[tor-reports] Pearl Crescent Report – September 2015

Mark Smith mcs at pearlcrescent.com
Fri Sep 25 18:06:35 UTC 2015

Tor-related work completed by the Pearl Crescent team in September 2015
(Kathy Brade and Mark Smith; Berlin Dev Meeting excluded):

* Tor Browser Updater:

Updater-related activity was fairly light this month.

As usual, we did some updater testing for this month's Tor Browser 
releases made (5.0.3 and 5.5a3).

We also created a patch for the following ticket to avoid introducing a 
dependency on some OS-provided crypto libraries on Windows:
   "Code for 38.3.0 ESR is failing to compile with mingw-w64"

We reviewed all of the changes, including the updater portion, for:
   "Adapt Tor Browser bundling to new HTTPS-Everywhere ID"
Unfortunately, Georg had to back the changes out at the last moment 
before the Tor Browser 5.5a3 release.

* Tor Browser and Torbutton:

This month, we helped fix regressions and annoyances in Tor Browser 5.x. 
Interesting tickets that we worked on:

   "Fix cross-compiling ICU with mingw-w64 for Windows builds"

   "about:tor should accommodate different fonts/font sizes"

   "'Set Up Sync...' still appears in TBB 5.0 Tools menu and Prefs"

   "https://sports.yahoo.com/dailyfantasy is broken on Windows"

   "Tor Browser app bundle has wrong copyright year (Mac OS)"

   "The browser.startup.homepage pref has been translated in
    the Korean bundle"

We also reviewed many patches created by other developers, including for 
tickets #16672, #16909, #16948, #16960, #16983, #17097, #17102, and for 
Mozilla bug #232227.

* Tor Launcher:

We spent a little time on the dialog layout issues that appeared 
starting in Tor Browser 5.5a1 (when the font fingerprinting improvements 
were introduced):
   "Tor Network Settings dialog not wide enough"
This problem seems to have disappeared with TB 5.5a3 (presumably because 
more fonts are whitelisted).

* Miscellaneous Activities:
    Mark prepared to attend the Berlin Dev Meeting.

    We participated in the weekly Tor Applications team meetings on IRC
    and in various design discussions on IRC and on the mailing lists.

* Planned for October:
   - Follow up on any plans made during the Berlin Dev Meeting.

   - Assist with the Tor Browser 5.0.x maintenance releases as needed.

   - Help with improvements for the Tor Browser 5.5 alpha series.

   - As a followup to the updater changes we made for #13512 (load a
     changelog in a tab after an update), we will look at #16940 to
     see if we can improve reliability by loading the change log
     from a local file.

   - Develop a fix for this ticket:
       "Transform window.name handling into Firefox patch"

   - If time permits, scope out the work to make Tor Browser Unix
     Domain Socket aware.
     See https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/14270

   - Work on other Tor Browser, Tor Launcher, and Torbutton usability
     issues as time permits.

Mark Smith
Pearl Crescent

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