Adopting the Schedule-Driven Release Process for Thunderbird
mbanner at mozilla.com
Thu Apr 14 08:20:21 UTC 2011
The Firefox team is currently moving to a schedule driven
release process, this has various implications for Thunderbird development.
There are two options that the Thunderbird drivers have considered:
* Adopt a new process that is schedule driven and follows the Firefox
process of being able to release every six weeks (even if we don't
release every six weeks).
o The advantages here are that we (have the option to) keep users
up to date with the current gecko versions and security releases.
o It'll also mean we can get out more significant improvements to
the users on a cycle which the current security and stability
releases don't allow.
o We recognize that there are disadvantages, too. For instance,
binary extensions will need to be rebuilt for each release.
o In their document, Firefox have highlighted some of the issues
around extensions and we will be working on picking up what
Firefox is doing to alleviate those issues.
* Maintain the current Thunderbird release model and maintain old
releases for a period of time after the current release.
o The significant issue here is that back-porting security fixes
from Firefox will require extra work, which doesn't help to
advance Thunderbird. Back-portingmay be additionally complex if
the original patch writers are not available to help us.
The Thunderbird drivers have decided to adopt the new schedule driven
process. We believe that it will be better overall for Thunderbird
development and for our users.
We realise that this change may not suit all enterprise situations,
however we feel that we need to move forward with Thunderbird
development, and back-porting would slow development down. We suggest
that enterprises use the tb-enterprise email list
<https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/tb-enterprise> for discussion if
this plan will affect them.
We are currently thinking about how to manage our release processes wrt
the new Firefox branches and hope to have more information out in the
next few days.
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