Thunderbird mailing-list / NNTP decision rationale

Dan Mosedale dmose at
Fri Aug 6 01:10:45 UTC 2010

  On 8/4/10 1:03 AM, bugzilla at  wrote:
> Let me just say, that my preference for a NNTP-based discussion has nothing
> at all to do with not eating my own dogfood (e-mail) and has nothing to do
> with ignoring the TB userbase.
To be clear, I wasn't intending to imply intent to avoid dogfood or 
ignore users on anyone's part, least of all yours.  What I was trying to 
make clear is that I believe that our ongoing dependence on NNTP has the 
same end effects, despite the fact that we all have good intent.
> It has everything to do with improving my own productivity and making the
> best out of the relatively little time, that I can contribute to Thunderbird as an outside contributor.
Yes, I get that, and I understand that this decision works against that 
need in the short-term.
> In my humble opinion you should strive to make life as easy as possible for outside contributors.
I completely agree that making it as easy as possible for people to 
contribute is critically important, and part of what's going here is 
that our short-term interests are conflicting with our longer-term 

As I've said, the high-order bit here is to give up some short-term 
convenience provided by NNTP in exchange for dogfooding that helps us 
better prioritize and fix our user-experience around group/bulk 
conversations in email sooner.

Over the longer-term, this should actually provide multiple advantages 
to our community:

* having an email client that's better for group conversations should, 
as a side effect, increase adoption by developers who are interested in 
improving on that experience, growing our developer pool as a whole.

* the growing pool of developers who are young enough that they don't 
use newsreading technology at all will be able to more easily 
participate in our community using the tools they're already comfortable 

All that said, I get that this doesn't make it feel an easier right now.
> Several of those, who are well respected in the
> community and are much involved in Thunderbird development, have raised
> their concerns here and your refusal to adjust your original decision does
> not bode well for their continued involvement.
> I'm just speaking for myself here, but for a few months now I've not been
> able to contribute as much time to Thunderbird as in the past, due to
> job-related and private-life matters, that reduce my spare time
> considerably. If you continue to make life hard for me, I'll have to
> unsubscribe from tb-planning. I don't know if that will considerably hurt
> you, but I'd prefer to stay involved.
I hear you, and I appreciate that it's bumpy at the moment.  My hope is 
that this bumpiness will be short-term; I'll dig into that more in my 
response to Karsten shortly.  In the meantime, I'm committed to helping 
mitigate the pain points as best I can.

You and I spoke a bit out-of-band, and it's my hope that you're more 
comfortable with the current state of affairs now than you were on 
Wednesday.  If that changes, please let me know.

Furthermore, if anyone else gets to the point (either now or later), 
where they actually find themselves contributing less to Thunderbird 
because of this, please send me a private email, and I'll try and figure 
out some way to help.


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