Fwd: Re: <ExtensionName> and TB 5

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Thu Jun 30 09:22:39 UTC 2011

One of my most-used extensions is not compatible with Thunderbird 5.
Having read the appropriate forum, I emailed the developer and asked:

"It seems like the release of Thunderbird 5 took you rather by surprise.
Is that fair to say? If so, that may indicate that we've done a bad job
of communicating with extension authors about the upcoming releases.
Would you say you'd had any emails about it, or encouragements to
upgrade your extension to work with the new version? If not, we should
see what went wrong there."

This guy is not disconnected from the Mozilla community, or
unresponsive. And yet the speed of our release did surprise him. His
reply is below; I think it may help us learn some lessons.




I was surprised that the beta-phase was so short.

I usually start update my extension when the first Beta is released so
that the API is frozen. Because I once tried to update during the alphas
but the API changed so much so the extension broke several times.

I know that the first beta was release around 1 month ago because I
follow a lot of Mozilla blogs. But I just expected that the beta-phase
was going to be like it normally is and that is to be during several
months. So I wasn't in any hurry to update <Extension>.

Then the 20th June I got an email saying that the 28th of June
Thunderbird 5 is going to be released. Which I think is way to late to
inform addons developers that it is time to update their extensions. If
it only was to bump the max-version that would have been enough but not
when you need to do changes and test the extension.

I think there should be an email sent out when the first Beta is
released saying that the API is now frozen and it is time to update the
extensions. And it should also very clearly state when they expect to
release the final version so developers know how much time they have.

I don't think that it should be expected that developers keep there
extensions up to date and working during alphas or nightlies.

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