Extra Folder Columns and featurectomies

Jim squibblyflabbetydoo at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 22:42:53 UTC 2011

On 10/21/2011 11:24 AM, Kent James wrote:
> I just saw an update for the addon Extra Feature Columns, that reversed
> a featurectomy of a few years ago. That addon now has 280,000 users!
> This is a massive count for an addon.

I expect this is largely due to the fact that users were prompted to 
install the add-on via the migration assistant when upgrading. You can't 
really compare the user count to other add-ons that weren't prompted.

> It seems to me that is a pretty strong statement against that particular
> featurectomy. Only a fraction of users use addons at all, so this
> massive user base tells you that a pretty large number of TB users
> wanted that feature.

For Firefox at least, that fraction is about 85%[1]. I'd be totally 
unsurprised if the Thunderbird percentage is somewhat lower, but we 
won't know that for sure until we do a Test Pilot study.

More generally, and this might not reflect other people's opinions on 
the matter, I think Thunderbird should follow a policy of including only 
"core" features in Thunderbird, and everything else in add-ons (if this 
meant turning RSS and News into add-ons for instance, I'd be ok with 
that). An add-on used by ~7% of users, even after prompting them to 
install it, doesn't fit the bill for me.

That said, if the feature can be added again without hurting the UI as 
it stands now (and by this, I mean not wasting space with a treeheader 
if there's only one column), I wouldn't fight against it being included.

- Jim

[1] http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2011/06/21/firefox-4-add-on-users/

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