[tor-reports] Pearl Crescent Report – January 2015

Mark Smith mcs at pearlcrescent.com
Wed Feb 4 18:26:07 UTC 2015

Tor-related work that the Pearl Crescent team did in January
(Kathy Brade and Mark Smith):

* Firefox Updater for Tor Browser:

We tested the updater that is included in Tor Browser 4.5a3 to ensure 
that it will work correctly with signed MAR files (thanks to Georg for 
providing some signed MARs for testing).

We reviewed Nick's implementation of Proposal 227 (Include package 
fingerprints in consensus documents) and started to think about how to 
use this inside the Tor Browser updater.


   "Tor's consensus lists Torbrowser updates"

* Tor Browser and Torbutton:

We spent a little time discussing the UX Sprint event.  Unfortunately, 
neither one of us was able to attend.  We look forward to seeing the 
results and working on tickets that will improve Tor Browser usability.

We did a little research on Mozilla Electrolysis (aka e10s, aka 
multiprocess Firefox), specifically examining how much work it will be 
to modify Torbutton and Tor Launcher to be compatible with Electrolysis. 
  Since these extensions do not touch web content very much, the effort 
may be fairly low... but Mozilla is still working on e10s, so it is a 
moving target.  The TB team will revisit this later.

We worked with Michael to review and merge his improved fix for this ticket:
   "Prevent TorBrowser from creating clipboardcache turds" (FIXED)

We helped with bug triage, code reviews, and worked on fixes for various 
tickets.  Some interesting tickets that we spent time on in January:
   "Active tab looks ugly (inherits system color scheme only partially)"

   "environment variable to set TorBrowser homepage" (FIXED)

   "Write Firefox patch for removing third-party HTTP auth. tokens"

   "Toggle NetworkSettings menuitem visibility based on an env
    variable" (FIXED)

   "Tor browser shares its last search term with other browsers on OSX"

* Tor Launcher:
We spent some some time on bug triage and helped get this bug fixed:
   "add environment variable to hide TBB's logo" (FIXED)

* We participated in the weekly Tor Browser dev meetings on IRC and
   in various design discussions on IRC and on the mailing lists.

* Planned for February 2015:
     - Fix various tickets for TB 4.5a4.

     - Help with deployment of signed MAR files in TB 4.5a4, fix updater
       issues that occur in the field, and improve the updater user

     - Make some progress on design and implementation for:
         "Implement update verification via Tor consensus in Tor Browser"

     - Begin to look at various Tor Browser, Tor Launcher, and Torbutton
       issues that were exposed during the UX Sprint.

     - Assist with getting Tor Browser patches merged into Firefox
       for the upcoming ESR 38 release.

Mark Smith
Pearl Crescent

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