Thunderbird mailing-list / NNTP decision rationale

Dan Mosedale dmose at
Fri Aug 6 01:10:40 UTC 2010

  On 8/4/10 4:43 AM, Karsten Düsterloh wrote:
> Dan Mosedale wrote:
>> At
>> <>,
>> we've said that we're targeting individual and SOHO (Small Office /
>> Home  Office) users.  We've also said that we'll be doing this by
>> "focusing on conversations that occur over mainstream and emerging
>> communication channels. These include email, web forums, social
>> networks, and microblogging services."
> I derive from that you seem to consider NNTP neither mainstream nor
> emerging?
That's right.  That came up a few different times in conversations at 
the summit, and there seemed to be fairly broad agreement around that 
>> While it makes a lot of sense for us as the development community to
>> enjoy the benefits of the NNTP experience today, it is also acting as a
>> crutch: because we're not eating our own dogfood, it's preventing us
>> from having a deeper understanding of how those problems feel to our users.
> So basically you want to annoy (voluntary!) devs to make them fix other
> nuisances?! That's a pretty odd concept for an open source project.
> I don't think this will work well; it definitely will not work for/with
> me...
> I still think I somehow must have misunderstood something here...
If you're looking at it from the perspective of "intentional annoyance", 
I could see why that would feel arbitrary and frustrating.

I'd like to offer an alternate way to think about it: that we're trying, 
as a group, to use the same technologies as our target users to improve 
the experience of those users sooner rather than later.  My hope is that 
when you and others find yourselves looking at this situation from the 
former perspective, you'll consider letting go of that, and focusing on 
the second (more fun, I hope) way of thinking about it.

I also want to be clear here that I don't want to just set a new rule 
and hope for the best, I want us to actively start moving towards the 
better email experience now.  I've created a public spreadsheet of the 
pain points from the previous discussion at 
I think those pain points are listed approximately in priority order.  I 
suspect there are already bugs filed, and Wayne has agreed to fill in 
the ones he's aware of.  The spreadsheet should be publicly editable, 
and other folks should feel free to fill in info as well.

Finally, the observant reader of said spreadsheet will notice an add-on 
called MuteThread.  I've written a first cut at an add-on that enables 
ignoring threads, and I'm writing a separate post about that.


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