Automatically fixing addons for new Thunderbird versions

Matt Harris at
Fri Aug 30 00:04:12 UTC 2019

How hard would it be to script in a tool that will sniff out and flag 
usage of deprecated interfaces?

The documentation over the past months has mostly been "this is 
removed,  use this instead". I do not see this changing a lot in the 
next release cycle and more XUL stuff disappears and more web API's 
become available to replace them.  Having a script that could scan the 
code and identify the items in that list of chenges. Perhaps even 
anotate the code with developer links to comments would I guess make the 
process of updating abandoned add-ons by adoptive authors more likely.  
Not having any idea of the quantum of effort required is perhaps one of 
the barriers to others adopting the abandoned.

But I am not an add-on author,  so I will leave the discussion to those 
that have actual experience on the ground.  But I would like to see the 
barriers to successfully getting an add-on off the ground to be 
significantly lowered.  I look at VbScript and how simple it is to start 
to extend Microsoft applications with simple interface stuff and then I 
look to Mozilla and by extension Thunderbird.   One is designed to 
encourage,  the other expects a high level of technical skills and 
background.  Dabblers not welcome Is the sign on the door.


On 30-Aug-19 12:30 AM, Axel Grude wrote:
> And here I was getting my hopes up :)
> Anyway it would be cool if there was a validation tool that just scans 
> the code for keywords / used xpcom interface that we could use; using 
> some diligence, a list to the said article would in many cases be 
> enough for us Add-on devs to fix it ourselves.
> I always think just having the validation scanner during Add-on upload 
> as a separate tool  /website would already be an immense help.
> Axel
> *Axel Grude <mailto:axel.grude at>*
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>> *Subject:*Re: Automatically fixing addons for new Thunderbird 
>> versions (was: Re: Donations for the Provider for Google Calendar ...)
>> *From:*Jörg Knobloch <jorgk at>
>> *To:*<tb-planning at>
>> *Sent: *Thursday, 8/29/2019, 15:44 15:44 GMT DT +0100 [Week 35]
>> On 29 Aug 2019 15:27, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>>> If there are mechanical, scripted or very simple ride-alone changes 
>>> that are applied to the whole code tree, then I think it would be 
>>> good for the TB project to apply these to the addons as well.
>> Sadly that's wishful thinking.
>> A small fraction if those "bustage" fixes are s/xxx/yyy/. And even 
>> that we don't know that we're not hitting AAxxxBB.
>> Most changes are much more involved. M-C is removing interfaces, 
>> turning sync calls into async calls.
>> Take a look at 
>> to see how unfeasible this suggestion is.
>> Jörg.
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>> tb-planning mailing list
>> tb-planning at
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