|Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Jb Piacentino||7/7/12 2:39 AM|
Yesterday Mitchell Baker posted on the future of Thunderbird: http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/
In summary, we've been focusing efforts towards important web and mobile projects, such as FirefoxOS, while Thunderbird remains a pure desktop-only email client. We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals. The most critical needs for the product are on-going security and stability for our 20+ millions users, either individuals, SMEs or large corporate/institutions.
However, Thunderbird is one of the very few truly free and open source multi-platform email applications available today and we want to defend these values. We're not "stopping" Thunderbird, but proposing we adapt the Thunderbird release and governance model in a way that allows both ongoing security and stability maintenance, as well as community-driven innovation and development for the product.
We are opening the proposed plan for public discussion to individuals and organizations interested in maintaining and advancing Thunderbird in the future. We are looking for your feedback, comments and suggestions to refine and adapt the plan in the best possible way throughout the summer so we can share a final plan of action in early September 2012. The tb-planning mailing list is the preferred forum to have this conversation. I look forward to reading you there.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ben Bucksch||7/8/12 1:12 PM|
this is what I posted to Michell Baker and JB. I'm reposting just for public reference.
I am glad to recognize the critical importance that Thunderbird has.
"Thunderbird is one of the very few truly free and open source multi-platform email application available today and we want to defend these values."
This is true. In fact, this is totally in like with the Mozilla mission, to defend the open Internet. Internet, as you well know, is more than just the Web. Thunderbird is our client which is covering most of the non-Web Internet protocols: email, chat, calendaring.
Email is one of the primary and most useful uses of the Internet for many people, both professionals working online and grandmas. Protecting it is vitally important. If Thunderbird were removed as a competitive choice, most businesses are left with no alternative to Outlook. This, in turn, locks them to Windows. There are several huge organizations that use the Linux desktop, and from what I know, they all chose Thunderbird and they would be left high and dry, if it was no longer a competitive choice. What's worse, Linux would have no chance to gain more foothold on the desktop, the last area where Linux is *not* yet dominating (it's already dominating servers, cellphones, supercomputers, home routers, and even TomToms).
Web clients are not an option for some users, be it speed or privacy. Also, I expect webmail clients to degrade in terms of adding more and more advertizing and promotions. The automatic account setup wizard I created was directly targetted at helping users, who couldn't set up Thunderbird before and thus were forced to use webmail, to get set up quickly and painlessly.
What we're still lacking in professional setups is a calendar. Lighting is almost there. We just need to ship it and then polish it.
However, if you are honest, you cannot expect Thunderbird to take off, if you hide it on the mozilla.org website. I could barely find the Thunderbird page even though I was actively looking for it, much less can you expect usage numbers to raise this way. If this is the reason for this latest org change, please be honest and admit that you never gave Thunderbird a fair chance by really marketing it with strong force, as you marketed Firefox in the beginning and now. Despite this, Thunderbird usage remains to be fairly high, being one of the biggest open-source projects in terms of usage, so obviously people like it. Please give it a fair chance.
We must not allow Outlook and web clients to be the only realistic choices.
From what I understand of your message, you intend to pull all full time contributors from Thunderbird, and stop making 6-week releases. However, Thunderbird cannot live with some core people:
Thunderbird and Lightning needs these people. Bienvenu has been on Thunderbird since Netscape 3.x in 1996, I think. Please let him see the 20 year anniversary :).
Mozilla Corporation really has sufficient money. While it may not
be your focus, Thunderbird by itself is incredibly important for
the world as a whole and for the open innovation on the Internet
(Mozilla mission). Keeping 5-10 people on Thunderbird does a lot
of good for the Internet. It costs you, let's say 2-3 millions per
year, that's 1% of Mozilla's income, but they really make a
difference for the world.
Alternatively, I think that a complete re-implementation is also a viable option, if and only if:
|Strategy (was: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird)||Ben Bucksch||7/8/12 1:22 PM|
I can't understand this decision.
1. Mail/news has always been part of Mozilla, since Netscape 2
2. Email is the most important internet usage and protocol, after the
web. More importantly, Email is a standard while Facebook and G+ are a
3. A desktop email client is completely fitting the Mozilla manifesto.
4. 20 million people (more than Sweden and Finland combined) are
depending on Thunderbird for their email. Many of them spend many hours
every day with it, it's the second most important application after the
browser. These people are critically depending on Thunderbird for their
5. We need a desktop client to innovate in email. We (e.g. me, by
posting patches) cannot innovate on webmail, because we don't run the
servers - even if we would make webmail software, still the operator
would have the last word. It's a clear step back.
If we didn't have Thunderbird, we'd need to invent it, or something like
it. It makes no sense to axe it, without direct replacement.
We *need* a competitive desktop email client.
tb-planning mailing list
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ben Bucksch||7/8/12 1:29 PM|
There's one question which is critically important and hasn't been answered yet:
How long will Mozilla, using paid staff, maintain Thunderbird? "maintain" meaning:
? How many years? As long as there are more than half a million users? *
* (And please don't hide Thunderbird project and download links or similar - as mozilla.org already does, unfortunately).
|Re: Strategy||Ben Bucksch||7/8/12 1:41 PM|
On 08.07.2012 22:22, Ben Bucksch wrote:> web....
