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Add-on icon Colored diffs

This is an extension that colors boring diffs sent by notifiers for Git, Subversion, CVS, Mercurial, etc.

The project was originally authored by Vadim Atlygin, and for a time it has been maintained by Jesse Glick (jglick). Now the torch has passed to Qeole.


A lot of developers use Git or other version control systems. Most of them also receive special notifications from the system about changes other people do. They might be useful in various ways: someone wants to check if there are bugs in the new code, someone just wants to keep knowledge of code base up-to-date. But looking over that black-on-white letter is so boring. That's why we decided to color it up a bit.


Get it from Mozilla add-ons platform…

Available here

… Or install it manually

Install locally or package it into a .xpi file.

Under UNIX-like systems you can create the .xpi file by simply running:

$ cd /path/to/colorediffs/
$ make

What the add-on can do


Well, not so much… It can color your diffs, it can show them in side-by-side mode if you like. Also it converts all the filenames in message log into links so you can quickly jump to the file you want to review. Ah, and it can make space and tabs chars visible. You can look through list of SupportedFormats to see what are the supported VCSs.

Ideas for future contribution

The original author of the project wanted this add-on to include the following features:

  1. Highlighting the actual difference between the lines.
  2. Coloring the syntax of the language used.
  3. Checking new code against few rules in order to estimate the quality of it.

But these are pretty big tasks, and development of the add-on is not so active by now. If you want to help, though, do not hesitate to contribute by dropping an issue or a PR!


If you know how to do something better, whether it's code, icons, default color scheme, just contact me. Also please visit the issues list and comment on issues you'd really like to be done first.

Firefox extension

There isn't one and probably never will be, sorry. I could make it work for diff in <pre> sections (most mail lists archives format them like this) but it would never work in GMail and other Web mail systems where it would be actually useful. It's just plain hard to find the code between the lines of normal text. But you could ease you pain with Bookmarklet I wrote when your needs is simple (like mail list archives) and GreaseMonkey script written by Fabrice Bellingard for GMail. Thanks for understanding.

Version notes

  • Version 0.5 is the last one with support for Thunderbird 2. I'm too tired of more than two years old JavaScript engine.

  • Version 0.7 does not support SeaMonkey anymore, because the new maintainer does not use it and does not wish to test add-on compatibility. But the code has not changed much, and this is probably just a matter of enabling support again in install.rdf file. So if some tech-savvy SeaMonkey user tests and confirms compatibility, I will enable it again.

  • Versions 0.8 and 0.9 should work with Thunderbird 60 (although I did not manage to fix preferences settings, so it comes with fixed color choices, unless users resort to the config editor). Later Thunderbird versions are expected to deprecate XUL-based extensions, which means the add-on will not remain compatible unless it undergoes major rework.

  • Version 1.9 works with Thunderbird 68. Note that the preference menu remains completely broken (I even removed the button to display it), therefore you'll have to work with the default options or to use Thunderbird's config editor. This version has not been tested on older Thunderbird versions. Conversely, version 0.9 and earlier of the add-on cannot be loaded on Thunderbird 68+.


Thunderbird extension to colorize code diffs in messages.



Contributors 4



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