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[thunderbird 68] is Virtual Identity compatible? #22

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despecial opened this issue Sep 1, 2019 · 61 comments
Open

[thunderbird 68] is Virtual Identity compatible? #22

despecial opened this issue Sep 1, 2019 · 61 comments

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@despecial
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@despecial despecial commented Sep 1, 2019

TB 68 is out now and there is a big change for extensions.
Since a compatibility checker is missing, I would like to ask if this VI can be used with that version?

@kewlfft
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@kewlfft kewlfft commented Sep 7, 2019

A conversion is necessary, these steps must be followed for conversion: https://developer.thunderbird.net/add-ons/updates

@bl00dy1837
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@bl00dy1837 bl00dy1837 commented Sep 7, 2019

It doesn't work anymore.

@blueyed
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@blueyed blueyed commented Sep 9, 2019

@absorb-it
Are there plans to make it compatible?

@absorb-it
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@absorb-it absorb-it commented Sep 11, 2019

Hi, currently busy I will have a look into required changes during the next months... Sorry, this will take a while.

Stay tuned, regards, Rene

@ferricoxide
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@ferricoxide ferricoxide commented Sep 17, 2019

It's not until Thunderbird rolls out yet another extension-breaking update that you remember, "oh, yeah: this extension is one of the reasons why I still even use Thunderbird".

=)

@blueyed
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@blueyed blueyed commented Sep 17, 2019

@ferricoxide
True. It really became a must-have for me.
Luckily Thunderbird allows you to "Customize From Address..." manually.

@miskovics
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@miskovics miskovics commented Sep 21, 2019

+1

I love this extension, please, make it compatible.

@ferricoxide
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@ferricoxide ferricoxide commented Sep 23, 2019

Yeah, but that requires actual effort ....and I'm soooooooooper-lazy. :)

@ferricoxide
True. It really became a must-have for me.
Luckily Thunderbird allows you to "Customize From Address..." manually.

@miskovics
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@miskovics miskovics commented Sep 24, 2019

... and it is much safer and faster to do it with this add-on instead of the "Customize from Address..." function.

@absorb-it
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Owner

@absorb-it absorb-it commented Oct 7, 2019

Hi,
after looking into the development path of thunderbird (see for instance here) I can see that the only way will be to get the complete functionality into core thunderbird. This will take a while, sorry.

these are the steps:

  1. add some own-server/catch-all option to accounts for composing messages with the right senders email (bugzilla-link)
  2. change from-field as free-editable for own-server/catch-all accounts
  3. store mail address used for recipients together with collected addresses in address-book

Lets see how this goes on, but once this is done it will last way longer than changing some extension ever and ever again.

Regards, Rene

@mcanonic
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@mcanonic mcanonic commented Oct 16, 2019

Too bad. Can we help you Rene in some way?
Thanks for your extension.
I'm sure that you guys have already check if any other add-on could replace (in some way) this extension in the meanwhile.

@chris-fp
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@chris-fp chris-fp commented Nov 5, 2019

As others have said - it's only when TB breaks VI that you remember it was there :)

It's absolutely vital that I have VI running so I've just downgraded back to v67 and won't be upgrading again until VI functionality is restored somehow - be that upgraded add-on or, even better, it's built into TB directly :D :D

@sukamenev
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@sukamenev sukamenev commented Dec 18, 2019

Thanks for the extension! I also downgraded Thunderbird to 60.9.1.
Let me know if you need a donation.

@github-normalnutzer
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@github-normalnutzer github-normalnutzer commented Dec 22, 2019

Hi there,

is there any information about progress at Rene to integrate the whole thing into the TB core?

Going to an older TB version to be compatible with VI doesn't seem to be the best way for me for such a long time, now almost 3 months.
I really miss the VI functionality.

If a donation could help, it would probably only need a call. :-)

@miskovics
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@miskovics miskovics commented Dec 27, 2019

I really miss the VI functionality.
If a donation could help, it would probably only need a call. :-)

I'm also ready to donate.

