Thunderbird 78.x and enabling OpenPGP by default

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Wed May 27 11:27:21 UTC 2020


Hi Kai,

First off, I'm happy that you're working on native PGP support for 
Thunderbird. This has been the most voted for feature for the longest 
time (almost 2 decades) for Thunderbird. I'm also glad that you found a 
good base implementation. I know you've worked on SSL in Firefox since 
1-2 decades, so I'm happy that we have a competent developer working on 
this.

You asked what we think: If you feel that the implementation is not 
ready, I think it makes a lot of sense to ship the code and disable it 
in the UI, and finish it. That is a very reasonable approach, from a 
code merge, stability and end user perspective.

To accommodate existing enigmail users, given that Enigmail won't work 
with 78.0, and avoiding that they fall into a hole, how about enabling 
at least email decryption and sending? And do that automatically?

This would be implemented by shiping an "Enigmail" update specifically 
for 78.x, which does not contain the old Enigmail implementation (which 
doesn't work anymore), but effectively does nothing but setting the 
preference to allow PGP email decryption and sending. Every one of the 
Enigmail users need that. This update avoids that every one of those 
users needs to discover that their email is broken (or even that they 
accidentally send unencrypted emails!) and manually search for the 
preference. It avoids that Enigmail users are broken by 78.0.

Greetings,

Ben




On 26.05.20 11:03, Kai Engert wrote:
> Hello,
>
> we have identified several aspects of the integrated OpenPGP 
> implementation for TB 78 that should get improved, prior to declaring 
> the functionality as stable.
>
> After discussions with Magnus we'd like to suggest that the 78.2 
> update should be the first version that enables OpenPGP by default.
>
> In other words, OpenPGP support would still be disabled by default in 
> the initial 78.0 release.
>
> We'd like to add a preference that allows early adoptors who 
> understand the limitations of the OpenPGP implementation to enable the 
> functionality in the 78.0 release.
>
> Beta and Nightly builds would continue to enable the feature by default.
>
> This schedule would give us 2 more months, until end of July, to work 
> on important improvements and uplift them into the release branch. The 
> 78.2 release is scheduled for 2020-08-25.
>
> Thanks and Regards
> Kai
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