> 3. A desktop email client is completely fitting the Mozilla manifesto.> 4. 20 million [users]
> 5. We need a desktop client to innovate in email.Given how minimal the cost is for Mozilla compared to the income, and
the importance of email...
There's only one way how this decision makes sense to me. It's a
conspiracy theory, so I intentionally post it in a separate email.
Google provides Mozilla 90%+ of the income. Mozilla plays copycat of
Google, imitating Google strategy 1:1: Google Chrome has minimal UI, so
we do that. Google makes Gears, so standardize it and put it in Firefox.
Google makes Android and Chrome OS, we make "Firefox OS". This is not
just a little coincidental.
Google has GMail, and quickly eats up the market. By now, some 15-18% of
all email users are on GMail, currently raising almost 1% per month. It
doesn't take highschool math to see where this is leading.... And the
power that means.
Thunderbird doesn't fit in there. Google wants their users to use
webmail, not IMAP.
We heard that this Thunderbird organizational change which is published
now already started in January 2012 (in secret). Mozilla and Google made
a new contract in November 2011, terms are secret, but the negotiations
were definitely hard. And the result definitely very good for Mozilla.
It is too far fetched to make a wild guess that Google wanted
Thunderbird to be stopped, and Mozilla gave in as part of the
negotiations? Given that Thunderbird always was the step-child at
Mozilla, that decision probably was painful, but eventually "necessary
for survival" etc.pp. blabla.
Again, just a theory, I have no material basis, but it seems logical,
and it's the only logical reason I can find.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Tanstaafl||7/8/12 9:30 AM|
I thought I'd post my response to this announcement here after posting
the same thing to Mike Conleys blog...
Having reserved judgement until after I actually read the entire
posting, I, for one – as someone who has been very vocal (and often
critical – so much so in a few cases that I got booted off of one or
more developer lists) – am actually very excited about this.
On more than one occasion, I have made the statement that ‘Mozilla
should focus on stability and fixing many of the long standing bugs,
rather than pushing shiny new features that it is questionable that many
users want or will use.
So, if this means that certain long standing issues – like the buggy
HTML editor, buggy IMAP behavior, the new Address Book, maildir vs mbox
for local storage, full integration of the Calendar (Lightning
extension), as just a few examples – will finally get some much needed
attention and may even actually finally be permanently *fixed*, then I
say that this is a very *good* thing for Thunderbird.
For me, Thunderbird is my EMAIL client. I don't want to browse the web
inside it, or chat - I use it for email. I have many different email
addresses (dozens, in fact) all configured as IMAP, and being able to
work with all of them in one excellent UI (heavily customized from the
default UI, another big reason I love Mozilla products), from multiple
computers on disparate platforms (like my Moms Mac, and my Linux box at
home), all with the same Profile which can be backed up from and
restored to any of these different platforms (using MozBackup) - well,
it is simply an incredibly powerful and convenient tool that I would
find it very difficult to work without, and I am so thankful for and
grateful to the Mozilla developers (both Moz employees and Community
members) for providing this tool for all these years (I too started
using Thunderbird a long time ago, back at about version 0.8)…
So, to those proclaiming the death of Thunderbird as a result of this
announcement, I say…
Thunderbird is dead. Long Live Thunderbird!
p.s. one thing I don't understand - Mozilla supposedly got *NINE hundred
million dollars* (over 3 years) in their latest new deal with Google -
why they don't seem to be willing or able to allocate a million or 3 to
Thunderbird per year is beyond me. A million should pay for what - at
least 5 or 10 full time developers for a year?
Anyone at Mozilla care to answer that one?
> are on-going security and stability for our 20+millions users, either
> individuals, SMEs or large corporate/institutions.> <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Proposal:_New_Release_and_Governance_Model>plan
> for public discussion to individuals and organizations interested in> <https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning> is the preferred forum
> to have this conversation. I look forward to reading you there.
|Re: Strategy||Blake Winton||7/8/12 3:48 PM|
So, following that logic, you think Mozilla should put all the Firefox resources behind SeaMonkey? ;)
Possibly, but it's not a good fit for the mission. (" … to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web.")
And Mozilla isn't going to stop supporting it. I'ld bet that none of those people are depending on any unimplemented innovations (almost by definition ;).4. 20 million people (more than Sweden and Finland combined) are depending on Thunderbird for their email. Many of them spend many hours every day with it, it's the second most important application after the browser. These people are critically depending on Thunderbird for their work.
Sure, but why does Mozilla need to be the ones to innovate in email?
I agree, but I don't think that means that Mozilla needs to be the one who provides it.
(Also, Mozilla isn't axing it, they're not just pushing innovations down the community's throat. If people want to innovate, I'll be more than happy to help them get their ideas in, as will the rest of the Thunderbird team!)
-- Blake Winton Thunderbird User Experience Lead bwi...@mozilla.com
|Re: Strategy||Ben Bucksch||7/8/12 7:16 PM|
This decision is a clear loss, if not even violation, of most principles in the manifesto (which happen to capture the Mozilla spirit fairly well):
All true for "Email is an ...", and email is a core part of "Internet"
Webmail is definitely not open. You're totally dependent on the features and limitations the provider offers.
Being reduced to webmail as choice surely isn't an enrichment for individuals, only an enrichment for Google.
Privacy goes out the door with webmail.