@chris-fp
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@chris-fp chris-fp commented Jan 8, 2020

Hi,

I'd also be happy to give a donation to get this either updated or pushed into core TB as I absolutely cannot work without using VI and have downgraded to 60 as well

@sej7278
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@sej7278 sej7278 commented Jan 22, 2020

yes whilst you can customize the from address in TB 68 its a pain when you reply to an email with a different from address to that which you received it using as you forgot to change it manually.

@mcanonic
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@mcanonic mcanonic commented Jan 22, 2020

Ok, it seems to me that we have not any chance to see this add-on up and running on TB. My question is: is there any place in the thunderbird website, where a new feature can be asked? If all of us (and, hopefully, many others) push up this request, maybe we will have some chance to see it again available in TB. What do you think?

@St3fanBC
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@St3fanBC St3fanBC commented Feb 10, 2020

I'm also ready to donate if that's what it takes. This add-on is a core reason for me using TB in the first place.

@bl00dy1837
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@bl00dy1837 bl00dy1837 commented Feb 10, 2020

+1 ready to donate.

1 similar comment
@miskovics
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@miskovics miskovics commented Feb 10, 2020

+1 ready to donate.

@canihavesomecoffee
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@canihavesomecoffee canihavesomecoffee commented Feb 12, 2020

From what I see in the linked Thunderbird issue, there are patches to implement certain functionality in the core, but discussion is ongoing on how it should actually behave and how it should be enabled/disabled...

@mcanonic
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@mcanonic mcanonic commented Feb 12, 2020

@canihavesomecoffee
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@canihavesomecoffee canihavesomecoffee commented Feb 12, 2020

It was mentioned earlier in the issue by absorb-it, but here it is again: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1518025

@alexolog
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@alexolog alexolog commented Feb 22, 2020

Willing to donate for TB68 support

@absorb-it
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Owner

@absorb-it absorb-it commented Feb 23, 2020

Hi, thanks for all the offers for donation - it's really great to see that you are willing to support this feature. On the other hand, the implementation process is not dependent on donations and some working implementation was already proposed in the mentioned thunderbird ticket. But there seems to be no intention to let this feature be part of thunderbird. Sorry to say that there is nothing which can be done from our side. I accept the decision from thunderbird-people to not add every feature - but I'm still unsure about which mail-client can be a suitable replacement in the future.

Thanks again for all your support, Rene

@alexolog
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@alexolog alexolog commented Feb 23, 2020

What required functionality is missing in the new TB?

@github-normalnutzer
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@github-normalnutzer github-normalnutzer commented Feb 23, 2020

While answering/replying, choose automatically the "TO:" Address as Sender Address,
if no Address is found in the TB identities.

@alexolog
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@alexolog alexolog commented Feb 23, 2020

While answering/replying, choose automatically the "TO:" Address as Sender Address,
if no Address is found in the TB identities.

This functionality was missing from earlier versions of TB and yet VI was able to implement it.
Obviously the question is what functionality required to implement the above is missing in TB68.

@KIMWW
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@KIMWW KIMWW commented Mar 1, 2020

some working implementation was already proposed in the mentioned thunderbird ticket. But there seems to be no intention to let this feature be part of thunderbird.

Thanks again for all your support, Rene

Thank you Rene to try to solve this issue.
What can we do to make Thunderbird people to change their mind?? Would it help if all of us post a message HERE?

@chris-fp
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@chris-fp chris-fp commented Mar 5, 2020

This is fantastic news and I look forward to upgrading my TB to a newer version!

I'd still like to suggest a donation for all your work and effort over the years though.

@AlexVallat
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@AlexVallat AlexVallat commented Mar 5, 2020

Plenty of comments about donations, but I don't actually see anywhere to donate to support this effort. Am I missing something obvious?

@absorb-it
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@absorb-it absorb-it commented Mar 5, 2020

Hi, there is no donation required from my side, I am interested in this feature anyway and I like to give back something for all the free software I am using in my day-to-day live - which a lot of people create without any payment.
But thanks for all the offers, it really showed me how important this feature is for you. And as already said, without your support in this case we could not have convinced the thunderbird people how important this feature is for us.

