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Browser Architecture Newsletter 3

Link to mailing-list archive

Welcome to the third Browser Architecture Newsletter! Since our last update, we’ve continued to investigate moving away from XBL and started to document what we’re talking about when we talk about XUL problems. We’re also working with members of the Sync, AS, and Lockbox teams to figure out what the future of storage and syncing looks like for Mozilla.

A lot of the issues that the Browser Architecture team are digging into are larger than our team. Our goal is to discuss and review entire product level architecture issues and build consensus around solutions. We’re interested in engaging with engineers around the organization. We’re actively reaching out to folks but if you want to talk to us we’d sure love to hear from you. You can find us in #browser-arch on IRC or Slack.

Architecture Review

We are asking for comments on our proposed process for when our team performs architecture reviews. The process is in draft right now so if you have suggestions for how to improve it please let us know.

If you’ve got ideas, questions, or concerns, talk to jwalker.

XBL Removal

We’ve filed a meta bug for our de-XBL work, which includes a variety of prototypes and other investigations, including: moving XBL bindings to Custom Elements, moving XBL bindings to JS modules, and performance comparisons of XBL bindings to a custom elements polyfill. You can view all the prototypes and investigations we’re working on by viewing the meta bug’s dependencies.

We’re getting ready to run through a design review for our XBL replacement plans. The review will be chaired by Dave Townsend and include a panel of experts on both Gecko and Firefox. The review process itself is a work in progress, and our XBL Removal review is a trial run to help us refine it. Look for more information on the review itself soon when we get further along in the process.

If you’ve got ideas, questions, or concerns, talk to bgrins.

Storage and Sync

We’ve captured a bunch of knowledge about Firefox’s data stores. That effort is feeding into some roadmapping work with the Sync and Activity Stream teams. We hope to have some concrete roadmap documentation underway by our next newsletter, as well as some stage-setting blog posts.

We expect that the future will include some cross-platform Rust storage services, so we’ve been researching how this looks in practice. Deploying an Rust library on iOS is a short tutorial describing how to build and deploy a Rust library for use inside an iOS app.

If you’ve got ideas, questions, or concerns, talk to rnewman or fluffyemily.

Workflow Improvements

If you’ve got ideas, questions, or concerns, talk to bgrins or nalexander. If you have suggestions or pain points about doing Gecko development (non-front-end), please contact jesup.

Front-end Developer Survey

We’ve sent out a survey to front-end developers asking them about their workflow and productivity issues. The results of this survey will help us target future workflow and development improvements.

If you’re an employee working on front-end Firefox code and you haven’t received the survey, please let mossop or nalexander know so we can get it to you! We’re still discussing if we should open this survey up to contributors at this time. If you’ve got other ideas, questions, or concerns, mossop and nalexander are also the right people to contact.

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