Even integrity: The ISP can even alter the message contents years after the fact, and I have no way to verify or prove this. (see e.g. scandals)
If everybody has webmail, there's not even a reason for the ISP to offer IMAP or POP3.
Most definitely a loss here. This is one of the reasons that get at me most with this decision.
~20% of the world's users (and raising quickly) all being on gmail is a scary centralization. With centralization, no need for interoperability - old story.
Where do you think Thunderbird users will go now? Eudora? No, Gmail. Definitely loss here.
I can't modify gmail webmail.
Even in the remote chance that we would build the world leading webmail software, it would still be the ISP rolling out and controlling it, and probably modifying it.
Transparency in this decision? Participation? None. We were merely *informed* many months after this has been decided, a week before the public release. Perfect way to destroy all remaining trust I had.
(As for the press leakage, I think that was Mozillians, not one of the contributors.)
This isn't HP here.
Gain. This decision surely helps commerce.
|Re: Strategy||Ben Bucksch||7/9/12 4:37 AM|
On 09.07.2012 12:57, Axel wrote:
> *Privacy: *the argument is tricky as email is necessarily server based
The transfer, yes. Storage, no. For a data thief (whoever it may be, big
or small), it makes a huge difference whether he can access only current
mail or all mail from the last 5 years. All the hacked MSN accounts from
friends that are spamming me are just the most visible proof of that.
> But generally webmail does not allow backing up to local storage (and
> cleaning up on the server without loosing data) so IMO that is the
> biggest drawback.
That's what I meant with integrity and verification, yes.
> there is a trend with ISPs not to offer SMTP servers anymore
Oh? I don't know about that, we have SMTP servers for all the big ISPs
in the world in our ISP database. Which ISPs are you thinking of?
I'm just surprised that this is already starting, but this is fairly
sure to happen once desktop email clients are going down in popularity.
Once this happens, we're in big trouble. To access mail from my mobile,
I'll have to install the app from the provider (while currently I can
use the email application), and Facebook is showing right now what the
results of that will be: Self-service for data shopping, outrageous
privacy violations, and people can only watch and complain, but not do
(FWIW, Microsoft is pushing their own cloud services, too, so we can't
depend on Outlook.)
> For an average user it is actually hard to find free SMTP alternatives.
If it's free and open to everybody, spammers will jump at it.
|Re: Strategy||Tanstaafl||7/9/12 3:09 AM|
On 2012-07-08 6:48 PM, Blake Winton <bwi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> 2. Email is the most important internet usage and protocol, after the> <http://www.mozilla.org/about/mission.html>. (" … to promote openness,
> innovation and opportunity on the web.")I disagree, I see it as a perfect fit. Email (especially IMAP) is 'on
the web', and Thunderbird is the best damned (desktop) email (especially
IMAP) client around, bar none, for many reasons...
If this was simply a discussion of whether or not to *start producing*
an email client from scratch, your point would more substance. The fact
is, Thunderbird already exists as a (relatively) stable and mature Email
Client, which makes your comment pretty much without (substance).
As I said in my last email, if this means that the core devs will simply
be refocused on *stability* (I'm taking the announcement on its face),
this could be a very good thing for Thunderbird. I'm hopeful, but I'm
also very freaked - because if I'm wrong, then this probably is the end
of Thunderbird, unless some other large Corporate benefactor comes along
and forks it.
Makes me really wish I was independently wealthy, because that is
exactly what I would do.
|Re: Strategy||Tanstaafl||7/9/12 3:22 AM|
On 2012-07-08 10:16 PM, Ben Bucksch <ben.b...@beonex.com> wrote:
I agree with all of Ben's points here - and Ben you did a fine job of
outlining all of the reasons why I said I disagreed with Blake's comment
that Thunderbird doesn't fit Mozilla's 'Mission' - but I wanted to add
to just one thing:
>> 1. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends
>> upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content),Actually, there is at least one alternative - I'm now looking at Claws
Mail... I've played with it in the past.
That said, I *much* prefer Thunderbird (and will keep using it until it
becomes obvious that a change is needed), but I'm also a realist, and am
now actively looking at/for potential alternatives so I won't be caught
with my pants down should this turn out to really be the death of
Hmmm... I just had a thought...
I can't tell you how many times I've seen question on the OpenOffice
(now LibreOffice) lists asking about an Outlook 'component' - maybe now
is the time to start discussions with them about some kind of
collaboration under the Document Foundation umbrella? At best,
Thunderbird gets a bit more exposure - at worst, Thunderbird has a home
ready and waiting (and a fighting chance at survival) should Ben's
Conspiracy Theory turn out to be fact.
|Re: Strategy||Axel||7/9/12 3:57 AM|
or msn, yahoo ... etc.
loss of privacy and fidelity: these are the parts I am most scared about.
Fidelity: One thing is that html mail with css is relatively new thing and it seems now that the html compatibility of email is ignored and scrapped by things like webmail views, even new unified conversation views (within Thunderbird) etc. which all feels like a giant step backwards. Turning the mail application into a Kiosk certainly doesn't work for people who have a need for advanced email features. The choice should not be Kiosk vs. Outlook.
