Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Mark Banner mbanner at
Mon Dec 2 09:44:27 UTC 2013

Hi Kent,

On 30/11/2013 00:50, Kent James wrote:
> I have now put a page up on the Mozilla Wiki that describes the
> donation link proposal:
Thanks for putting this together. I've got a few comments, so I'll just
jump in with those:

- I expect you'll head towards this anyway, but I would say generally it
would be better to have a clean distinct proposal separate from personal
feelings/suggestions. Have rational sections if you need them, but
having it separated out, would make it easier to work out what is being
asked for, separate to the why.

- I would certainly object to putting a donation link in the way you
describe. To me, having a permanently visible link on primary UI feels
like begging, and doesn't feel appropriate. Maybe I'm a bit sensitive to
donation areas but having something you can't get rid of without doing
something (or reading something about donating) doesn't sound in keeping
with something that has always been billed as free software.

I would not mind links on the start page, or in other areas e.g. the
about dialog.

I would also certainly prefer to start small and increase visibility
gradually, as this would allow feedback and questions to be resolved
before pushing out to a wide audience.

- Hiring Contractors. I didn't get around to saying this earlier, but I
think this may be difficult to do in a fair manner, unless you go for
people who have never contributed to Thunderbird, as otherwise there
could be significant bias in who gets selected.

- " Support for ongoing expenses of possible server-based innovations" -
I think this may be better described as "Support for external projects
directly related to Thunderbird innovation". As really I think what you
describe would be external projects, and so we should just be up front
about that.

- I see one of the responsibilities of the module owners & peers group
to take feedback from support, QA et al. Not doing so, would likely lead
to a very developer product, rather than a user based product. I think
therefore support and QA do have a big voice.

- As I've mentioned in the past, I still believe that the existing
module owners & peers group could do a lot more than what we currently
do, especially wrt to decision making/direction setting. Some of this
could easily be managed via the weekly meeting, but I'm not sure I'm
seeing the questions/discussions around what people should do or be
focussing on.

There's a two-way process here, of setting what the focus is, and then
contributors acting on that. We tried this before last year, and it
didn't seem to work. Did we do any analysis as to why?

- Quoting an assumption for amount of funds available doesn't actually
appear to help or benefit the proposal.

- The expanded groups for decision making doesn't actually seem that
useful. It feels more like a formal way to detail what I mentioned
earlier where module owners already take feedback from other groups.

It is unclear who or what the finance group would consist of, or who it
operates and I think that is one of the critical parts of the proposal.

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