How to create a bug like this Thunderbird bug

Screenshot of Thunderbird address bugYou thought it would be safe to post an article to [comp.lang.c++.moderated] using the X-Replace-Address header (or line within the article). No spam, since in the posted article the address will appear as 🙂 Hah!

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[Thunderbird] Adding a quoting options GUI to Thunderbird

Actually I didn’t set out on Sunday to add quoting option choices to Thunderbird’s preferences dialog. My goal was a loftier one, to fix the broken quoting in Thunderbird 3.x – Thunderbird 2 had its small quirks, but Thunderbird 3 collapses any sequence of spaces to a single space in quoted text, when you’re replying to a flowed format message. It rather restricts which Usenet messages one can respond to when using Thunderbird 3, and some other similar bugs (or moron’s fancy functionality, MFFs) also make life difficult for those who try to use it to submit patches. Hence the name of this extension, TBQuoteFix.

Paraphrasing former US vice president Dan Quayle: in a word, this extension may or may not live up to its name, later.

For now, as far as I got in the weekend it just reveals some “hidden” or “advanced” Thunderbird options, letting the user configure those via the ordinary options dialog:

I implemented this GUI side of things first because I already had nearly-finished code for it from my old NewsWorthy Thunderbird extension.

And I stopped there because I realized that I’d forgotten how excruciatingly slow it is to develop Thunderbird or Firefox extension code… It’s not for the impatient, or for anyone who has any pressing matters to attend to. Mostly, because so little is documented, it’s experimentation, including experiments to try to identify erratic behavior and devise more reliable work-arounds.

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