Privacy: the argument is tricky as email is necessarily server based and with IMAP you also depend on an external server to archive & manage your mail (and quotas!). But generally webmail does not allow backing up to local storage (and cleaning up on the server without loosing data) so IMO that is the biggest drawback.
there is a trend with ISPs not to offer SMTP servers anymore, so again people are forced to use gmail. For an average user it is actually hard to find free SMTP alternatives.
not necessarily this is about browserId (or persona), so I believe the plan is to build some encrypted data stores with data access fully controlled by the users, and this could well be extended to email.
|Re: Strategy||Axel||7/9/12 4:54 AM|
but if you are using IMAP, one of the advantages of that is the server storage. right?
my latest mobile broadband supplier (meteor.ie a daughter of eircom) has discontinued and in fact shut down any and all mail servers (they do not supply mail addresses anymore) - I believe they reckon mail is dead, "if you want email you can get that from google." I remember a few discussions with their (absymally bad) support team, some of them didn't even know what a mail server is, let alone smtp.
So I had to switch to google for smtp relaying, which was messing with my "from" headers for a while.
It might be an exception but as it is a real cost saver for ISPs in terms of support I am afraid they are setting the trend here. (In case you are wondering why I use mobile broadband, our land lines are simply not good enough for DSL on the Irish countryside)
Yep - I think the only safe way forward might be commercial email: a paid service, guaranteed to be private and advertisement free.
Well with outlook for the corporate sector it is slightly different as there are privately owned Exchange Servers.
that's why I am so pissed off with meteor and their decision to drop support for that altogether.
|Re: Strategy||Andreas Nilsson||7/9/12 7:46 AM|
On 07/08/2012 10:41 PM, Ben Bucksch wrote:I don't really think they care that much what their users are using as
long as they can mine the data. ;)
|Re: Strategy||Tanstaafl||7/9/12 8:21 AM|
On 2012-07-09 7:54 AM, Axel <axel....@googlemail.com> wrote:<snip>
I think that is the main point... it isn't that they think that email is
dead, it just isn't cost effective for them to provide email service
when most users won't even use it anyway (since they already have a
freemail email address that they don't have to every worry about
changing if they move or change ISPs)...
|Re: Strategy||Alan Lord (Gmail)||7/9/12 8:30 AM|
On 09/07/12 11:22, Tanstaafl wrote:That sounds like a great idea to at least have a discussion with Charles
or Florian at TDF to try and give TB users a little protection...
I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs of maintaining TB going
forward but in a way I do agree that TB probably doesn't need new
features; it has a very capable extension API already...
I'd be quite happy if TB just had the long-standing/annoying bugs fixed
and Lighting was finally integrated. Then put it could be put into
"support-mode" for critical bugs/security issues etc.
|Re: Strategy||Alan Lord (Gmail)||7/9/12 8:32 AM|
On 09/07/12 11:09, Tanstaafl wrote:
> As I said in my last email, if this means that the core devs will simplyMr. Shuttleworth (Canonical)???
|Re: Strategy||Blake Winton||7/9/12 9:57 AM|
On 09-07-12 11:32 , Alan Lord (Gmail) wrote:My guess is that Mr. Shuttleworth doesn't want to spend a whole lot of
money on a cross-platform email client. ;)
Also, I suspect his attention is taken up with bigger things these days,
like the new SecureBoot stuff, and what their Mobile strategy should be…
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Kai Engert||7/9/12 9:57 AM|
The one thing I'm worried about is regressions.
Firefox and Thunderbird share application level code that is responsible
for the correct functioning of security protocols.
If a change is made because it's needed by Firefox, it's easy to forget
that Thunderbird may rely on the previous behaviour, and the change
might cause a regression in
functionality/usability/correctness/completeness for Thunderbird.
This has happened in the past. If Thunderbird becomes even less of a
priority for the Mozilla project, with even fewer people available to
work on cleanup and adjustments to newer Gecko core, then there's the
risk that such regressions might occurr more frequently in the future
I have a very clear opinion how this should be handled. In my opinion,
existing functionality in the core engine should never be removed, if
it's currently being used by important projects such as Thunderbird.
Instead of removing functionality from the core engine, because it
allowed Firefox projects to proceed faster (happened in the past),
developer should take care to implement additional features in addition,
not as a replacement.
Unfortunately I failed in convincing people to use this strategy, and it
had been decided that Firefox is more important, and that the
Thunderbird project has to adopt. With fewer resources devoted to
Thunderbird such adoption will become less likely to happen.
I'm worried there are only two approaches to this dilemma.
(a) Tell developers to do what I suggested above - keep core
functionality - implement new core functionality in addition. This
strategy would be very helpful to allow Thunderbird with the most recent
(and most secure) Mozilla platform code.
(b) In order to avoid being broken, accept that Thunderbird might have
to fork portions of the Gecko code, in order to remain compatible. But
as soon as we go that path, we might soon see Thunderbird having to use
a full fork of Gecko and fall behind. I don't think we'd be happy with
I therefore propose that we make it a rule that developers must follow
strategy (a). If developers want to remove or replace a functionality in
core Gecko, they must not do it until someone has contributed a working
adjustment to Thunderbird code.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Joshua Cranmer||7/9/12 10:07 AM|
If the goal is to move primarily to community innovation, then I think there ought to be an explicit roadmap that lays out the changes that we agree want to be made for Thunderbird, to give contributors guidance as to what would be most useful to work on?
I also think it would be useful to have some sort of liaison with the people working on the Gaia email app to explore future possibilities of sharing code.
