Mozilla Thunderbird Gets Extension Support

Wednesday June 18th, 2003

New Mozilla Thunderbird builds with support for installing extensions have been released. Read Scott MacGregor's Thunderbird Builds forum posting for more details. A page of information about creating extensions has been published and Scott has already released the first official add-on, Offline Support. More extensions are available from Extension Room, which also hosts XUL-based add-ons for other Mozilla products.

#6 Re: Extension fatigue?

by locka <>

Thursday June 19th, 2003 4:43 PM

You are replying to this message

The thing is, offline mode is core functionality. It's there, implemented in the very heart of the mail/news DLLs whether you see it in the UI or not. All the extension does is expose that functionality to the user. And practically anyone using IMAP will use it in one capacity or another, even if its only because they have junk filtering enabled.

Now in theory, perhaps making it an extension is a good idea. But now imagine that mail filters, news, spell checker, SSL, html editing, address book, ldap, junk filter, password manager are extensions too. After all, some people don't need a junk filter so why show the options, or the spell check button etc. ? But now instead of having a reasonably ordered prefs panel you now have all of this stuff dumped in extensions. Furthermore, when someone raises a bug on mail/news instead of being confronted with a single base you are face potentially dozens of mix and match configurations - "I was using Thunderbird 0.1 with Offline 0.02 and SSL 1.3 etc. when the bug occurred".

So while I think extensions are a good idea, I wonder if there shouldn't be a core set of things which while notionally extensions are more tightly integrated and shipped with Thunderbird. By all means they could hide options you don't care for, but to have to visit an 'Extension Central' to get basic functionality is a recipe for disaster.