Are most of the existing add-ons being sacrificed due to adding support for WebExtension?

Eric Moore emoore at fastmail.fm
Tue Nov 21 22:32:15 UTC 2017


https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1418914
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=14778340#p14778340
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird/nkDQQk4t_Kc

That bug report appears to state that due to support being added for the 
WebExtensions API all existing add-ons starting with Thunderbird version 
59 will need to update their code. The related 
mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird post states: "To maintain the ability to 
have preferences you'll need to write an embedded WebExtension" and 
"You'll also need to remove the old options definitions from install.rdf 
so that the add-on will install correctly (otherwise Thunderbird reports 
it is "corrupt"). "

There is little incentive for many add-on developers to maintain 
existing add-ons due to the add-on strategy being unclear, and many 
add-ons developed even for version 3.0 still working if the user works 
around the version checks.

Why is adding support for the WebExtensions API viewed as important 
enough to risk potentially losing most Thunderbird add-ons? I don't 
understand why this risk is being taken given the uncertainty about what 
type of add-ons will be supported in Thunderbird++, and when 
Thunderbird++ might be developed.

Now that Firefox 57 is available it would help if there was a public 
statement about the current strategy for dealing with XUL/XPCOM support 
etc. in Thunderbird. Users are worried about the future of Thunderbird 
and the silence doesn't help.


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