Extra Folder Columns and featurectomies

Archaeopteryx archaeopteryx at coole-files.de
Sat Oct 22 08:36:48 UTC 2011

For Thunderbird users, it's harder to browse available add-ons and 
install them - they have do this in two separate applications. Also keep 
in mind that some freeware nowadays has been bundled with Firefox 
toolbars etc., increasing the count of Firefox users with add-ons (75% 
of all installed add-ons in Firefox have not been served by 
addons.mozilla.org, so the real number of users with add-ons 
deliberately installed is hard to get.)


Jim wrote:
> 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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