-- Joshua Cranmer News submodule owner DXR coauthor
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Andrew Sutherland||7/9/12 10:21 AM|
On 07/09/2012 10:07 AM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:Were you thinking of any mechanism in particular?
I (:asuth) am working on the Gaia e-mail app. So is Jim Porter
(:squib). We're both on this list and frequently on #maildev. I will
encourage any other contributors that show up to make sure they are on
tb-planning too. (There is a dev-gaia list, but it's very high traffic
and almost entirely not about the e-mail app or the problem domain.)
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ehsan Akhgari||7/9/12 10:44 AM|
On 12-07-09 12:57 PM, Kai Engert wrote:Yes, this worries me a lot as well.
That's not really always an option. We sometimes clean up parts of
Gecko, rearchitect other parts and replace yet other parts completely.
It's not always possible to keep all of the existing code. And many
people are cautious of changes which could potentially break
comm-central (and sometimes people just forget, I've definitely been
guilty of that myself.)
But the large problem is this is only part of what we should worry
about. Sometimes people make changes which doesn't really change any
functionality, but it breaks something that Thunderbird users experience
way more than Firefox users. I've definitely seen a number of great bug
reports being filed from Thunderbird users in the editor component,
which we have tried to fix as quickly as possible. If Thunderbird
starts to live on something other than Gecko trunk, fixing these issues
in time would be very hard (especially if Thunderbird decides to live
off of Gecko ESR branches).
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Karsten Düsterloh||7/9/12 11:07 AM|
Kai Engert aber hob zu reden an und schrieb:
> Thunderbird might have to fork portions of the Gecko code, in orderNo, that's a really scary thought.
If you move away from Gecko Core, you're doomed, given the number of
actual developers working on Thunderbird. Especially since no Gecko
person will then care anymore whether something breaks for us or not.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ludovic Hirlimann||7/9/12 11:09 AM|
On 7/9/12 6:57 PM, Kai Engert wrote:The best way to catch these would be to add test that cover both usage
and get run when FF is build; Unit test is the best way to catch these.
@lhirlimann on twitter
my photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhirlimann/collections/
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Jeff Grossman||7/9/12 10:27 AM|
I think the plan is to base the Gecko version on the ESR version of Thunderbird. That means they will not be changing the Gecko version unless they release a new ESR, which if I am not mistaken only happens about once a year. While the Firefox developers might change Gecko and harm Thunderbird, that should be caught in comm-central which has roughly a year to fix until the next ESR release. I am sure that if comm-central breaks, somebody will probably fix it rather quickly.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Kai Engert||7/9/12 11:09 AM|
On 09.07.2012 19:44, Ehsan Akhgari wrote:
>> I have a very clear opinion how this should be handled. In my opinion,
>> existing functionality in the core engine should never be removed, if
>> it's currently being used by important projects such as Thunderbird.
>> Instead of removing functionality from the core engine, because it
>> allowed Firefox projects to proceed faster (happened in the past),
>> developer should take care to implement additional features in addition,
>> not as a replacement.
> That's not really always an option. We sometimes clean up parts of
> Gecko, rearchitect other parts and replace yet other parts completely.
> It's not always possible to keep all of the existing code.
We have a third option. We could define that the following part of Jb's
"We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird
is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational
goals. The most critical needs for the product are on-going security
and stability for our 20+ millions users, either individuals, SMEs or
... means something like:
"New messaging features in Thunderbird are no longer a priority for
Mozilla. However, Mozilla believes it is important that Thunderbird
continues to be able to be based on a the most recent and most secure
core Mozilla platform engine. Therefore Mozilla will continue to adjust
Thunderbird to keep it compatible with the code used by Mozilla Firefox
and will adjust Thunderbird as necessary in order to avoid functional
(Maybe the original announcement already had this meaning intended, it
would be great to confirm or consider.)
Thanks and Regards
tb-planning mailing list
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Kai Engert||7/9/12 11:13 AM|
On 09.07.2012 20:09, Ludovic Hirlimann wrote:
> On 7/9/12 6:57 PM, Kai Engert wrote:
>> The one thing I'm worried about is regressions.
>> Firefox and Thunderbird share application level code that is responsible
>> for the correct functioning of security protocols.
> The best way to catch these would be to add test that cover both usage
> and get run when FF is build; Unit test is the best way to catch these.
Knowing about a regression is important, but is not sufficient. Even
known regressions are sometimes being deliberately ignored (or potential
fixing gets postponed to "unknown"). For example, since Thunderbird 10
we have no error feedback for many protocol errors on SSL/TLS
connections. If there's a problem with a connection to a server, it
simply doesn't work, without user feedback.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Kai Engert||7/9/12 11:17 AM|
On 09.07.2012 19:27, Jeff Grossman wrote:
On Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM, Kai Engert <ka...@kuix.de> wrote:
Not every kind of breakage can automatically be detected by automated tests. There are areas where nobody had had the time/resources to write automated tests yet. Especially error reporting is a difficult area, because you need deliberately broken/misbehaving servers in order to test the correct application behaviour.
|Re: Strategy||Ben Bucksch||7/9/12 1:04 PM|
On 09.07.2012 12:22, Tanstaafl wrote:
> OpenOffice (now LibreOffice) lists asking about an Outlook 'component'
> - maybe now is the time to start discussions with them about some kind
> of collaboration under the Document Foundation umbrella?