Feel free to donate to some other software project which might really require this money to free some time for their development efforts. Or donate this money to some humanitarian organisation which engages to help people around the world, for instance https://sea-watch.org/ which is one project I'm engaged with.

Thanks again, I probably will need some time to finalize these patches and than it will take a while till we will get some release which has this feature included. But we don't have to look for another email client anymore :)

Best regards, Rene

@chconnor
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@chconnor chconnor commented Apr 28, 2020

Donation made to sea-watch!

Thanks so much for your hard work on this plugin through the years, and for getting it in to core. I'm thrilled to hear there will be some kind of functionality coming, and I'm following the bugzilla thread eagerly.

:-)

@c33s
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@c33s c33s commented Apr 28, 2020

@absorb-it i haven't digged through the mozilla thread and through the patch code, maybe you are so kind and can discribe the the new featureset here.

will the new implementation in the core be as safe as the current plugin? for me it's important that i simply send ("from" email) with the email i got the mail (previous "to" email) from the exact same account the message got delivered to. also it's quite important to see the (auto)-choosen email i will send from before i press the send button.
the confirmation dialog of your plugin often saved me from accidentaly send from the wrong acount/email.

do i miss something or does bugzilla require you to attach patches and making code review by pasting code segments with change requests as comment instead of having a github/gitlab like pull/merge-request feature with clean code comments? 🤦

@absorb-it
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@absorb-it absorb-it commented Apr 29, 2020

@chconnor, thanks for the donation...

Hi @c33s, the new thunderbird featureset won't give you all the features you had with the extension, but because of the new webex-plugin schema the extension won't work like before. With the patch 1294027 learned to send mails with some flexible senders address, with the current patch 1518025 thunderbird will be able to answer with any email which can be found in some dedicated headers ("to", "cc", "envelope-to, x-original-to"). The list of headers can be changed with some (hidden) option.

Now if this is achieved, some main functionality will be in core thunderbird. And it will be robust over all upcoming changes of thunderbird, which is great. You will see a warning once the email is modified and the email will be sent with exactly the address mentioned in the from field, but there is no warning in the moment of sending anymore.

The final step to come close to yesterdays extension will be to add some option to store the used email address together with the recipient probably in the addressbook. I will have a look at this later, it's unclear if this can or better will be done by some small extension or if this should be part of the core code as well, we will see.

do i miss something or does bugzilla require you to attach patches...

Yes, that's the way it is. But it works, the biggest problem is to build thunderbird locally and rebuild this once the underlaying mozilla changed, or some tests changed or whatever. There are options for that doing this online as well, but non of this is optimized for limited/expensive bandwidth, and that's what I usually have. Anyway, it's close to be done, yeah!

Best regards, Rene

@jfriend00
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@jfriend00 jfriend00 commented May 4, 2020

Count me as another user anxiously waiting for the new add-on. I was a long time user of virtual identify with Postbox until they dropped support for all add-ons while back. I dealt with it by manually creating separate identifies for every "from" email I was trying to use, but that got to be quite a pain. Now, I'm back to Thunderbird and desperately in need of an ability to arbitrarily set the from address for any email I'm sending. Like some others, I use a single domain and a different mailbox name in front of the domain for every website I interact with and thus need that ability to set the From address to whatever I want. I like that virtual identify did some of this automatically, but I'd even accept 100% manual control (have to manually edit the "from" address on every email if that was all there was.

@timkgh
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@timkgh timkgh commented May 4, 2020

@jfriend00 You can use an older version of TB. Not ideal from a security perspective, but VI works well on TB 52.9.1

@jfriend00
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@jfriend00 jfriend00 commented May 4, 2020

@timkgh I'm aware of that from the commentary here, but I don't intend to install the older version. I am anxiously waiting to get back to using the virtual identity I started with quite a few years ago. All I really need is just the ability to type in my own custom "from address" so I can make an email be from whichever of my mailboxes I want. I don't need all the other features it had (though some are useful time savers).

@GrahamCobb
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@GrahamCobb GrahamCobb commented May 4, 2020

@jfriend00 You can use an older version of TB. Not ideal from a security perspective, but VI works well on TB 52.9.1

Also works with TB 60.9.0. I have held that version on my Debian Testing system - which will, no doubt, cause a problem sometime.

