C-Command Software Forum

Postbox 6.0 Support

I am running PostBox 6.0. There is no longer a way to add add-ons in PostBox. Any suggestions, work arounds, etc? If no, will SpamSieve be updated to support PostBox 6.0?

Marc Matloff

It’s not simply a matter of updating SpamSieve, since Postbox 6 has removed support for add-ons entirely. I have been talking with the Postbox folks about this, and they are advising that in the short term customers who rely on add-ons should continue using Postbox 5. Longer-term, they want to build the functionality from key add-ons directly into Postbox. Of course, we are eager to help them do this with SpamSieve, but the timetable is up to them. (You could tell them if this is important to you.) Understandably, their initial focus is on the core of Postbox, which has just undergone a massive update.

If you want to use Postbox 6 today, and still get SpamSieve filtering, one option is to install SpamSieve for Apple Mail and let Mail run hidden in the background. If you use the drone setup, you can train SpamSieve from within Postbox by moving messages into the special TrainSpam and TrainGood mailboxes, so you don’t actually have to interact with Apple Mail.

Postbox 6.0 no add-on
Thanks Michael for the heads up on discussions with Postbox…I too will not upgrade, until issue is addressed

All - here is Postbox’s reply to my email of today:

Sarah (Postbox)

May 1, 8:34 PM EDT

Postbox is based on Mozilla code, and as of Firefox Quantum, XUL-based add-ons have been removed from the Mozilla platform. Since future versions of Postbox will no longer have the ability to run add-ons, we’ve discontinued support for them in Postbox 6.

Add-ons developed by Postbox, Inc. have been added to Postbox 6, including Signatures, Responses, and our Cloud File Sharing.

3rd party add-ons will no longer operate in Postbox 6. We understand this will be disappointing for many, but we cannot maintain add-ons compatibility over the long-term if they are not supported by underlying development platform.

Will the functionality of your favorite add-on be rolled into Postbox? Very possible, because after all, we want to make Postbox the very best it can be. But please note that we do not make announcements or commitments on future features until they’re ready to be tested in a public BETA release. If you have ideas on the features Postbox should support, please tell us about them on our Feature Request page.

Thanks very much for using Postbox and for your continued support.

Louis Hecht wrote:

Louis Hecht

May 1, 12:48 PM EDT

What are you doing about add-ons. I see they are missing from V6. I use Spam Sieve…will not upgrade until this addressed…free or not. I consider this a downgrade, not an upgrade.

Firefox core, extensions, and so on
It ought to be possible to implement the needed callbacks in and out of Postbox using the modern Browser Extensions API. Of course, the details of what would need to be supported and so on would have to be figured out, but form a strict technological perspective, I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t be feasible…

/me wanders to the Postbox site to drop a note…

Eric Shepherd
Senior Technical Writer
MDN Web Docs

Appreciate it…the more feedback Postbox folks get the better. There really is not much out there in the market that does the job as well as SpamSieve. Been emailing since the internet was just a handful of universities, and I have not found anything that does the job as well as what Michael has developed.


Then it’s curious that, to my knowledge, Postbox hasn’t mentioned anything like that in relation to replacing any add-ons.

Michael - it seems to me that with sufficient communication from Postbox users that rely on SpamSieve, the priority for adding back in add-on’s to the updated code might rise to or near the top of the to be added technical features. Personally, I am astounded that Postbox pulled this stunt, particularly with the flexibility that modern code permits. I perceive that no one on this forum is that illiterate about the steps that need to be taken to see this happen and that those steps will not take a lot of time and will inturn satisfy some (hopefully significant) number of Postbox users who depend on your software for junk and spam filtering.

Maybe presumptuous on my part, but perhaps you will alert SpamSieve users on the Postbox platform regarding this issue. To be honest, I am surprised that I have not seen much feedback from the community thus far on this feature redaction. Postbox, to my knowledge, has no user forum and keeps a tight lid on what they are encountering in the way of technical support, so unless it shows up in this forum, I would have no other insight as to how customers of your software that use Postbox are reacting. By alerting customers, I trust you would not be abridging any contractural issue that may exist with the Postbox folks. Moreover, as my prior comment opaquely suggests, Postbox is not offering a solution to junk and spam nearly as powerful as SpamSieve, so is this a case of the technical group not listening to customer needs???

