Thunderbird Will Phase out Legacy Add-Ons, Will Support WebExtensions

Thunderbird Will Phase out Legacy Add-Ons, Will Support WebExtensions

December 27th, 2017
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Mozilla announced last week plans to modernize Thunderbird's codebase,

plans that include fixing some "technical debt" by incorporating the recent

changes in the Mozilla engine into Thunderbird, adding a new user interface

(UI), and phasing out old legacy add-ons that are built on the XUL and

XPCOM APIs.


														
							

The changes are part of Mozilla’s new plan for Thunderbird development, a project that it left for dead in 2012, but later decided to reinvigorate in 2016.

First, the new Thunderbird project will be hiring developers to catch up with all the recent updates added to the Mozilla engine, the core technology at the heart of Firefox and Thunderbird.

“The project is currently in the process of hiring developers to address some technical debt, fix some sore points in the software and transition the codebase from a mix of C++, JavaScript, XUL and XPCOM to be increasingly based on web technologies,” said a Mozilla spokesperson.

Second, upcoming Thunderbird releases will feature the new Firefox user interface —named the Photon UI— that was recently launched with Firefox 57.

Third, because Mozilla is moving to the new core where web APIs play a more primordial role and where old C++-based systems play a smaller role, Thunderbird will have to follow on Firefox’s footsteps and phase out the old XUL and XPCOM-based add-ons system.

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