@absorb-it
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@absorb-it absorb-it commented May 4, 2020

Hi, this option to edit your senders address manually is already in core thunderbird and can be accessed by the identity dropdown menu with the neest thunderbird. There must be something like "Edit From Address" or the like in the identity selection dropdown menu - this only can be seen even on 60.9.1 if Virtual Identity Extension is not installed. Regards, Rene

@jfriend00
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@jfriend00 jfriend00 commented May 4, 2020

@absorb-it - Sure enough. I had an "Identity Chooser" add-on that was blocking access to that feature. Thanks. I will appreciate the better features of Virtual Identity if you get it working again, but at least I'm up an running with "Edit From Address" for now. Thx.

@JoelAzaria
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@JoelAzaria JoelAzaria commented May 8, 2020

Rene,
Thank you so much for your dedication to this project after so many months of struggle. I hope this core implementation will allow to reply from whatever email address in the 'To:' field, even if this is not a configured mailbox in TB.

I hand out many bespoke email addresses with companies (makes filtering and spam control easier.) This normally works great till I forget to change the reply address then BAM! mass confusion because I reply from a strange address.
The key is I use catch-all or cpanel forwarder address for this so these are not actual existing mailboxes. Hopefully the implementation will simply read whatever is in the "To:" field and send based on that.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this project.
I hope I can gift sea-watch in your name.

@markfilipak
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@markfilipak markfilipak commented Aug 9, 2020

Hi! I stumbled onto this thread and I'm glad I did. I'm stuck with TBird 52.7.0 running in a Linux virtual machine. VI is version 0.9.36,

I've encountered a couple of bugs in VI, but of course that doesn't matter anymore. Before abandoning VI, I thought I'd seek the help of the good folks here. What's your advice?

Regards, and Good Health!
Mark Filipak.

@cgraefe
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@cgraefe cgraefe commented Sep 9, 2020

Hi Rene,
This is probably the wrong place but I just realized that I could actually install Thunderbird 78 now without destroying my personal workflow. And after reading the Bugzilla Report I couldn't resist the the urge to send you a HUGE "thank you" for all your work to get -- against all odds -- the essence of Virtual Identity into Thunderbird core. I'm so relieved that we have a solution to this problem. Thanks again for this and of course for your previous work on Virtual Identity!
Christian

@alexolog
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@alexolog alexolog commented Sep 9, 2020

I am confused by the above comment.

Does VI work on TB78?

@cgraefe
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@cgraefe cgraefe commented Sep 9, 2020

@alexolog Sorry to cause confusion. No, VI does not work on TB78 not will it work on any later version, to my knowledge. But @absorb-it has integrated (essential) parts of it directly into Thunderbird itself.

@alexolog
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@alexolog alexolog commented Sep 9, 2020

I see. Could you comment on how it works compared to VI?

Further questions to @absorb-it:

From my understanding of 1518025, it only works with given domain names, so if my email provider supports multiple domain will I need to create a catch-all for each?

Also, it says that the list of headers can be customized with the mail.compose.catchAllHeaders preference. How will TB decide which one to use if several of the specified headers are present and conflicting? Is it by order?

The final step to come close to yesterdays extension will be to add some option to store the used email address together with the recipient probably in the addressbook. I will have a look at this later, it's unclear if this can or better will be done by some small extension or if this should be part of the core code as well, we will see.

That would be a very helpful feature! Maybe specifying a custom field in the vCard so it can synchronized via CardDAV?

Thanks again for your work!

@StephenMilner
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@StephenMilner StephenMilner commented Oct 19, 2020

Hi. @absorb-it or anyone else who can assist.

Have these changes been taken into 78.3.3 or would I still need to patch Thunderbird to enable this?

If they have been integrated I must be doing something wrong?

@absorb-it
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@absorb-it absorb-it commented Oct 19, 2020

Hi, sorry all of you, I really missed that discussion...

You are right, TB 78 includes the new implementation which might make the extension not required anymore. So, VI does not work on TB78+, but you can do a lot of things Virtual Identity brought to you natively now.

