Thunderbird and finances

Kent James kent at
Wed Aug 15 19:35:04 UTC 2012

On 8/15/2012 7:11 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> MoFo currently accepts directed donations for projects like Bugzilla and
> Calendar. They have indicated a willingness to do so for Thunderbird as
> long as the Thunderbird community has an active process and a plan for
> deciding what happens to the money.
> My view is that the Mozilla way of dealing with this would be for the
> module owners of Thunderbird as a whole (currently dbienvenu and
> standard8) to have the role of deciding (although they could, of course,
> delegate it). Perhaps they can confirm that they would be OK with that?
Thanks Gervase for raising this issue.

My own feeling on this though is that such a discussion is premature.

The issue of finance for future Thunderbird development is, in my 
opinion, absolutely critical to determining whether Thunderbird fades 
away or remains vibrant. But the degree of effort toward finances, and 
the approaches to take, needs to be carefully considered by the 
leadership of the "Thunderbird community".

Yet the future "Thunderbird community" is currently unorganized, if by 
the "Thunderbird community" you mean "unpaid volunteers" which seems to 
be the way it has been used euphemistically here in previous 
discussions. You seem to be defining the community leadership as 
synonymous with the module owners, but that is both very developer 
focused, as well as currently a relic of the past where the leadership 
is dominated by paid Mozilla staff.

So while I think it is good to realize that Mozilla has a history of 
managing project-specific donations, and would be willing to consider 
that for Thunderbird, we really need to decide on the structure of the 
"Thunderbird community" and its leadership before we take that on.

As a side note, I tried to bootstrap some community leadership using as 
a base the individual community members that were invited to the Mozcamp 
summit, but I got both a weak response to that, as well as a pretty firm 
repudiation from JB, so I've given up on that approach. Now I think we 
have to wait until everyone gets back from vacations, the Warsaw Mozcamp 
summit takes place, and existing staff move into new assignments so that 
we can see what is left.

Kent James :rkent

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