Firefox addons fiasco explained (post mortem next week)

very.long.read.
(about how it will never happen again?

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2019/05/technical-details-on-the-recent-firefox-add-on-outage/

scroll down to lessons:

We’ll be running a formal post-mortem next week and will publish the list of changes we intend to make, but in the meantime here are my initial thoughts about what we need to do. First, we should have a much better way of tracking the status of everything in Firefox that is a potential time bomb and making sure that we don’t find ourselves in a situation where one goes off unexpectedly. We’re still working out the details here, but at minimum we need to inventory everything of this nature.

Second, we need a mechanism to be able to quickly push updates to our users even when — especially when — everything else is down. It was great that we are able to use the Studies system, but it was also an imperfect tool that we pressed into service, and that had some undesirable side effects. In particular, we know that many users have auto-updates enabled but would prefer not to participate in Studies and that’s a reasonable preference (true story: I had it off as well!) but at the same time we need to be able to push updates to our users; whatever the internal technical mechanisms, users should be able to opt-in to updates (including hot-fixes) but opt out of everything else. Additionally, the update channel should be more responsive than what we have today. Even on Monday, we still had some users who hadn’t picked up either the hotfix or the dot release, which clearly isn’t ideal. There’s been some work on this problem already, but this incident shows just how important it is.

Finally, we’ll be looking more generally at our add-on security architecture to make sure that it’s enforcing the right security properties at the least risk of breakage.
We’ll be following up next week with the results of a more thorough post-mortem, but in the meantime, I’ll be happy to answer questions in questions below or at ekr-blog@mozilla.com.

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