Intent to de-support: traditional add-ons

Richard LEGER richard.leger at
Sat Oct 5 16:20:04 UTC 2019

On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 8:45 AM <tb-planning-request at> wrote:

> Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2019 16:14:41 +0200
> From: Will <will at>
> To: tb-planning at
> Subject: Re: Intent to de-support: traditional add-ons
> On 04/10/19 01:22, Geoff Lankow wrote:
> >
> > DL itself hasn't been updated for over two years, so it's not just
> > your extension that's not had any maintenance. Looked into WebDAV?
> >
> The author of DL posted on their list:
> "I'm still supporting the DL server though, the command line client as
> well as the "wx" windows GUI. I'm lagging in terms of available time,
> but I'm actively using DL for a variety of reasons, so that's not going
> away."  He has confirmed that to us privately as well.


Your best way forward would be to get DL Provider for Thunderbird add-on
converted to a webextension as suggested by TB Team so you can upgrade to
more recent version of Thunderbird and future ones... just from a security
point of view that would be advised at some point.

Maybe ask lead developer of the add-on what would it take to migrate it to
a mailextension (webextension for Thunderbird) to make it compatible with
recent version of TB (e.g 60.8 at the least which is should still be
compatible with legacy add-on in theory) and later for the future?

The first step may be to create a new branch to keep maintaining current
legacy add-on code separately on its own... and use the master branch for
mailextension conversion and future development... starting by moving it to
an upper version number... from 0.xx.x to 1.xx.x... those are just ideas...
also a ,xpi file is just a .zip folder containing source code so it can
easily be extracted if need be... to access code and look at it...

Perhaps then the thing may be to list:
- what need to be done for the conversion to happen
- how long it would take (and cost if any associated)
- would it require any new Thunderbird webextension APIs ( to be
developed? There is already a file sharing system implemented in May for
attachment so supposedly the required extension shall already exists...

The following from previous post may help as well...

As an author of a traditional add-on, what should you do? There are two
routes: A) convert your add-on to a MailExtension. If the API you need
doesn't exist yet, tell us about it

B) convert your add-on to a Web Extension Experiment

Most add-ons should be able to be converted to an experiment with a
reasonable effort. The recommended path is forward is to convert it to
an a MailExtension though.

> We had been intending to assist in the core code as well... but currently
> fence sitting on that.

That may be the best way forward, what is blocking you?

If not you directly, you could also try to find a third-party developer
that may be willing to help you working on it and send GitHub pull requests
to the lead developer that may be in measure to at least review them and
possibly merge them into source code and then publish updated version on (a.k.a. ATN). Both legacy and mailextension version
of the add-on shall be able to seat together for now in the same ATN
location... from my understanding... may be just a matter of playing with
version numbers...

Some people in this mailing list have worked at migrating legacy add-on to
mailextension they may be able to provide advise on how to start and
This may also be of help as starting point as well:

> Latest commit a47ff1d
> <
> >
> on 11 Jul - not that it was anything particularly important, but.

At least it shows that it is still maintained somehow and the lead
developer is still merging contribution from others... so that looks
promising... just a matter of finding resources and a good will from lead
developer (which you seems to have) :-)

In any event, we have not had any issue with it and we don't see any
> major Issues logged there.

Well the major issue is compatibility with upper version of TB starting
from 60.0
This is where it got to a stale...

Apparently the lead developer and his group are no longer using TB
**because** they could not keep up with TB changes and "undocumented"
features so their extensions keep breaking :-)

Though as per recent post from June, he may be happy to help if someone
wants to contribute or take over the Thunderbird add-on... with or without
a financial bounty from my understanding :-)

Some way forward possible then... good luck!

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