Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

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Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Tito-12
I would like to ask a quest here that will most likely concern
Thunderbird in general. Mozilla have announced today

https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/

that shorty speaking XUL will die "By the end of 2017" with the release
of . Well what this does means for Thunderbird. Does this mean that we
will need to start developing extentions/add-on's only using the Mozilla
WebExtensions api by that i mean this:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebExtensions

If so does anyone have a knowledge of any plan whatsoever that is
related to thunderbird and WebExtensions? If i understand correctly the
core of Thunderbird is heavenly tighten with the Mozilla by that i mean
Gecko, and logically that will mean that if mozilla cut of that XUL
support "By the end of 2017" then all Thunderbird extensions will also
not work, taking into account that we are using that Mozilla core, or
have i misunderstood the concept?
many thanks in advance for the comments.

Tito


PS: If I have understood that correctly I am not particularly happy with
what mozilla is doing.
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Jörg Knobloch
On 25/11/2016 09:19, Tito wrote:
I would like to ask a quest here that will most likely concern
Thunderbird in general. Mozilla have announced today

https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/

that shorty speaking XUL will die "By the end of 2017" with the release
of . Well what this does means for Thunderbird. 

You did not quote this correctly. The article says that by the end of 2017 all Firefox extensions must be WebExtensions.

That does not mean the end of XUL since the Firefox and Thunderbird user-interface is built with XUL. Yes, there are plans to phase out XUL completely, but I'm not aware of any concrete dates.

The extension support in Thunderbird is a different story and I'll leave it to others to discuss this further. Personally I can' imagine that Thunderbird won't continue to support XUL- and XPCOM-based add-ons as long as these technologies are available in Mozilla core.

--
Jörg Knobloch - [hidden email] - www.jorgk.com
Thunderbird Developer (Thunderbird, Compose and Mailnews Editor and MIME peer) - Member of the Thunderbird Council

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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Tito-12
In reply to this post by Tito-12
-------- Original Message --------
*Subject: *Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox
57. What does this mean for Thunderbird
*From: *Jörg Knobloch <[hidden email]>
*To: *
*Date: *11/25/2016 10:38 AM

> On 25/11/2016 09:19, Tito wrote:
>> I would like to ask a quest here that will most likely concern
>> Thunderbird in general. Mozilla have announced today
>>
>> https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/
>>
>> that shorty speaking XUL will die "By the end of 2017" with the release
>> of . Well what this does means for Thunderbird.
>
> You did not quote this correctly. The article says that by the end of
> 2017 all Firefox extensions must be WebExtensions.
>

well  I will bring the original message i.e.

"By the end of 2017, and with the release of Firefox 57
<https://wiki.mozilla.org/RapidRelease/Calendar>, we’ll move to
WebExtensions exclusively, and will stop loading any other extension
types on desktop."

for me the phrase "will stop loading any other extension types" means
will stop loading any XUL extentions. English is not my native language
but i gues i am reading this correctly and i did not made any mistake.

> That does not mean the end of XUL since the Firefox and Thunderbird
> user-interface is built with XUL. Yes, there are plans to phase out
> XUL completely, but I'm not aware of any concrete dates.
>
Well i am not so sure about this thus i started this discussion.

>
> The extension support in Thunderbird is a different story and I'll
> leave it to others to discuss this further. Personally I can' imagine
> that Thunderbird won't continue to support XUL- and XPCOM-based
> add-ons as long as these technologies are available in Mozilla core.
>
> --
> Jörg Knobloch - [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> -
> www.jorgk.com <http://www.jorgk.com>
> Thunderbird Developer <http://www.jorgk.com/misc/Mozilla-work.pdf>
> (Thunderbird
> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Thunderbird>, Compose
> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Compose> and Mailnews
> Editor <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/MailNews_Core#Editor> and
> MIME <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/MailNews_Core#MIME_Parser>
> peer) - Member of the Thunderbird Council
> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Thunderbird_Council>

regards,

Tito
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Jörg Knobloch
On 25/11/2016 11:19, Tito wrote:
> "By the end of 2017, and with the release of Firefox 57, we’ll move to
> WebExtensions exclusively, and will stop loading any other extension
> types on desktop."
Firefox will stop loading XUL extensions, but Firefox will keep using
XUL for it's UI. Maybe a misunderstanding. You're referring to support
for XUL extensions, I'm referring to XUL in general since Thunderbird
like Firefox is relying heavily on XUL.