If you do decide to alert your customers I recommend, they communicate with Postbox using two pathways - via the “support” panel on Postbox’s head page after sign-in as well as the “feature request” panel. In my experience, they are the best pathways into the organization, and despite their warnings about dealing only with issues concerning v6, they do acknowledge and respond to queries and suggestions from current v5 users.

I discovered Postbox as the closest email client to the client most of us used at the time when Eudora notified users they were closing down and the code was donated as open source. However, I continued using Eudora, perhaps for another six months past its ending date for support so that could run Postbox and Eudora in tandem to make sure I was getting reliable results. Given the shelf life of prior version software generally, I know that ultimately I will need to find an alternative email client if this issue is not addressed or resolved or by the end of the year. I presume I will need to give Outlook reconsideration, as well as other email clients that behave nicely with Gmail and provide Bayesian filtration of spam. With 35 years of emails, any migration, will be herculean.

I will be standing by to see what happens going forward.

I’ve already done that.

I think they are aware but just have different priorities.

I expect that there will be a solution for Postbox 6 by then.

Thank you Michael. No matter what I for one will keep reminding the Postbox folks monthly that providing add-ons is a requirement.

That’s strange…

This quote is strange to me; it suggests that Mozilla has removed all add-on support from the Gecko codebase, which is entirely untrue. We did replace the extension model with a new one, which is somewhat cross-browser compatible, known uninspiredly as Browser Extensions. We’re constantly expanding what they’re capable of doing, in collaboration with extension authors who find that they’re unable to accomplish specific tasks.

While Mozilla’s focus is obviously on expanding Firefox’s capabilities for extensions, if Postbox is inheriting Firefox code, which it is, in theory they should be able to integrate some degree of browser extension support with the intent of allowing the creation of Postbox add-ons. These extensions are written in JavaScript, use HTML and CSS for any UX they need to implement, and even support running native code or launching or communicating with native applications. Extensions do in theory support the notion of products other than the major browsers, since their manifests’ “applications” key can be used to say what apps the extension supports.

Note: I don’t know the inner workings of the implementation of the code that supports extensions in Firefox. It’s possible that I’m mistaken about how much is involved in integrating browser extension support, or theoretically that this capability could be integrated at all. Call it a somewhat educated assumption.

If Postbox isn’t interested in trying to do that, of course, they can instead implement appropriate AppleScript methods to allow Postbox to do what it requires, although I expect it would be rather slower than the existing code.

Eric Shepherd
Senior Technical Writer
MDN Web Docs

I will be interested to see what Michael says to your additional commentary…thanks

I looked into this with Thunderbird, and it did not appear that sufficient hooks existed to implement spam filtering, but I’m certainly open to trying a JavaScript extension if there’s a way to do that.

It seems like Postbox wants to instead build certain add-on functionality directly into the app. That’s fine with me—it seems like it would be simpler and provide a better user experience. The native code already exists and is likely more efficient.

Oh, I get you now. You’re talking about them integrating your code right into Postbox. That would obviously work nicely, if it can be made to happen.

Eric Shepherd
Senior Technical Writer
MDN Web Docs

I wanted to check-in to see where things stand today, and so wrote to the Postbox folks and received this puzzling reply, given the discussion above:

“On our end, we can whitelist SpamSieve, which we have done.
But it is up to SpamSieve to actually develop the integration. Please request Postbox support directly from SpamSieve, thanks!”

I developed the add-on but ran into trouble with Postbox’s build system. As far as I can tell, it no longer supports native code add-ons. The Postbox developers said that they did not know how to get it to work in my case and did not have any working samples, either.

Add my voice too. I have had to switch to Thunderbird from Apple Mail because Apple degraded their capabilities. Thunderbird’s spam filtering sucks. WIth SpamSieve I had maybe 5 spams a day get thru (I get around 300 mails a day) and with Thunderbird I get around 50 spams a day. TB catches under 50% of my daily spam load.

(Also concerned about encryption – I use Enigmail and PGP encryption and it’s critical to what I do – Thunderbird is changing that soon.)

I would love to switch to Postbox if it did better on spam-catching, but I can’t know that until after I switch. And I also require Enigmail encryption. I trust SpamSieve and have used it for years. Michael I appreciate greatly your plug-in work and wish we could get this fixed for either/both Thunderbird or Postbox.