Thunderbird Marketplace?

Axel axel.grude at
Thu Aug 30 12:11:13 UTC 2012

  *From: *"Robert Kaiser"<KaiRo at>  *Sent: *Thursday, 30/08/12 12:54:44 12:54 
GMT Daylight Time {GMT DT} +0100  [Week 35]  *Subject:*Re: Thunderbird Marketplace? > 
Axel Grude schrieb:
>> Like already mentioned early on today's meeting I would be really
>> interested in using Mozilla Marketplace for my Thunderbird extensions.
>> to be honest when I heard of Marketplace first I thought this would be a
>> monetization (and promoting) platform for _all_ Mozilla extensions, and
>> maybe a good opportunity to break into new markets. When I looked at
>> Marketplace first it felt much more like something that is specialized
>> in mobile apps only, so I am not too sure whether it is relevant.
> And you still misunderstood it all in the end. ;-)
> The Mozilla Marketplace is about *web apps*, i.e. app done 100% with HTML and related
> technologies - running on any device (including desktop) inside any web renderer
> supporting the relevant standard.
> So, add-ons don't have any space there, we already have the Mozilla add-ons website
> that has everything to support those.
> Also, because getting up a full cross-platform web app library for everyone is hard,
> the Mozilla Marketplace is now starting off as primarily targeting apps for Firefox OS
> (as launching a mobile platform doesn't make any sense when you don't have an apps
> library/store/marketplace). That doesn't mean that apps running on the desktop, on
> tablets, or other devices other than our initial Firefox OS phone are not allowed
> there (in fact we are slowly ramping up an "install web apps to feel like native"
> experience on desktop and Android along with Firefox), but those are no priorities for
> Marketplace right now.
> I think you were mislead by the word "Marketplace". Given that app collections of
> everyone else are mostly called "App Stores" and Mozilla's idea is not a
> tightly-closed single store but an open market that isn't even the only place to get
> apps from, that name came into place, AFAIK (I'm not on any PR team, I'm just guessing).
> In any case, unless what you have is actually a web app, the Mozilla Marketplace isn't
> what you are looking for. And unless Thunderbird wants to present itself as a web app
> runtime, it's nothing Thunderbird needs to target.
> What you want now and in the future is probably the existing Mozilla Add-ons website,
> specifically its Thunderbird section, which is there and will not go away (AFAIK).
> Robert Kaiser

Thanks Robert for clearing this up. I guess what I am looking for is something more 
akin to chrome's web store

which could / would be mounted on top of the AMO web site (basically adding a store 
front to Thunderbird Extensions). Or similar to stardock's model for windowblinds 
where you have can browse both free skins and so called "Premium" Skins which can 
downloaded for a small fee:

Similarly I could imagine such an interface for "Premium" Extensions. Of course, as a 
primarily XUL developer I am currently not interested in writing HTML5 apps, as I 
still prefer "the way of XUL and XPCOM" for desktop design, even though I might be in 
a minority.

To the users, this just means buying "content" / "apps" that work[s] on a specific 
platform (be it chromium, Windowblinds or Thunderbird / Firefox) - the underlying 
technology is unimportant from their POV.

What we are missing on AMO is a built in way of user registration / monetization that 
can be tracked via Mozilla (rather than every extension author having to build their 
own). If we could achieve something like this in order to implement something like a 
freemium model for Addons, I would consider my mission achieved. At the moment, if I 
wanted to commercialize my addon (beyond donations) I would have to jump through hoops 
to do so.

It would also be cool if we could come up with an (XPCOM driven) interface for 
unlocking premium features, which we could build into our extensions; if we had a 
common registration database and a number of user_id / feature_GUID key pairs that 
could be bought from AMO (and giving a percentage of that money to Mozilla as hosting 
& admin fee), we could potentially help Addons Developers, Users (money means more 
competition and better products) and Mozilla alike.

Do you think this is something we could / should discuss on the Tb summit? Or should 
this involve all of Mozilla, rather than starting from the Email world?


 > In any case, unless what you have is actually a web app, the Mozilla Marketplace isn't
 > what you are looking for. And unless Thunderbird wants to present itself as a web app
 > runtime, it's nothing Thunderbird needs to target.

I certainly would not want to re-write something as complex as SmartTemplate4 or 
QuickFolders in HTML5, thank you very much!! :) :P :-o


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