Opened 16 months ago

Last modified 8 months ago

#25580 new defect

Torbutton should trigger Tor Browser auto update when it starts and it knows it's out of date

Reported by: arma Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: ux-team
Cc: antonela, isabela Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

When I start my Tor Browser 7.5, it starts up, and gives me an about:tor page with a black arrow trying to get me to click on stuff.

Shouldn't it instead just say "oh, you need to update, I'm doing that for you now"?

When I close down my Tor Browser 7.5 and start it up again, I get the same black arrow, even though it could have already known from last time that it was going to be out of date.

(I've gotten used to the choices that yawning made in the sandboxed tor browser, where it checks for an update on startup, and if there is one, it updates me then.)

Child Tickets

Change History (6)

comment:1 Changed 16 months ago by gk

Cc: antonela isabela added
Keywords: ux-team added

Yes, we could improve that experience. In fact, it's already on our roadmap (A3.1 in the OTF UX grant is the magic task item as far as the design improvements are concerned at least).

Last edited 16 months ago by gk (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 16 months ago by mcs

A little background info: updates are automatic (unless the user disables that behavior by changing preferences). As part of the UX work, we should improve feedback so that: (1) we don't ask the user to request an update when the browser has already done that for them and (2) so the user knows that an update is being downloaded and applied.

We also need to sort out how to provide an update experience that is appropriate for Tor Browser users within the constraints of Firefox's implementation. My impression is that in recent versions of Firefox (55 and newer?) the update notifications are more subtle, at least for some period of time. For Tor Browser, we may want to communicate more loudly than Firefox does about the fact that an update is pending and that a restart is needed.

comment:3 Changed 16 months ago by cypherpunks

Summary: Should Tor Browser auto update for me when it starts and it knows it's out of date?Torbutton should trigger Tor Browser auto update when it starts and it knows it's out of date

Indeed, the schedule of automatic checks for updates doesn't guarantee that Tor Browser starts to check for updates immediately at startup. But Torbutton can "force" it to do so when it's clear that Tor Browser is out of date.

comment:4 in reply to:  2 ; Changed 8 months ago by arma

Replying to mcs:

For Tor Browser, we may want to communicate more loudly than Firefox does about the fact that an update is pending and that a restart is needed.

This ticket is about a slightly different idea: when Tor Browser first starts, and it knows that it needs an update (e.g. because there's an update already pending), there is no need to try to bug the user into restarting. Just do it for the user right then, as part of (from the user's perspective) the "starting up" process.

comment:5 in reply to:  4 Changed 8 months ago by antonela

Replying to arma:

This ticket is about a slightly different idea: when Tor Browser first starts, and it knows that it needs an update (e.g. because there's an update already pending), there is no need to try to bug the user into restarting. Just do it for the user right then, as part of (from the user's perspective) the "starting up" process.

I like this suggestion. The use flow will be:

  • Tor Browser has a pending update.
  • User dismisses the update prompt.
  • Tor Browser gets closed.
  • Tor Browser gets updated next time is up again.

mcs, is something doable?

comment:6 Changed 8 months ago by mcs

I don't fully understand what change to the existing behavior is being requested. If the browser has already downloaded an update, the current behavior is that it will be applied during startup. On the other hand, if the browser has not finished downloading a pending update, then it will not update during startup. To do so, it would need to pause the browser startup process, present some UI while the download of the MAR file finishes, and then apply the update and start up. That second scenario is not something that Firefox supports, so it would probably be a lot of work to implement it.

A side note: once Tor Browser notices that an update is needed, it immediately starts to download the required MAR file. This can take some time — especially over Tor — but hopefully in most cases the MAR file is fully downloaded before users exit or restart their browser. If that is usually the case, this ticket is less urgent than if not.

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