As I said, others will speak about the plans for Thunderbird.

Jörg.


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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Philipp Kewisch-2
In reply to this post by Tito-12
Hi Tito,

thanks for contacting us, I can very well imagine it may be unclear from
the add-ons blog as to how Thunderbird is affected, given it is by
Mozilla and Thunderbird also has the Mozilla title.

Thunderbird is actually a community project, therefore our stance and
mode of operation is slightly different. We have less contributors than
Firefox and therefore cannot move at the same speed. Nevertheless,
Thunderbird is built on the same base platform as Firefox, therefore we
are also affected by some changes made to Firefox.

Currently, we will do our best to keep XUL extensions available as long
as possible, this will become increasingly hard. Initially, Firefox will
be making simple changes to prevent XUL extensions from being installed.
At this point we can keep up support, because we just have to change a
flag or similar. Afterwards, Firefox will be cleaning up code and
removing any supporting code for XUL extensions, which will inevitably
cause trouble in Thunderbird. At that point we will evaluate how to
maintain support.

We are also looking into alternatives to make sure Thunderbird supports
extensions in the future, in whatever form that may be. Please stay
subscribed to this mailing list for updates. You can also subscribe to
our blog at http://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/ or follow us on twitter
at @mozthunderbird.

Thanks,
Philipp


On 11/25/16 11:19 AM, Tito wrote:

> -------- Original Message --------
> *Subject: *Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox
> 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird
> *From: *Jörg Knobloch <[hidden email]>
> *To: *
> *Date: *11/25/2016 10:38 AM
>> On 25/11/2016 09:19, Tito wrote:
>>> I would like to ask a quest here that will most likely concern
>>> Thunderbird in general. Mozilla have announced today
>>>
>>> https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/
>>>
>>> that shorty speaking XUL will die "By the end of 2017" with the release
>>> of . Well what this does means for Thunderbird.
>>
>> You did not quote this correctly. The article says that by the end of
>> 2017 all Firefox extensions must be WebExtensions.
>>
>
> well  I will bring the original message i.e.
>
> "By the end of 2017, and with the release of Firefox 57
> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/RapidRelease/Calendar>, we’ll move to
> WebExtensions exclusively, and will stop loading any other extension
> types on desktop."
>
> for me the phrase "will stop loading any other extension types" means
> will stop loading any XUL extentions. English is not my native language
> but i gues i am reading this correctly and i did not made any mistake.
>
>> That does not mean the end of XUL since the Firefox and Thunderbird
>> user-interface is built with XUL. Yes, there are plans to phase out
>> XUL completely, but I'm not aware of any concrete dates.
>>
> Well i am not so sure about this thus i started this discussion.
>>
>> The extension support in Thunderbird is a different story and I'll
>> leave it to others to discuss this further. Personally I can' imagine
>> that Thunderbird won't continue to support XUL- and XPCOM-based
>> add-ons as long as these technologies are available in Mozilla core.
>>
>> --
>> Jörg Knobloch - [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> -
>> www.jorgk.com <http://www.jorgk.com>
>> Thunderbird Developer <http://www.jorgk.com/misc/Mozilla-work.pdf>
>> (Thunderbird
>> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Thunderbird>, Compose
>> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Compose> and Mailnews
>> Editor <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/MailNews_Core#Editor> and
>> MIME <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/MailNews_Core#MIME_Parser>
>> peer) - Member of the Thunderbird Council
>> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Thunderbird_Council>
>
> regards,
>
> Tito
>

