[tor-reports] Pearl Crescent Report – June 2015

Mark Smith mcs at pearlcrescent.com
Wed Jul 1 14:26:18 UTC 2015

Tor-related work that the Pearl Crescent team did in June 2015
(Kathy Brade and Mark Smith):

* Tor Browser Updater:

We finished rebasing and fixing our Tor Browser updater patches so they 
apply and work on top of the Firefox ESR 38 codebase.

As usual, we spent some time on updater testing (Tor Browser 4.5.1 -> 
4.5.2 and with the new Tor Browser 5.x ESR 38-based browser).

We also worked with dcf to fix the following meek-related issues:
   "add-on compatibility check occurs repeatedly"

   "meek profile error after browser restarts (e.g., after update
    or add-on installation)"

* Tor Browser and Torbutton:

This month, we put a lot of effort into preparing patches for Tor 
Browser 5.0a3, which will be the first ESR 38-based release.  We 
researched potential fingerprinting and tracking issues, fixed patches 
for older issues, and created some new fixes.  A few highlights:

   "Make sure our cache isolation works with cache2"

   "Make sure the BroadcastChannel API adheres to our URL bar
    domain isolation"

   "remove screencasting code"

We also fixed a crash that occurred with certain websites when SVG 
images were blocked (highest security slider setting in Tor Browser):
   "Tor Browser crashes on some SVG images"

As usual, we also helped with bug triage and code reviews in an effort 
to improve Tor Browser 4.5.x and 5.0 alpha.

Other tickets that we spent significant time on:

   "Review Firefox Developer Docs and Undocumented bugs since FF31esr"

   "Review networking code for Firefox 38"

   "non-en-US Tor Browser bundles still contain Firefox logo
    and "Firefox ESR" on about-Tor Browser-window"

   "Torbutton changes for ESR 38"

Tickets for which we did code reviews:
   #12761, #15990, #16005, #16181, #16210, #16253, #16427, #16428.

* Tor Launcher:

We finished the fix for this issue:
   "Make it easier to visually distinguish 'proxy' and
       'bridge' configuration screens"

We also did some testing of Tor Launcher within a ESR 38-based Tor 
Browser build to ensure that Tor Launcher is ready for Tor Browser 5.0.

* Miscellaneous Activities:
    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 July:
     - Vacation time the week of July 12th.

     - Help get Tor Browser 5.0 to stable status.  As Mike Perry noted
       in his Tor Browser Team report, there are still quite a few
       open issues that need to be resolved.

     - Do some more testing of the automated updater in Tor Browser 5.0
       to ensure there have not been any regressions since 4.5.x
       (either due to rebasing of the patches or because of changes
       made by Mozilla engineers.

     - Fix any updater issues that occur in the field, and continue
       to improve the updater user experience.

     - Help with Tor Browser, Tor Launcher, and Torbutton usability
       issues as time permits.

Mark Smith
Pearl Crescent

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