Mozilla no longer developing Thunderbird

Wayne Mery (d531) vseerror at Lehigh.EDU
Sun Jul 8 14:35:41 UTC 2012

On 7/8/2012 9:51 AM, Joshua Cranmer wrote:
> 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.

There are module owners and peers who are not mozilla employees. I'm not 
sure why we would deprive ourselves of the people who are most 
knowledgable about a module, given that there is currently at lack of 
owners and peers for many other modules.  In other words, we seem to 
have a shortage.

What I think you are really seeking is "who decides" priorities, and 
what changes go in and what doesn't. That's somewhat more a govenerance 
issue and only tangentially related who are module owners.

>> 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.

Perhaps this will be controversial, but I believe "the community" shares 
some blame here.  How often do the more active people in the community 
ask/challenge/encourage users to get involved?

I certainly don't see this in public. Does it happen only in private?

 >> 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.

But we don't have that option.

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