Add Ons handling

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Sat Mar 23 23:35:06 UTC 2019

Great! Welcome, Christopher! thanks for your help and action. this is badly needed.

Am 23. März 2019 22:56:38 MEZ schrieb Christopher Leidigh <cleidigh at>:
>I'd like to introduce myself and at the risk of being a bit precocious
>for a newbie, offer thoughts on the add-ons situation.
>I'm Christopher located in Providence Rhode Island south of Boston, MA
>in the US.  I have just recently volunteered to join up to work
>close to full-time and at least initially focused on add-ons. I have
>started working with Ryan to gear up and dive into several issues and
>needs in this area.  How I got here is directly relevant to some of the
>being raised.
>I have been a Thunderbird user practically from day one.  I also have
>setup my wife's business of 3-4 people utilizing Thunderbird and a
>of extensions.  Recently  the office told me something said stopped
>Since I am not in the office and was not aware of the failing add-ons
>due to
>the recent Thunderbird updates.
>I started looking into things, first the add-ons and subsequently the
>of Thunderbird itself.  Echoing some of the other comments in this
>I really started to worry that Thunderbird was spiraling downward. 
>I have time, I cold contacted 3 separate authors of the 4 important
>for wife's office.  My experience was the following:  first, I had to 
>how to contact them , then I had to ask and propose that I become a
>to continue their add-ons.  Fortunately all three were open and
>Over the past two months I have updated all four for TB60, the most
>with about 9k users for TB66 with ongoing experiments for the others. 
>me describe my impressions from this:
>- I did not find the type of community support sites similar to the
>Studio Code project (been working on this for two years)
>- Disqcus has practically no activity
>- The MozillaZine site was reasonably active, in fact several people
>and working together specifically on getting some unofficial upgrades
>to various add-ons.  This was despite the fact that the particular
>(Thunderbird builds)
>was not for development questions.
>- I read numerous comments and blog entries about developers
>about the required changes and direction of Thunderbird.
>- While the required changes for TB60 were relatively straightforward,
>implied requirements for TB68 appeared significant , but most
>completely ambiguous.
>My next step was to reach out to get a better idea of what's going on
>look into helping out for all the reasons above.  Here are several of
>Ryan and I have been discussing working on:
>- A "hook-up" effort/program to more efficiently and easily join up new
>developers with existing add-on authors not able or not interested in
>supporting their
>addons.  I have envisioned both a personal (official) effort as well as
>and infrastructure on the ANT site.
>- Break-Down and analyze the state of all add-ons and authors (Ryan has
>started out this)
>- Try to get some interviews and direct feedback from some of
>- Determine any tools and infrastructure to ease the transition
>- Get some more regular community communication going
>- Look at Reachout methods to encourage community expansion (colleges,
>GitHub et cetera)
>- Create a crack team for transition help (perhaps operate as care
>authors temporarily)
>- Continue transition documentation and examples (I have some started
>this with Thunderstorm
>repository focusing on side-by-side legacy versus web extension
>There are other things as well, but I probably already bent too many
>Re: some of the options discussed specifically about out on
>- I agree with the idea of retaining as many developers as possible,
>- I agree with the open source licenses and forking should be
>without additional terms
>- If we can do some of the items above with success combined with
>coordinated efforts
>to takeover/transition add-ons with author cooperation, that will be
>- I think it's reasonable to have a policy on both abandoned add-ons
>  projects.
>- All add-ons should be encouraged ( required?) to be hosted on a
>- If we have scenarios where we will remove add-ons from the server,
>should go into
> a public repository of shelved add-ons.  (I believe there is something
>like this for legacy
>   Firefox add-ons on GitHub)
>- One issue indirectly raised, but not discussed - how to deal with
>developers receiving
>  donations, one could imagine some bad scenarios taking over an add-on
>with money flowing.
>Sorry if this was too much rambling, hopefully useful.  I am really
>to push forward
>on as many of the above action items as possible, but with good
>I am willing and able
>to be guided/assigned items since I do not want to pretend to come in
>a bunch of preconceptions.
>Christopher Leidigh

Sent from my phone. Please excuse the brevity.
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