TB and AMO...

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Wil Clouser

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Nov 4, 2013, 1:01:40 PM11/4/13
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It was requested I reply to this thread so I'll paste in a private response I
wrote earlier. The summary is what has already been said here - don't panic,
we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

My other email:

> There hasn't been an official discontinuing of either TB or Seamonkey add-ons
> on AMO, however, every application we support has a cost and some applications
> can't be justified. We disabled Sunbird in 2010 because it wasn't worth the
> maintenance cost.

> We reviewed our project stats again in 2012 and for the month of March 2012 we
> averaged 1.2MM visits per day from Firefox UAs, and 6k per day from Seamonkey
> UAs. When you're looking at where to put resources, it's a pretty clear
> decision. I expect those numbers are even further apart today.

> As it stands today, there are no FTE resources working on AMO so it's just in
> a holding pattern. When work picks up on it again, we'll start making
> decisions on applications to support.

Wil
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Wil Clouser

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Nov 4, 2013, 3:07:09 PM11/4/13
to tb-pl...@mozilla.org
On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 10:01:40AM -0800, Wil Clouser wrote:
> It was requested I reply to this thread so I'll paste in a private response I
> wrote earlier. The summary is what has already been said here - don't panic,
> we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
>
> My other email:
>
> > There hasn't been an official discontinuing of either TB or Seamonkey add-ons
> > on AMO, however, every application we support has a cost and some applications
> > can't be justified. We disabled Sunbird in 2010 because it wasn't worth the
> > maintenance cost.
>
> > We reviewed our project stats again in 2012 and for the month of March 2012 we
> > averaged 1.2MM visits per day from Firefox UAs, and 6k per day from Seamonkey
> > UAs. When you're looking at where to put resources, it's a pretty clear
> > decision. I expect those numbers are even further apart today.
>
> > As it stands today, there are no FTE resources working on AMO so it's just in
> > a holding pattern. When work picks up on it again, we'll start making
> > decisions on applications to support.

Also, for the record, Thunderbird traffic was around 55k visits per day during
that month. Obviously we'd need to redo the numbers today as well as account
for people downloading through their browser. Once we pick up work on AMO again
we'll have a better idea of what we should be doing.

Cheers,

Ben Bucksch

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Nov 20, 2013, 10:42:06 AM11/20/13
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Hello Wil,

while that reasoning makes sense from the AMO perspective, please
consider this perspective:

* Seamonkey is a grass-roots Mozilla project, and customization (incl.
extensions) is important to its user base. Killing AMO would be a
serious discouragement to the last few volunteer Mozilla developers we have.

* Seamonkey does generate money through search. We had been talking
about making contracts directly with search engines, but eventually, the
Seamonkey searches go to Mozilla. In exchange, Seamonkey can use the
Mozilla infrastructure. So, while I don't know the concrete cost that an
additional AMO product imposes, it might indeed be financially reasonable.

Ben

Ben Bucksch

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Nov 20, 2013, 10:49:49 AM11/20/13
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As for Thunderbird:

From what I can see and hear when talking to normal Thunderbird user,
most of them depend on several extensions for their daily work. In fact,
for a number of them, exts are the reason why they don't upgrade - it's
that important to them.

Closing AMO for TB would amount to forcefully kicking TB off the cliff.
Unless the AMO costs are in the millions, that is in no balance to the
effort that goes into TB by volunteer developers.

If you consider to close AMO for TB, please give us exact cost figures,
so that we can make a donation pledge to raise the money.

Kent James

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Nov 20, 2013, 12:11:59 PM11/20/13
to tb-pl...@mozilla.org
Ben, there was a conference meeting about a week ago with the
Marketplace & AMO team (such as it is) and various people involved in
the Mozilla mailnews community. The overall result of that meeting was
that there are no active plans to eliminate Thunderbird or SeaMonkey
from AMO, and that the Marketplace team was willing to consider the
needs of these other applications. There was a distinct sense that the
team did not understand why there was suddenly such a furor of concerns,
and any such concerns were quite premature and unwarranted.

I don't have any reason to doubt this in the short term, so I think it
best if we drop this issue for now.

For the long term, my general concern for Thunderbird is that, as time
goes on, we may find more and more individual teams in Mozilla that
question whether it is worth their effort to continue Thunderbird
(and/or SeaMonkey) support when they have other pressing concerns. Their
idea of a reasonable timescale for Thunderbird to adapt may not agree
with our estimates. So we really need to improve our ability to respond,
which involves strengthening our finances, governance, and community.

:rkent

Ben Bucksch

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Nov 20, 2013, 4:45:59 PM11/20/13
to tb-pl...@mozilla.org
Kent James wrote, On 20.11.2013 18:11:
> Ben, there was a conference meeting about a week ago with the
> Marketplace & AMO team (such as it is) and various people involved in
> the Mozilla mailnews community. The overall result of that meeting was
> that there are no active plans to eliminate Thunderbird or SeaMonkey
> from AMO, and that the Marketplace team was willing to consider the
> needs of these other applications.

Thanks for the update.

> There was a distinct sense that the team did not understand why there
> was suddenly such a furor of concerns, and any such concerns were
> quite premature and unwarranted.

If you read Wil Clouser's post unbiased, you must have serious concern.

> For the long term, my general concern for Thunderbird is that, as time
> goes on, we may find more and more individual teams in Mozilla that
> question whether it is worth their effort to continue Thunderbird
> (and/or SeaMonkey) support

What shocks me was that the question is raised at all.
The "cost of support" is to add a button to the UI, and similar
adaptions. And most of these changes (Download button) will improve
things for Firefox, too.

The problem is a lack of awareness and appreciation within Mozilla, not
the work involved.
We are Mozilla. Thunderbird is part of Mozilla.

Maybe that's the lesson we need to learn from this, to gain more
mindshare within Mozilla. Anybody still remember the keyword "dogfood"?
If our own people don't use the product, we need to change it so that
they want to use it.

Ben
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