Mozilla no longer developing Thunderbird

Joshua Cranmer pidgeot18 at
Sun Jul 8 13:51:38 UTC 2012

On 7/7/2012 5:34 PM, Eric Moore wrote:
> 3. SeaMonkey is a community effort hosted by and under the legal 
> protection of the Mozilla Foundation, with the SeaMonkey Council 
> providing the project leadership. SeaMonkey would seem a better model 
> than maintaining the status quo with a fraction of the existing 
> resources.
> Most of the Thunderbird module owners seem to be Mozilla employees. 
> Its not clear why that would change anytime soon. I'm worried that the 
> project will continue to pay the political cost of being a Mozilla 
> project (many decisions dictated by what Firefox does or Mozilla's 
> roadmaps) while losing most of its resources. That doesn't seem viable.

The module ownership is currently undergoing revisions; I know that one 
of the people who owns multiple modules has just left the company.
> 6. "We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on 
> Thunderbird is not a priority for Mozilla and that the most critical 
> needs for the product are on-going security and stability. In fact, it 
> is quite possible that Thunderbird is already pretty much what its 
> users want and there is not a high demand for innovation in this field. "
> Users want a product that is under active development and has a 
> future, even if they don't really care about the new features or get 
> annoyed by some of the changes. I suspect many users will interpret 
> the re-focusing of efforts as Mozilla abandoning Thunderbird, and will 
> look for alternative email clients since they don't perceive the 
> community as providing enough development. I think there would have 
> been a much better reaction if Mozilla had announced they were 
> reducing staffing levels (there were only two full time employees for 
> a good while) but would continue new development at a slower pace.

A significant amount of Thunderbird development resources comes from 
community members; some of our biggest changes were brought about by 
people never employed by Mozilla (the conversations add-on or jminta's 
de-RDF project). My understanding of the current situation is that the 
current Mozilla employees would be allowed some time to work on 
Thunderbird, but it would not be their main focus. In particular, I 
think Mike Conley would still be allowed to work on his new address book 
project. I cannot confirm this for certain, though.

Joshua Cranmer
News submodule owner
DXR coauthor

More information about the tb-planning mailing list