logo in their copy of Tor Launcher,
> replacing the Tor Browser logo. This replacement is handled by the
> pkg-prepare Makefile target. We will need to find a different way to
> handle the logo override.

Tails sets TOR_HIDE_BROWSER_LOGO=1 (#14122). It would be nice to keep
it. Since it's a runtime setting, and not a build-time thing, I assume
it's not too much trouble to keep support for it? If it's too much
trouble, drop it. This would cause a minor usability regression in
Tails but given the timeline, I'd rather use your "being nice to
Tails" time on longer-term issues such as #27466 and #10760, rather
than on a tool that we'll need to drop in 8 months anyway.

However, we do *not* replace it with a custom logo (#12451) and have
never done so. I think there's some confusion because of the way
proper introduced themselves "as a user of Tails and a maintainer of
Whonix" on these tickets. By the way, IIRC Whonix has replaced Tor
Launcher with their own thing a while ago, so perhaps they don't need
any of this anymore and TL_LOGO could go away?

> 4.3 UI For Access To The Tor Network Settings

> Currently, the Torbutton toolbar menu contains a "Tor Network Settings"
> menu item which causes Tor Launcher to open its Network Settings
> dialog. As plans for incorporating the Torbutton functionality into
> the core browser proceed, we may need to provide a new method for users
> to access the network settings. Tentatively, we plan to eliminate the
> Torbutton toolbar item and its associated menu, which means new UI will
> need to be added to provide access to Tor Launcher's Network Settings
> dialog.

I think Tails will need some way to hide this new UI (otherwise user
experience will be poor as Tor Browser in Tails is not actually
allowed to change such settings). If we can do this in our profile
config, with something like userChrome.css, that would be good enough
considering we'll need to replace Tor Launcher in October.


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