Closed Bug 631909 Opened 11 years ago Closed 10 years ago

about:support label 'Modified Preferences' is incorrect


(Toolkit :: General, defect)

Not set





(Reporter: johnjbarton, Assigned: aceman)


(Blocks 1 open bug)


(Keywords: polish)


(2 files, 2 obsolete files)

The current label in about:support is unequivocal: the modified preferences are listed. Based on that label, I have made several mistakes in trying to help users solve Firefox problems. The list is only "A few modified preferences", and not even critical ones for the way Firefox works. For example 'browser.privatebrowsing.autostart' has a huge impact on how Firefox operates and it is not shown.

If the label said: "Key Modified Preferences" I would have realized that the list was incomplete.

Below copied from

My undertsanding is that only a set of whitelisted prefs (& pref-subtrees) show up in about:support, to protect users' privacy, so they can paste about:support contents into bugs / SUMO support sessions without many privacy concerns.

The whitelist (and a descriptive comment) are at:

If you have a particular pref that you think should show up in about:support, you can definitely file a bug on getting it whitelisted.


On 02/05/2011 07:46 PM, johnjbarton wrote:
> I discovered through a painfully long debugging exercise with a Firebug
> user that the seemingly fabulous "about:support" page does not in fact
> show all of the Modified Preferences. You can see for you self:
> 1) create a new profile,
> 2) set Tools > Options > Privacy > History > Never Remember History.
> 3) about:config, verfiy that browser.privatebrowsing.autostart is user set
> true,
> 4) look at about:support: it's not listed!
> Is there some reason for this omission?
> jjb
> _______________________________________________
> dev-platform mailing list
I agree. The current section heading is misleading and should be clarified.

See also bug 593443 for a request for some new prefs to be whitelisted.
Component: Private Browsing → General
QA Contact: private.browsing → general
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
QA Contact: general → general
about:support is silly, since its doesn't show much of anything worthwhile, can show stuff that I changed as a user?  Not just what firefox changes or extensions change?  It should keep track of those 3 triggers so we better whitelist options. But the way it is, is useless.
I can patch this string change.
Assignee: nobody → acelists
Keywords: uiwanted
Attached patch label update (obsolete) — Splinter Review
Attachment #582706 - Flags: review?(benjamin)
Keywords: polish
Attached patch v2, label update (obsolete) — Splinter Review
Identifier change needed.
Attachment #582706 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Attachment #582719 - Flags: review?(benjamin)
Attachment #582706 - Flags: review?(benjamin)
Attachment #582719 - Flags: review?(benjamin) → review?(
Comment on attachment 582719 [details] [diff] [review]
v2, label update

I think "Key Modified Preferences" is just as confusing. How about "Important Modified Preferences"?
Attachment #582719 - Flags: review?( → review-
Attached patch v3 patchSplinter Review
Attachment #582719 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Attachment #583579 - Flags: review?(
Attachment #583580 - Flags: review?(bwinton)
Attachment #583579 - Flags: review?( → review+
Comment on attachment 583580 [details] [diff] [review]
v3, corresponding Thunderbird update

Review of attachment 583580 [details] [diff] [review]:

Looks good.  Thanks for thinking of Thunderbird!  :)
Attachment #583580 - Flags: review?(bwinton) → review+
It would break otherwise as the old entity would get undefined ;) It is just sad it has to have aboutSupport.xhtml duplicated.
Keywords: checkin-needed
Whiteboard: [checkin both patches simultaneously]
Well, as the patches were left here to bitrot, either these or the ones in bug 559500 will not apply anymore...
Depends on: 559500
No longer depends on: 559500
Keywords: uiwanted
Whiteboard: [checkin both patches simultaneously] → checkin-needed for comm-central
Target Milestone: --- → mozilla12
Depends on: 717402
The Thunderbird patch was committed to comm-central as
Closed: 10 years ago
Keywords: checkin-needed
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Whiteboard: checkin-needed for comm-central
Blocks: 559500
I was just made aware of this change, and I want to clarify a couple of things:
* the intent of the modified preferences section is to list as many modified prefs as possible. It's not a matter of which prefs are "important" or "key" or presumed "useful".
* the reason why not all are listed is because publishing some prefs may compromise privacy. 

Long term: we should go through all possible prefs and try to add them (pending privacy review), then revert this change. If you see any prefs that should be added, file a bug to get it added. Adding prefs to the whitelist is so easy, even /I/ can do it. In fact, I added prefs in bug 728981, which should appear in Firefox 14.

For browser.privatebrowsing prefs, I've filed bug 752268.
If it uses a whitelist then it will always be partial for all users with addons installed that have their own prefs. If the whitelist is expanded to include all browser prefs with a privacy filter just hiding the values for some, then the label probably should be "Modified &brandShortName; Preferences" to make that clear.
Blocks: 1300562
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