Version number changes for Thunderbird

John Hopkins jhopkins at
Thu Jun 2 15:02:43 UTC 2011

> It is definitely *easier* to market a new version 3.3 or 
> 4.0 than a new version number 15.

There may be a compromise: use the minor version to track release numbers and match gecko version.  Bump the major version whenever it feels right.

So 15.0 becomes 4.15.  I don't think anyone cares if the minor version is in the hundreds:  4.105, not a big deal.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Bucksch" <ben.bucksch at>
To: "Rafael Ebron" <rebron at>
Cc: tb-planning at
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:15:01 AM
Subject: Re: Version number changes for Thunderbird

Hey Rafael,

thanks for your response.

On 02.06.2011 01:10, Rafael Ebron wrote:
> We'll be communicating with reporters the changes and features in 
> Thunderbird and it'll be feature driven rather than using versions to 
> drive news.  We'll continue to take care of our relationship with the 
> press and bloggers regarding new releases.

Yes, I'm sure of that, I'm not questioning that.

I just saw that marketing this is harder than marketing "there's a new 
major version of big program XYZ out", and they've carried all previous 
releases, so this news item is a no-brainer for them. If you watch the 
news, most reporters think in simple schemes:
war => news
airplane crash, 120 dead => news
3000 people died because of water shortage because of public utility 
privatization => too complex
I fear that "this new feature is more significant than the previous" 
might (not necessarily is) be "too complex" because it's not in the 
usual schemes. It is definitely *easier* to market a new version 3.3 or 
4.0 than a new version number 15.

I just know I thought "OK, again a new Chrome release. Didn't we have 
version 11 just a few weeks ago? Now it's 12. Who cares??" I used to be 
interested in Chrome. Version 7 still raised eyebrows. Version 12, half 
a year later, caused a chuckle. Version 20 will cause either a laugh or 

> We do need to save users from version marketing. .... Should I really 
> know that I'm running Android 2.3.4 Cupcake, Gingerbread, Ice Cream 
> Sandwich

FWIW, as a new owner of an Android tablet and phone, I care *very much*. 
I wish very much to get 3.0 on my tablet (and if you followed the news, 
you know why I want it [1]). The press is *all over it*. I think you 
will lose that press heat when you drop or inflate version numbers.


[1] "Android 3.0" (3 words) is just faster to say than "the Android that 
is optimized for tablets, because it has toolbars and 2 panes, which 
makes the apps much more efficient to use, and doesn't need the annoying 
tap 'menu' tap 'new window' tap 'menu' tap 'bookmarks' tap ''" 
(3 lines). I just say "Android 3.0" and everybody who read the recent 
news knows what I mean.
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