Add Ons handling

Eyal Rozenberg eyalroz at
Sun Mar 24 16:18:30 UTC 2019

I also want to thank Christopher for his efforts. I have some specific
comments though...

On 23/03/2019 23:56, Christopher Leidigh wrote:
> Recently the office told me something said stopped working.
> Since I am not in the office and was not aware of the failing add-ons due to
> the recent Thunderbird updates.  

This underscores the significance IMHO of investing council efforts /
project funds in getting more extensions, especially the popular ones,
up to date. I suspect this stuff really hurts the active user base, and
TB's reputation for being something reliable. Now, of course people can
just stick with existing versions and not update, but even that is not
trivial to have admins or individual users committed to doing.

Caveat: My suspicion have no statistical basis.

> I had to  find how to contact [add-on authors]

It is, indeed, less trivial than you would expect to contact extension
authors. Shouldn't extension meta-data require some sort of email
address? Of course you can just fake one, but still.

> - I did not find the type of community support sites similar to the Visual
> 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
> were helpful
> and working together specifically on getting some unofficial upgrades
> to various add-ons.  This was despite the fact that the particular board
> (Thunderbird builds)
> was not for development questions.

As an extension author, I was not aware of the possibility of finding
resources about updating extensions on those platforms. Does MozillaZine
still exist even? ... Oh, I see; news are down, forum lives on. Interesting.

> - I read numerous comments and blog entries about developers frustration 
> about the required changes and direction of Thunderbird.
> - While the required changes for TB60 were relatively straightforward, the
> implied requirements for TB68 appeared significant , but most importantly
> completely ambiguous.

It's also frustrating to think about what to do about the intermediate
versions between the last one you support and the latest one, for which
you want to update. Do you support every version along the way? Just
some of them? None of them?

> My next step was to reach out to get a better idea of what's going on and
> look into helping out for all the reasons above.  Here are several of
> the areas
> Ryan and I have been discussing working on:
> - Break-Down and analyze the state of all add-ons and authors (Ryan has
> started out this)

Suggest this be done by decreasing order of popularity of the extension.

> - Get some more regular community communication going

This is quite vague.

> - Create a crack team for transition help (perhaps operate as care
> holder authors temporarily)

If written resources are good enough, a diffuse, non-crack, but
large(ish) team will form on its own.

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