To get the "Virtual Identity"-feeling you have to activate the "Reply from this identity when delivery headers match:" option in your account settings. Enter your domains there, like "*@example.com, *@example.de". All mails you receive now which match these domains will be answered with the right email address now (with all other settings like signature etc. of the identity where you activated this feature)

This will not work for composing new emails (even if you already wrote some email to the recipient with some other email address), because there is no chance for TB to know which email address you used last time, except looking into some headers of some received email. This is still annoying, I know.

Speaking of the headers of receiving emails, they are checked via the "mail.compose.catchAllHeaders" preference value. The default setting is pref("mail.compose.catchAllHeaders", "envelope-to, x-original-to, to, cc");

If you reply to a list, they are used in the order mentioned. On a standard non-list reply "to" and "cc" are preferred in front of the list (if this turns out to be causing some issues, some bug should be filed to get this fixed). So for usual replys it's "to, cc, envelope-to, x-original-to, to, cc" (yeah :(

If you have this order of headers, they are all matched against any existing identity and this one is used if it matches. If there are no matches, all identities with CatchAll enabled ("reply ... when ... headers match") are checked again, looping trough all headers-emails of the received email and checking against all catchAll-Domains added to this identity. As below:

  loop trough headers of  mail.compose.catchAllHeaders {
    loop trough all identities with catchAll enabled {
      loop trough fields in catchAll texfield (like for instance *@example.com) {
        if textfield matches email in header:
          if catchAll was with *@, use email found in header (this is virtualIdentity)
          (if catchAll has no *@ use the email of the identity)
        }
      }
    }

Hope this is somehow usable. I'm not really happy that this option is hidden behind some other feature but at least Thunderbird is usable for me (and probably you) again. This implementation is the result of some compromise, but seems to work for me. But I still think it will be really hard to document this feature and name it the right way, but at least it's available.

I will try to be a little bit faster on this channel if you have more questions :) Best regards,
Rene

@mcanonic
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@mcanonic mcanonic commented Nov 9, 2020

Hi, maybe I'm doing something wrong.
I've added a *@uniupo.it in the account settings in order to have always my uniupo account to send email to my colleagues, but for it seems not working. I've noticed also a weird behaviour: sometimes with reply button, I get an email compose windows with a sender and "to:" with the same address but the sender is not me.
How much I miss VI...

@danfos
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@danfos danfos commented Nov 21, 2020

I appreciate the work done to integrate VI functionality into Thunderbird core.

It works for me, also for email accounts with aliases/auto-forwarding.

For aliases/auto-forwarding accounts you can add an additional identity using Manage Identities under Account Settings. Then set the Reply from this identity when delivery headers match for this secondary identity.

As for new mail, as far as I remember, VI did pop up a window to chose the account when the Send button was hit and a rule was matching. Would that still be an option?

Update: Found a good work-around in the Identity Chooser add-on. That forces you, before you create a new email, to select the identity/email where the mail will be sent from. It works also for forwarding email.

@zic-github
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@zic-github zic-github commented Jun 14, 2021

Looks working almost good with TB78 but isn't there a way to sort of auto-register VI when composing emails?
Unlike good old VI, TB78 won't save manually edited From address, I guess.
We have to go to Accounts setting to manually add a VI in prior to use it.
Otherwise that manually edited From address will be lost.

@chconnor
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@chconnor chconnor commented Jun 14, 2021

@zic-github -- you might be interested in these bug reports, especially the first one:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1679100
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1679103
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1677329
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1677368

I don't get the impression that there is a lot of momentum on these right now, and I join you (and I suspect many others) in hoping that some hero developer is motivated to work a little more on it. It seems like an important final piece of the puzzle to really make this functional.

@mcanonic
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@mcanonic mcanonic commented Jun 15, 2021

@timkgh
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@timkgh timkgh commented Nov 16, 2021

@absorb-it What is the last known TB version where the old VI addon fully works? I've been on TB 52.9.1 with VI 0.9.36 for a long time but not sure whether there are newer versions where VI still fully works. IIRC there were some versions where it only worked partially.

@jab42
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@jab42 jab42 commented Nov 16, 2021

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