Improve extension APIs for TB

Kent James kent at
Wed Oct 26 17:17:06 UTC 2011

On 10/26/2011 7:40 AM, David Bienvenu wrote:
> I've been working on making the backend more scriptable and extensible 
> (e.g., making msg sending scriptable, and not require an nsIEditor, 
> paving the way for rkent's SkinkGlue, etc) but it would be great to 
> figure out other high leverage improvements, to enable extensions to 
> do things they could not do before. 
Looking forward to pluggable stores!

I can think of lots of ways that we might get input about changes needed 
by addon authors. I review most of the TB-only addon updates, so I have 
regular contact with the active addon authors. Perhaps I could look for 
code patterns that seem to be workarounds and post those somewhere, or 
include some standard boilerplate in addon review messages asking that 
addon authors make similar comments.

What I have never been able to figure out though is how to have any hope 
that such input would actually result in some concrete work being done 
by someone other than myself or the author of the comment. Everyone with 
time to give to the development process is just super-busy doing 
something important, and has no hope for the foreseeable future of 
taking on anything new. And yet the things they are crazy busy doing 
today they weren't doing a year ago, and somehow there was a process 
that decided that they should take on that important task they are doing 
today. But that process, whatever it is, is a complete mystery to me, 
and does not seem to be something I have any power to influence. (That 
may not be true in fact, but this is my perception.)

So to me the first question is not "how do we figure out other high 
leverage improvements", but rather "is improving extension APIs a high 
enough priority that it will visibly result in real development effort?" 
Who makes that decision, and how, and can that decision be influenced? 
If the current status is "everyone is busy doing really important 
things, so there is no hope of putting any resources to this" then I am 
better off spending my time writing patches to fix my own pain points.

Like the way that new accounts are deleted if there is any problem 
creating them. I must have entered by Twitter credentials 100 times 
already into Thunderbird/TweeQuilla. That would be an easy fix, but I am 
too busy doing really important things to get to it ;)


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