Papercuts remixed - the bug list

Kent James kent at
Fri Jul 13 13:19:03 UTC 2012

On 7/13/2012 3:57 AM, Wayne Mery (d531) wrote:
> I admire everyone's enthusiasm but I think we are blazing ahead too 
> quickly, announcing a process and potentially blogging already only a 
> couple days after discussion started.
Right now, we are partly battling time. The Thunderbird brand was 
enormously damaged by the announcement of last Friday (dare I say 
botched announcement?) that has been interpreted much more negatively 
than I think was intended. Now we have a small window of time where 
people are watching Thunderbird a little more closely than usual. It is 
really critical that a positive statement is given in that window of 
time, and that statement needs to show hope that there actually is a 
community effort that will back up Thunderbird.

With Andreas and atuljangra also signing up, we now have 8 developers 
who have committed to investing in the Thunderbird project over the next 
year. It would be good to get that message out, and my target is Sunday 

I agree that the rest of the process is not well defined at the moment, 
and perhaps you are correct that I should be cautious about talking 
about the specifics of a process that is still in development.

But there is a second part of this that I'd also like to talk about 
about, and it is a little more delicate. Part of what is going on with 
the TB changes is that Mozilla is emphasizing stability over innovation 
with Thunderbird. That is actually good news for a large part of the 
Thunderbird user base. The last thing many users want is constant, 
unnecessary churn in the user interface. (My own pet peeve: removing the 
folder class selection from the folder pane, forcing someone to write an 
extension to put it back which is now very popular). I would like to 
find some positive ways to engage those people. And emphasizing that we 
are going to be taking more concrete steps than in the past to try to 
listen to their needs, and respond to them, is a Good News story.

But this is delicate because it is partly critical of what Mozilla has 
done in the past - or could easily be interpreted that way. It is also 
extolling the glories of slower release cycles at a time when Mozilla is 
already working to respond to recent criticism of rapid release (the 
"Firefox Update Discussion" email). I'm aware of these sensitivities and 
want to be careful - but I think that subtle criticism is acceptable and 
even desirable.

So I feel strongly that a positive statement of some sort needs to be 
put out this weekend, but I feel less strongly about the specifics of 
the paper cut process. But that it exists, and that it is reaching out 
to users who would prefer stability and quality over innovation, is an 
important message that needs to be part of that statement.

Still I welcome further input on what should NOT be said right now.


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