TB24 inclusion for new minor feature (thread-sorting pref)

The Wanderer wanderer at fastmail.fm
Sun Aug 11 23:18:03 UTC 2013

Since it's so late in the TB24 release process, it's been suggested that
I bring this up here, rather than just requesting approval-comm-aurora
(or would that be approval-comm-beta by now?) on the relevant bug. If
that's the wrong approach, please let me know, and I can submit
whichever request would be appropriate there for whatever discussion
might be needed.

I would like to see the fix for bug 495946 (a pref to allow threads to
be sorted by the date of the root message, rather than the newest one)
make it into the TB24 "full release" / ESR, either as part of the
initial release, or as part of one of the subsequent point releases.

It is not a fix for a crash or other stability problem, or for a
security hole; it is technically a fix for a regression, but the
regression occurred in the transition from Thunderbird 2 to Thunderbird
3, so it can't be considered urgent on that basis. It fixes the
regression not by restoring the exact old behavior, but by implementing
new functionality which improves on the original behavior.

I personally consider the behavior which regressed to be absolutely
essential, to the extent that I have remained on Thunderbird 2 to date
rather than migrate to a version without it. However, I appear to be
distinctly in the minority in that regard.

There do not appear to be any existing tests which cover thread sorting
order per se, but all existing tests which cover message sorting at all
appear to pass with this fix included. The introduced behavior is also
off by default (behind a pref which defaults to false), so the fix
should not change anything for anyone who doesn't want to change it.

The reason I would like to see this included in the TB24 ESR is that the
ESR is now the basis of the Thunderbird variant provided by my Linux
distribution (Debian); if this is not included in the TB24 ESR, I will
not see it through my distro until the TB31 ESR, a good year away.

In the absence of a distro-provided version which includes the fix, my
only options would be to A: maintain it as a patch against the distro
version, B: run a non-distro-managed Thunderbird, or C: continue to
remain on TB2. None of these is desirable.

I recognize that the odds of this getting accepted for inclusion in the
TB24 ESR release at this point are very slim, but they're even slimmer
if I don't even ask for it. So, I'm asking: what would the prospects for
getting this included in the TB24 ESR release line (whether initially or
in a point release) be? More to the point, who would I have to convince,
and what sort of thing would it take to be convincing?

     The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

Every time you let somebody set a limit they start moving it.
    - LiveJournal user antonia_tiger

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