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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Onno Ekker-2
On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 11:51 AM, Philipp Kewisch <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We are also looking into alternatives to make sure Thunderbird supports
> extensions in the future, in whatever form that may be. Please stay
> subscribed to this mailing list for updates. You can also subscribe to
> our blog at http://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/ or follow us on twitter
> at @mozthunderbird.
>
> Thanks,
> Philipp
>

Is it just me or is that blog last updated almost a year ago? I don't even
a post about the recent string freeze for Thunderbird 52…

Onno
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Philipp Kewisch-2
In reply to this post by Philipp Kewisch-2
On 11/25/16 11:59 AM, Onno Ekker wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 11:51 AM, Philipp Kewisch <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> We are also looking into alternatives to make sure Thunderbird supports
>> extensions in the future, in whatever form that may be. Please stay
>> subscribed to this mailing list for updates. You can also subscribe to
>> our blog at http://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/ or follow us on twitter
>> at @mozthunderbird.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Philipp
>>
>
> Is it just me or is that blog last updated almost a year ago? I don't even
> a post about the recent string freeze for Thunderbird 52…
>
> Onno
>

Hi Onno,

it is not just you. I guess there have been some different opinions on
what the target group for the blog is, but I personally believe we
should do some more posting there.

Philipp
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Tito-12
In reply to this post by Philipp Kewisch-2
On 11/25/2016 11:51 AM, Philipp Kewisch wrote:
> Hi Tito,
>
 Firefox will be cleaning up code and
> removing any supporting code for XUL extensions, which will inevitably
> cause trouble in Thunderbird. At that point we will evaluate how to
> maintain support.
>
>

Philipp , thanks for the response. Well that means that in some point of
time Mozilla will most likely kill not only (as Jörg mentioned) the XUL
support for the addons but as well the UI and transfer all that
functioniality to call directed to objects from the " chrome.* and
browser.* namespace".
I do understand the idea behind WebExtensions i.e. write once and works
on all browsers, something similar like java, write once works
everywhere. Which in my opinion makes sence (at least was for java) ,
however i am asking myself can this be applied to Thunderbird ,, i do
not believe that someday Microsoft will come up and say lets do
WebExtensions for Outlook as well , this might more likely happen on
clients like Clawmail or Kmail but that is just a fiction idea.

Thus what i believe is important for the community and the developers
that already have written some code or are just starting  to, to send a
clear message of what thunderbird will do in the feature. Since by just
waiting for someone in the firefox team to drop thousands of lines of
code that are important for thunderbird is wrong (and by no means this
is an acquisition). We need a clear mesasge from the devs to point the
way. I do not know who that will be but as sooner that happens, the
better for this project.
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Tito-12

and of corese i mean accusation not acquisition.
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Re: Mozilla XUL support to disappear with release of Firefox 57. What does this mean for Thunderbird

Jörg Knobloch
In reply to this post by Tito-12
On 25/11/2016 16:03, Tito wrote:
> We need a clear mesasge from the devs to point the
> way. I do not know who that will be but as sooner that happens, the
> better for this project.

Yes, agreed. But since we rely on Mozilla core activity, it's hard to
tell where the journey will take us :-(

For example, Mozilla announced the termination of support for binary
add-ons in Firefox 52 ESR, however, the developer missed the deadline,
and now they're being phased out in FF 53.

If I understand it correctly, Thunderbird will not support
Webextensions, we're actively disabling all tests related to them (bug
1293992, bug 1296883, bug 1295907, bug 1267612 and bug 1200128).

As for the deprecation of XUL: This was hotly discussed in mid-2015 with
a schedule to phase out XUL within 12-18 months [1]. 15 months have
passed and I haven't heard more about this. Further interesting reading [2].

Jörg.

[1]
https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/tb-planning/2015-September/004088.html
[2]
https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/tb-planning/2015-September/004066.html

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