MailExtensions

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Fri Dec 7 04:52:23 UTC 2018


Let's rename "WebExtensions" to "MailExtensions" and "WebExperiments" to 
"Addon API Experiments".

See below:

> I think WebExperiments are a also great opportunity for grass-roots 
> action.
>
>  1. Individual addon developers can implement an API that they are
>     lacking, and use it immediately in their addon, without waiting
>     for Thunderbird.
>  2. Then, they can generalize the API, make it generic for other
>     addons to use
>  3. They can propose the API for inclusion, and seasoned developers
>     can look over the API, improve it. (This step is important to keep
>     the public APIs consistent, generic, stable, and of high quality.)
>  4. It's included in Thunderbird
>

All addon authors: This is your call to action!

Go and try to implement your addon as MailExtension. You will miss APIs 
left and right, everywhere. But with "Addon API Experiments", you have 
all the access that you have from a normal restartless XPCOM addon 
(without XUL), and you can implement the APIs you need. Then, proceed 
with the steps outlined above, and other addon developers can benefit 
from it, and Thunderbird will start to develop a stable (!) API surface 
for addons.

With stable addon APIs, the "my addon stopped working after upgrade" 
should gradually stop as well.

Please don't expect somebody else to do it for you. The TB Council or 
Core devs are too busy keeping Thunderbird running. This is now up for 
the addon developers to do, bottom up, grass roots fashion. Get your 
hands dirty and help!

FWIW, that's what we did with Owl 
<https://addons.thunderbird.net/thunderbird/addon/owl-for-exchange/>, too.

Ben

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