Security releases: How long?

Mark Banner mbanner at
Tue Jul 31 14:20:48 UTC 2012

On 31/07/2012 12:12, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> So, one week later, there has been no concrete answer to my post, 
> which I find very disheartening, when long-time contributors with 
> critically important questions are just being ignored.
Please be aware that I was on holiday last week (as was mentioned in 
several places), and JB was travelling, this has obviously made it 
difficult for us to respond in a timely fashion.

> I did find this statement on a blog, though, which I want to post here 
> for completeness:
> "b: Yes of course. We have a solid plan to support Thunderbird until 
> the second half of 2013 and are discussing how we support it beyond 
> that date."
> So, in essence, this is the concrete reply I was looking for: Mozilla 
> promises only 1 year of security support and releases, and after that 
> the future is uncertain.
As mentioned in Mitchell's original blog post 
about the changes, the plan is based around the ESR mechanism. If you 
re-visit the original ESR proposal 
it states: " The initial proposal would be to support a minimum of two 
ESR releases.". That would be ESR 10 and ESR 17, as our plan is based on 
ESR, that means we've definitely got a plan up until the end of ESR 17.

Before I go any further, there are absolutely no indications that the 
ESR will be abandoned after ESR 17. The only brief discussion we've had 
so far indicates that there's no reason to abandon it, and we have based 
the plan on the assumption that the ESR will be renewed beyond 17. This 
is similar to the existing link between the ESR programmes - if Firefox 
carries on with the ESR, then TB will.

Obviously there is provision in the ESR plan to review, and when it 
happens, then we'll have to review the effect on Thunderbird (if any) at 
the same time. We'll aim to review the ESR continuation plan 6 months 
before Gecko 24 is released, so that we have plenty of advance notice of 
what is happening.

Assuming ESR continues beyond 17, then the plan we have is sustainable 
beyond that, as it continues with the subsequent ESRs. I'll be posting 
more details about the proposed plan in the next day or so.


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