[tor-project] June 2019 report for the Tor Browser team

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Fri Jul 19 13:07:00 UTC 2019


In June we released 5 Tor Browser releases: 8.5.1[1], 9.0a2[2],
8.5.2[3], 8.5.3[4], and 9.0a3[5].

The last three were due to two chemspill releases Mozilla managed to do
while they had their All Hands meeting in Whistler (Canada) and a group
of Tor people attended as well, to discuss both further uplift +
fingerprinting work and performance + scalability improvements.

Tor Browser 8.5.1 was the first bugfix release in the 8.5 series which
fixed minor shortcomings in 8.5 and defended against the readPixel()
fingerprining vector[6].

Tor Browser 9.0a2 contained all the fixes that went into 8.5.1 and
additionally bumped several components in our bundle (Tor on desktop to, OpenSSL on desktop to 1.1.1c) and in our toolchain and
compilation environments (GCC to 8.3.0 for Linux, Debian Stretch for
macOS cross-compilation), in preparation for the upcoming 9.0 release.

Non-release related work mostly comprised progress on our work on onion
service authentication support. First testing bundles are available.[7]
Moreover, we rebased most of our patches for ESR 68 and they got a first
round of review[8], and our toolchains for Linux[9] and macOS[10] are
mostly ready. We made considerable progress on integrating Snowflake for
Android into our reproducible build system[11], although we are still a
bit away from getting this shipped to users as some glue code is so far
missing.[12] Another highlight that month was our fixed accessibility
support for Windows users, which Richard achieved after weeks of hard
work (thanks!). It is included in the first alpha for July, 9.0a4.

The full list of tickets closed by the Tor Browser team in June is
accessible using the `TorBrowserTeam201906` keyword in our bug

For July, we attended the Tor dev meeting in Stockholm to think about
upcoming work in the next month but, above all, to better coordinate all
the ESR transition work under way. The whole team is currently working
to get first nightly builds out[14] which are based on Firefox 68 ESR,
which essentially means toolchain updates and patch rebase and review.
We hope we'll have the latter finished by end of July so that we can
ship the first nightly builds based on Firefox 68 ESR in early August.
As usual it will probbably be Linux bunldes first with the other
platforms being added as soon as the toolchains are in reasonable shape.
So, stay tuned!

All tickets on our radar for this month can be seen with the
`TorBrowserTeam201907` keyword in our bug tracker.[15]


[1] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-851
[2] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a2
[3] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-852
[4] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-853
[5] https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-90a3
[6] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30541
[7] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30237#comment:19
[8] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30429
[9] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30321
[10] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30323
[11] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/28672
[12] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/30318
[14] Nightly blockers are tagged with `tbb-9.0-must-nightly` in our bug

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