[tor-project] October and November 2019 report for the Tor Browser team

Pili Guerra pili at torproject.org
Fri Dec 6 08:34:34 UTC 2019

Hi everyone!

October saw the culmination of the team's hard work over the previous four months with the release of our first 9.0 stable release[1], based on ESR68. During October we made the following additional releases: Tor Browser 9.0a7 [2], 9.0a8 [3] and  9.5a1 [4].

With the 9.0 stable release we started our work towards tightly integrating Torbutton code into Tor Browser by moving the various different functionalities it provides to other, more intuitive locations. As such, you can now request a new identity from its own dedicated button on the toolbar, and configure Tor network settings, such as bridges and proxy configuration from their own dedicated Tor section within Tor Browser Preferences. We also increased the number of locales supported to 32 with the addition of Macedonian (mk) and Romanian (ro).

During October we fixed all outstanding reproducible build issues in time for our stable release. However, although the 9.0 stable release build is bit for bit reproducible and we managed to get two matching builds, we have one remaining challenge to achieve consistent reproducibility as we occasionally get builds that differ.

The full list of tickets closed by the Tor Browser team in October is accessible using the TorBrowserTeam201910[5] keyword in our bug tracker.

In November we continued with the 68esr rebase and tying up loose ends from our first 9.0 stable release based on Firefox 68 ESR. The new letterboxing feature raised a lot of questions and issues so we continued working on bug fixes[6] on this feature and further improving the experience[7][8] for our users.

We have also started picking up sponsor work once more, working on implementing Onion Services Client Authorization[9] and key storage[10] in Tor Browser. We have also been working on making it easier to access v3 onion services through the use of the Onion-Location header and have been working on a mechanism for the browser to prompt the user about onion service redirection when encountering an Onion-Location from a website[11].

In order to share these and other new features more quickly, we are working on providing automatic nightly builds[12]. This will allow us to have a faster path to share new and experimental features with users for dedicated user testing and rapid iteration. 

Looking ahead to 2020 and what the team wants to work on, a number of us have been working on a proposal to move away from the ESR train and onto the Firefox rapid release cycle, starting with the Tor Browser for Android transition to Fenix[13]. We would also like to take this opportunity to implement Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP)[14] from Firefox for performance improvements, pending funding.

We made two releases in November: 9.0.1[15] 9.5a2[16].

The full list of tickets closed by the Tor Browser team in November is accessible using the TorBrowserTeam201911[17] keyword in our bug tracker.

We are still struggling with reproducibility issues[18] and will continue working on these during December. Additionally, we will close off the year by continuining to work on all outstanding November issues, including letterboxing work, sponsor work and automatic nightly updates. 

All tickets on our radar for December can be seen with the `TorBrowserTeam201912` keyword in our bug tracker.[19]

[1] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90>
[2] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a8 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a8>
[3] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a8 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a8>
[4] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-95a1 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-95a1>
[5] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=closed&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201910 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=closed&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201910>
[6] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32308 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32308>
[7] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32220 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32220>
[8] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32325 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32325>
[9] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30237 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30237>
[10] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/19757 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/19757>
[11] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/21952 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/21952>
[12] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/18867 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/18867>
[13] https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix <https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix>
[14] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30939 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30939>
[15] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-901 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-901>  
[16] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-95a2 <https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-95a2>
[17] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=closed&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201911 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=closed&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201911> 
[18] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32053 <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/32053>
[19] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=accepted&status=assigned&status=merge_ready&status=needs_information&status=needs_review&status=needs_revision&status=new&status=reopened&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201912&order=priority <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/query?status=accepted&status=assigned&status=merge_ready&status=needs_information&status=needs_review&status=needs_revision&status=new&status=reopened&keywords=~TorBrowserTeam201912&order=priority>

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