The Document Foundation is - in general - a good umbrella, because it's
specifically designed to prevent any single company from ruling over the
projects. It's designed to be ruled by independent developers. If you
look around, you see how important that is.
That said, I don't think Thunderbird fits there at all. LibreOffice is a
completely different beast technically and would never make "the
like-Outlook component of the LibreOffice suite". Thunderbird is a
Mozilla product and only feels well among the birds.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Joshua Cranmer||7/9/12 1:06 PM|
On 7/9/2012 1:27 PM, Jeff Grossman wrote:We only have ~50-60% coverage of our own code by unit tests. Most
problems won't be found except by people using the product (sadly).
News submodule owner
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ben Bucksch||7/9/12 1:09 PM|
On 09.07.2012 18:57, Kai Engert wrote:> Instead of removing functionality from the core engine, ...
> developer should take care to implement additional features in addition> If developers want to remove or replace a functionality in
> core Gecko, they must not do it until someone has contributed a working
> adjustment to Thunderbird code.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Joshua Cranmer||7/9/12 1:09 PM|
On 7/9/2012 1:21 PM, Andrew Sutherland wrote:
> On 07/09/2012 10:07 AM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:
>> I also think it would be useful to have some sort of liaison with the
>> people working on the Gaia email app to explore future possibilities
>> of sharing code.
> Were you thinking of any mechanism in particular?
> I (:asuth) am working on the Gaia e-mail app. So is Jim Porter
> (:squib). We're both on this list and frequently on #maildev. I will
> encourage any other contributors that show up to make sure they are on
> tb-planning too. (There is a dev-gaia list, but it's very high
> traffic and almost entirely not about the e-mail app or the problem
I was more thinking of some clear two-way communication so that
contributors on either product are well aware about potential to avoid
code duplication, etc. In particular, I might think that there be some
form of "gaia email update" on the TB status meetings and v.v. just so
people are well aware.
It also struck me that I forgot to mention that having a
Thunderbird<->Gaia email sync ought to be a major goal.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Gervase Markham||7/10/12 4:31 AM|
On 09/07/12 21:09, Joshua Cranmer wrote:Surely that's what IMAP is for? :-)
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ludovic Hirlimann||7/10/12 4:38 AM|
On 7/10/12 1:31 PM, Gervase Markham wrote:Imap doesn't sync contacts :-)
@lhirlimann on twitter
my photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhirlimann/collections/
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Joshua Cranmer||7/10/12 5:54 AM|
On 7/10/2012 7:31 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:IMAP doesn't share everything. As Ludo mentioned, it doesn't synchronize
contacts; there is also the issue of certain types of message
annotations not being totally shared (labels, junk status, etc.) or
basic settings either.
|Re: Strategy||Robert Kaiser||7/9/12 7:01 PM|
Ben Bucksch schrieb:
> That said, I don't think Thunderbird fits there at all. LibreOffice is aWell, if it would be about huge packages of software that contain some
ancient and hard-to-maintain-and-develop code, it would be a great fit.
That said, I think that there's no need to even think in that direction,
as Mozilla seems to stay open to supporting community-driven innovation
in new releases. The main thing is to get community people to actually
work on it, the organizational stuff seems to be no hindrance at Mozilla
at this time, so also no need to think about alternatives.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ludovic Hirlimann||7/10/12 12:33 AM|
On 7/9/12 10:06 PM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:Before 17 is relaesed I'd love for us to get to 70%. And yes in facts
most of the bugs found since we have automation , have been by users.
But what the automation gave us and the enforcement of new tests is way
less regressions and a bit more coverage. I'm really happy about about
the regression rate we had since we've enforced tests to be added with
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Philipp Kewisch||7/10/12 5:21 AM|
Surely that's what CardDAV is for? :-)
|Re: Strategy||Tanstaafl||7/10/12 5:48 AM|
On 2012-07-09 4:04 PM, Ben Bucksch <ben.b...@beonex.com> wrote:Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree...
The Document Foundation is set up specifically to allow other projects
to fit under their umbrella - it is *not* only for LibreOffice, or even
for Office Suites.
Yes, Thunderbird is a Mozilla Project - for now - but with the
announcement currently being debated, there is a possibility that this
will no longer be an advantage soon, so all I'm saying is we should be
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Philipp Kewisch||7/10/12 6:35 AM|
This is surely not the right topic to discuss this in, but what are you
proposing to do? I hope not to create a separate sync mechanism from
scratch? For contacts there is CardDAV, for calendar there is CalDAV. I
guess Firefox Sync could be used to share some annotations, but aren't
most annotations done using imap flags and new message headers?
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Bron Gondwana||7/10/12 7:29 AM|
On Tue, Jul 10, 2012, at 08:54 AM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:This is something I'm particularly interested in, as a server maintainer and supposedly working on a "better than IMAP" mail protocol. If there's stuff I can do, or get involved in, I would be very interested in this.
One thing I'm doing with Cyrus at the moment is reworking the replication protocol (yet again!) to hopefully allow non-administrator full replication as well - so regular users could run a local Cyrus instance and replicate in a bandwidth efficient way with their ISP server (if it was Cyrus) such that they not only had a 100% exact replica local copy of all the remote server's internal state, but they could make changes offline and synchronise efficiently too.
