Sync in Firefox 4.0 beta 7
November 12, 2010
Update: If you’ve opened this article because you want know how to file a Sync bug, please read: How to file a good Sync bug. Thank you!
Under the hood, the Sync feature shipped in Firefox 4.0 beta 7 is on par with Firefox Sync 1.5. The new setup wizard is also there, now generating accounts solely based on email addresses and the new 20 character Sync Key. There are a two of differences compared to 4.0 beta 6 and the add-on, though:
As 4.0 beta 7 removed the status bar, we had to find a new place for the Sync button. Our philosophy is to make Sync a background service that you shouldn’t have to interact with. So want to impose as little UI as possible on users, but we do realize that some users like to be able to sync manually as well from time to time. So we’ve made the Sync button an optional toolbar button. It is not in the toolbar by default, but if you right-click on the toolbar and select Customize, you can drag it in any toolbar (the tabs bar, the navigation toolbar or even the add-on toolbar).
Traditionally, Firefox Sync has kept a log of its actions under
about:sync-log. This has been very handy for debugging problems when things go wrong. However, most of the time the logging to disk creates I/O overhead that we’d rather not have, especially on mobile devices. Logging to disk is therefore disabled by default now. You can re-enable it, for instance when you’re trying to track down a problem:
- Go to about:config
- Do right-click, select New -> Boolean
- Give it the name
- Set it to
- Restart Firefox
(Due to an oversight the
services.sync.log.appender.debugLog.enabled preference doesn’t exist by default in beta 7. That will be fixed in the next beta, though.)