Governance and Release Model updates

Kent James kent at
Mon Nov 12 17:28:52 UTC 2012

On 11/12/2012 2:35 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
>>>> For Thunderbird to even attempt this
>>>> direction would have significant risk and controversy, and that is
>>>> exactly the last thing that Mozilla wants for Thunderbird right now.
>>> I think it's a political reality that they will need to be
>>> organizationally independent of Mozilla-the-organization.
>> I'm so glad to hear you say that. It's been difficult to talk about
>> possible alternate governance of a future Mozilla-based communications
>> client without being viewed as anti-Mozilla, or trying some sort of 
>> coup.
> I don't want to be misunderstood; I was saying that if an organization 
> wants to go out and *raise funds for employing people* to develop the 
> codebase, I think it would need to be not-Mozilla. But then I point 
> out that Postbox tried something like this, and don't seem to have 
> done all that well. So I wonder whether it would work.
> However, I'm not saying that I'm in favour of moving Thunderbird the 
> product and brand out from the Mozilla umbrella. 
Note that I used the phrase "future Mozilla-based communications client" 
and not "Thunderbird".

I've pretty much accepted that Mozilla for the foreseeable future is not 
going to participate in any activity where Mozilla is managing 
activities to pay for future innovation in a communications client based 
on the Thunderbird code.

If that is the practical reality, then the best thing that you could do 
would be to continue to confirm that position. The worst thing that 
Mozilla could do would be to encourage continued discussion under the 
"Mozilla umbrella" about the issue, thus sucking strength away from the 
not-Mozilla entity without really providing a valid outlet for real 
discussions that have a chance of changing something. (This is not an 
accusation that you have done such a thing, only an encouragement to be 
clear about what Mozilla is *not* going to do, so that others would have 
the freedom to do it.)

So when Vincent writes "about monetization, just wanted to highlight the 
fact that, in my opinion, there is still a lot to do" you would say 
"fine, but that is out of scope for Mozilla, please discuss this with 
the not-Mozilla entity".

Unless I hear a strong statement otherwise, I am going to consider 
Standard8's "Therefore, paid-for development should not be considered" 
and your "efforts surrounding Thunderbird which generate income ... will 
need to be organizationally independent of Mozilla-the-organization " as 
definitive. We need a not-Mozilla organization.


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