A nice thing about the current (and future planned) Cyrus replication protocols is that they have integrity checks built in, and they enforce "legal IMAP semantics" - i.e. you can't make any change through the replication protocol which would cause something to happen that an IMAP server wouldn't allow (changing content for the same UID, unexpunging, etc) - or reducing MODSEQ (we require CONDSTORE support).
Cyrus replicas also run their own local expunge processes - so you could theoretically choose to NEVER delete anything in your local copy. Along with the integrity checks and legality checks - you could ensure that the ISP can't modify things after you've seen them.
And adding calendaring and contacts within this environment is certainly something that's on the cards if we can agree on the right way to do it with a critical mass of clients. It's for precisely this reason that I'm on this mailing list despite working for a kinda competitor.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Andrew Sutherland||7/10/12 10:17 AM|
On 07/10/2012 06:35 AM, Philipp Kewisch wrote:The e-mail app will just be using the Contacts WebAPI:
The Contacts app is in charge of that:
Contact sync I believe to be targeted for Gaia v2.
Calendar is definitely using CalDAV, although its wiki page is more
I am not aware of any attempt to expose Firefox Sync's backing store to
content directly, and it's unlikely we could justify it just to sync
account info (for which only the broad autoconfig information would be
supported) and tag names.
|Cyrus collaboration (was: Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird)||Andrew Sutherland||7/10/12 10:37 AM|
On 07/10/2012 07:29 AM, Bron Gondwana wrote:Although the B2G e-mail app is message-centric for the time being, we
will likely go conversation-centric again in the future. During my most
recent investigations of modern IMAP servers, I saw that Cyrus is
working on explicit support for conversations, possibly as a new
standard extension (XCONVERSATIONS?). Because conversations are most
problematic for mobile devices that don't want to sync the entire
contents of a folder, this is especially interesting for me and B2G
email. Probably less so for Thunderbird since only the global database
cares about conversations and its desire to work cross-account means it
might not benefit so much.
The replica work sounds very interesting; does it only support 100%
replicas, or does it support subsets?
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Andrew Sutherland||7/10/12 10:38 AM|
On 07/09/2012 01:09 PM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:I can provide a blurb, but gaia's weekly calls are currently 9a-10a
Pacific, which conflicts with Thunderbird's calls for now.
|Re: Cyrus collaboration (was: Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird)||Bron Gondwana||7/10/12 11:52 AM|
Yeah - the cross account thing is a killer!
The conversations stuff, Greg Banks in our Melbourne office (Opera) is
looking at writing up an RFC, now that the behaviour is fairly stable.
We're already running the conversations code on our servers, available
at beta.fastmail.fm and mail.opera.com at the moment.
It's not 100% done, and it's not in upstream Cyrus, but we do publish
our build tree on github, so anyone is welcome to look at the code.
The one nice thing we could offer (with XCONVERSATIONS) to something like
Thunderbird is the "CID" field, which is the same for every message that
we have already joined into a conversation on the server. I believe
Gmail also exposes a 64 bit value, and both are essentially "random" as
far as clients are concerned... so code to deal with one could deal with
the other easily enough.
easy. Subsets in terms of "not synchronising all the messages in the
single folder" is substantially trickier - especially since it uses an XOR
of the CRC32 of a representation of every message to create a final
"SYNC_CRC" value which can be compared to ensure both ends are identical.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Hubertus Hilgers||7/10/12 12:09 PM|
I'm of the opion, that Thunderbird indeed needs to get new functions implemented. For example a comfortable Maildir-Support, and as mentioned by many others too, an update of the directory.
I did some brainstorming concerning issues, which could be improved in addition to Maildir and directory: for excample the support of a Metro-Version also for the future, writing messages should be possible in one tab, combining the two search-borders, implementing an attachement-browser, URL-preview, profil-recovery for damaged profiles, centralizing of all options and features including a search function for options, home tab.... these are all issues not only coming out of my own brain, but which could also be found on some pages in Mozilla Wiki for excample. If the developement of Thunderbird will be performed by external contributors, of course some of the improvals might be implemented by them in future, but regarding the Metro-developement, I want to point out, that in my opinion it's very important, that this development should remain in the hand of Mozilla itself.
|Re: Strategy||Ben Bucksch||7/10/12 1:44 PM|
On 08.07.2012 22:41, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> It's a conspiracy theory, so I intentionally post it in a separate email.
> It is too far fetched to make a wild guess that Google wanted
> Thunderbird to be stopped...?
> Again, just a theory, I have no material basis
I've had one authoritative person telling me that this is nonsense.
Also, thinking about it, Thunderbird is simply not a threat for Google,
esp. with private users.
So I'd like to retract this speculation.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Tanstaafl||7/10/12 12:24 PM|
On 2012-07-10 3:09 PM, Hubertus Hilgers <Hubertus...@gmx.de> wrote:Actually, my understanding is that both of these are already underway,
so I would include these in the same vein as the editor rewrite - things
that Mozilla devs should be dedicated to finish before the transition to
'maintenance mode (for lack of a better term)...
Again (not to be a broken record), but since Mozilla received 900
MILLION dollars in their last deal with Google, I don't see the
allocation of a few million to polish up Thunderbird before this
transition is finalized is asking too much.
The Metro UI will never see light of day on my desktop, so -1 from me on
I don't use tabs (except for the Calendar, which I would *still* prefer
to be able to open in a separate window like the old days), so again, -1.
