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

Jim Porter squibblyflabbetydoo at
Tue Nov 21 23:26:37 UTC 2017

On 11/21/17 4:32 PM, Eric Moore wrote:
> 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.

That's not what the bug says; it says that *in-line* preferences (the 
kind where you see some options directly in the addon's details page in 
about:addons) won't work anymore. Preferences themselves should be fine, 
as should any add-on that doesn't use preferences at all. I've written 
about a half-dozen Thunderbird add-ons, and I think only one is actually 
affected by this change.

> 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.

We can't expect the Firefox team to spend a lot of time providing legacy 
support for Thunderbird-only features. Forcing the Firefox team to do 
stuff like this (largely for XUL extensions) is a large part of what led 
to the stagnation in the Firefox codebase pre-57.

- Jim

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