A lot has happened in the past two months since our last post: we’ve
been quite busy trying to fix the list of blockers for Instantbird
We’ve again joined Mozilla as part of their application for Google
You can see some of our ideas on Mozilla’s
(We should find out soon whether Instantbird will be doing any projects
or not this year!)
fixed. The behavior is mostly the same as the old libpurple
implementations, but there are differences. If you see issues, please
file a bug! This
will allow for better IRC support in the future.
- The tab completion algorithm has been made smarter:
- It now prefers the last person to have pinged you if there are
multiple possible completions.
- Addressing multiple participants is now handled gracefully.
- There is now a reading position marker to show which messages arrived
since you last viewed a conversation.
- Updated to Mozilla 11.
- A few crashers have been fixed.
What’s Coming Soon / Being Worked On?
What’s this I hear about Thunderbird integrating instant messaging code from Instantbird?
heard that instant messaging was recently added to Thunderbird. This
work was done by our very own Florian Quèze! Don’t panic though! This
doesn’t mean that Instantbird development is stopping, we strongly
believe there is a place for both a standalone instant messenger and a
more integrated approach with email. This is a mutually beneficial
relationship between Instantbird and Thunderbird where we share code,
benefit from more testing and get a set of new people — and ideas —
involved in making instant messaging easier and more about how you —
the user — wants it!
For those curious, approximately one-third of the Instantbird
codebase is now
Earlybird builds. Feel free to give it a try and file any bugs in
Currently it looks like this feature will likely appear in Thunderbird 15.
We’re getting close to the Instantbird 1.2 release and we think there’s
been a lot of great improvements that will make it easier and more
natural to instant message with your friends, family, co-workers and others!
For Instantbird 1.1, which will be released soon, we realized a weak
spot in our API was the ability to control whether events should be
shown to a user or cancelled under certain conditions. This fits in as
part of our mission about giving control of instant messaging to the
user: the user should only be interrupted by events that deserve their
attention. If you’re wondering how this is useful; extensions now have
great control over how Instantbird is allowed to interact with the
user. For example, extensions could: keep conversations from opening
(i.e. spam guards), quiet sounds during a full screen video, or even
stop new conversations from opening if the user has set their status as Unavailable.
Extensions are able to simply register themselves with the interruptions
manager and they will automatically be notified if certain events
happen, including when Instantbird wants to: get your attention (e.g.
flash the task bar), open a new conversation, play a sound or show a
The API is really easy to use and we’ve created some example add-ons
that use it! We have created an an add-on to not allow the NickServ
from IRC accounts to open
an update of
Additionally there is an add-on to force auto-joined chats to be held on
the buddy list
allowing you to give them your attention when you want to. Another
example of a great add-on is the Do Not Disturb add-on, which does not
allow Instantbird to disturb the user while their status is set to
Unavailable, really allowing you to concentrate on something more
There’s also a skeleton for an anti-spam add-on (an often requested
feature!) that is just waiting to be finished! Contact us on
#instantbird on irc.mozilla.org
if you’re interested in helping out. And don’t worry, these extensions
will be available on
We think this is a great addition for add-on developers working on
Instantbird and can’t wait to see what exciting ideas people come up with!
A short time after Instantbird 0.2 was released the js-proto branch was
merged into the main development tree. This was the branch where the
backend of Instantbird was prepared to support protocol plugins written
contributor of the project, started working on an implementation of the
Now he has written a long and detailed posting on his blog about the
hows and whys, as well as the current status of his work. It’s spiced
with lots of references to both Instantbird and specifications of the
protocol. So if you’re interested in the technical aspects of
Instantbird and how to extend Instantbird with a protocol plugin written
in JS then you definitely should go and read it at his