> combining the two search-borders,
Not sure what you mean, but have a feeling it has to do with GLODA,
which I also don't use (all of my accounts are IMAP and have huge
mailstores which just isn't practical to keep sync'd locally).
> implementing an attachement-browser, URL-preview,
Both good candidates for community driven projects
> profil-recovery for damaged profiles,
Yeah, this would be nice, and since Firefox is getting it, maybe it
would be trivial for Thunderbird to inherit it?
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Philipp Kewisch||7/11/12 12:14 AM|
Right cluck on calendar Tab, move to new window. Thatsthe closest you will get :) there is a bug to allow closing the mail tab though.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Wayne Mery||7/11/12 8:27 AM|
(original posted on tb-enterprise)
Quoting Ben Bucksch <ben.b...@beonex.com>:
> On 10.07.2012 16:35, Jb Piacentino wrote:
>> - base both Thunderbird and Thunderbird ESR on Gecko 17, then 24...
>> - update Thunderbird and Thunderbird ESR with security & stability
>> fixes every 6 weeks (so far, only Thunderbird ESR was working this
>> - produce a Thunderbird release (maybe one or two per year)
>> aggregating community contribution so far
>> - then merge with the then current Gecko version at the end of the
>> ESR cycle, ie Gecko 24 on Sept 2013
>> - base earlybird & beta releases on the most up-to-date Gecko
>> version (ie 15, 17... 23,24) so that devs have a chance of working
>> with the latest.
>> Again, this is up for discussion.
> So, essentially Thunderbird and Thunderbird ESR are now the same.
> The betas are based on the latest Gecko, though, so that we find
> Gecko regressions early on.
> That makes a lot of sense to me.
There is a lot to like about delivering off a long lived Gecko. But I
do fear that a year long wait may be too long. Two examples.
Effect on Thunderbird 24
Many, many Thunderbird crashes and top crashers aren't identified
until release. Most of these crashes are core related, and a good
percentage are not topcrashes for Firefox. The end result is they take
longer to identify and take longer to fix - sometimes a few
development cycles. This presents two problems. 1. Between TB17 and
TB24 there will probably be an accumulated "pile up" of unfixed core
crashes affecting TB.
Effect on ESR 24
Partly because of the above, I have serious doubts that the outline we
have now provides adequate testing to make ESR 24 as stable as it must
be for public release. It may need 2-3 cycles of beta for the quality
to be adequate.
Hopefully Mark's update of the process will have addressed these items.
Lastly, are we reasonably sure that Thunderbird releases can wait a
full year for features/changes delivered in the "next" Gecko? Example
considerations: crash reporting, session recovery, toolkit featues,
addons, editor, spell checker.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Wayne Mery||7/11/12 8:37 AM|
Lastly, are we confident that Thunderbird releases can wait a full
year for features/changes delivered in the "next" Gecko? Exampleconsiderations: editor, spell checker, crash reporter (and changes
socorro relies upon), session recovery, toolkit components such as
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Maurice||7/11/12 9:16 AM|
On 2012-07-10 at 20:09 Hubertus said:Yes, yes, please!
/\/\aurice Batey (UK)
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Tanstaafl||7/12/12 3:15 AM|
On 2012-07-11 3:14 AM, Philipp Kewisch <moz...@kewis.ch> wrote:Thanks Philip, but yeah, I've known about that since the Calendar was
moved to a Tab - it simply isn't the same thing...
What I (and a lot of our users, although I admit some really like it in
a tab) want is a simple preference to 'Open Calendar in separate window'
like it used to do...
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Kent James||7/12/12 7:29 AM|
The backend work for this (to add a hidden preference to always open the
calendar in a tab) is trivial, this could also be done fairly trivially
in an extension.
The front end part, as always, would be controversial. You simply can't
clutter up the interface with lots of options that reflect every
imaginable way of doing something. I've never know how to resolve that
issue - and it is not easy to get a ruling on issues like that short of
doing the bug, and asking for a review.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Tanstaafl||7/12/12 8:16 AM|
On 2012-07-12 10:29 AM, Kent James <ke...@caspia.com> wrote:Presumably, you meant '... to always open the calendar in a new
*standalone* window...', as it always opens in a new tab now... ;)
This I know and totally understand...
I'd be fine with a hidden preference, but personally I think it should
be in the GUI, as there are a lot of people (that I know personally) who
dislike tabs in Thunderbird (love them in Firefox, but not Thunderbird)...
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Mihovil Stanić||7/12/12 11:16 AM|
Dana 12.7.2012. 12:15, Tanstaafl je napisao:I for one love tabs on TB. Only thing I miss is this:
And FF like button in TB so I get 1 more line of message space.
|Re: Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird||Ludovic Hirlimann||8/7/12 1:18 AM|
On 7/11/12 5:27 PM, Wayne Mery wrote:
> Many, many Thunderbird crashes and top crashers aren't identifiedWe could also backport these ourselves and deal with Gecko drivers to
make sure that they get included on the ESR branch.
That's doable and That's how I envision things to be.
> Hopefully Mark's update of the process will have addressed these items.We can't have both world at the same time. Can't get the cow and the
milk. I think our users are ok with that.
If I recall correctly the cycle's length for Gecko branches will tend to
be shorter so it should fix a few of the aforementioned issues.