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This is a list of ideas and enhancements that could be made in that would make troubleshooting Firefox users' problems simpler for our SUMO community.

  • Diagnostics window that does a bunch of basic checks and offers tools to simplify self-diagnose [1] [2]
    • Would be available as a Help menu item, e.g. Help » Diagnose (perhaps taking you to an about page, e.g. about:support)
    • Items to diagnose and report in this window:
      • Integrity of files (places.sqlite, etc)
      • Any disabled features that may cause problems (cookies, javascript, "warn me when sites reload/redirect the page", pipelining settings)
      • Any settings that are indicative of malware (changed homepage, keyword.URL, searches etc with ability to reset in a click)
      • Active extensions (and disabled ones) -- include version numbers
      • Recent crashIDs (with times)
      • Connectivity ("You are using a proxy, click here to try connecting with the proxy disabled")
    • Available tools for self-diagnose:
      • Button to restart Firefox in safe mode
      • Button to open current profile folder
      • Button to copy all diagnostics info to the clipboard (so users can paste to SUMO)
  • Diagnose which extensions are causing slow startup/leaking memory or stalled and alert users accordingly.
  • Automatic gathering of info about active extensions using Javascript, with UI similar/identical to geolocation [3]
  • Automatic background diagnostics when idle and not on battery power?
    • The above about:support diagnostics could be done in the background when Firefox is idle to catch problems without the user actively seeking to solve them
    • Corrupt files should be repaired or replaced without user intervention
      • If there's a risk of dataloss alert user with steps to fix or link to sumo)
    • Make sure we offer UI to disable this as users will complain about Firefox using up CPU.
  • Automatic check of connectivity problems -- especially after upgrading to a new version of Firefox
    • Could it connect to the internet before it upgraded?
      • Likely a firewall issue
      • Link to relevant support docs on SUMO
    • Can it connect to to some trusted/reliable websites?
    • Are DNS requests taking a LONG time? (bad settings, massive hosts file)
  • If Firefox crashes more than once on startup, show a dialog asking if the user wants to launch another browser to troubleshoot on SUMO - would obviously have to be a native app that doesn't crash itself
    • Or we can try starting in safemode or with plugins disabled or with a temp profile
  • In the post-crash "This is embarassing" dialog, show link to "Search for solution to my problem" that performs a search on SUMO similar to the way crash-stats already works
  • In the Socorro dialog, add button to search for solution to my problem (same as above)

Other general feedback

  • Go through XUL help pages and make sure we link to relevant SUMO info where appropriate