Donation Link: Formal Proposal

John Allen john at
Wed Dec 4 02:42:05 UTC 2013

On 02/12/2013 6:07 PM, Kent James wrote:
> Restricting contractors to those who "have never contributed to
> Thunderbird" is a really bad idea, and about the most unfair thing you
> could do. The goal here to empower some leadership within Thunderbird
> that can move the project forward, not to simply "fairly" distribute
> inadequate resources to existing Thunderbird contributors.  You
> yourself, as I understand it, started as a volunteer contributor. Do
> you think it would have been a good idea to deny you employment on
> that basis? Why restrict Thunderbird to more strict rules than Firefox
> or Mozilla as a whole? If anything, I would welcome a bias in favor of
> existing volunteer contributors.
I totally agree with you here. I would go so far as to suggest that the 
idea of restricting who may be a contractor is designed to drive away 
the volunteer contributor. If so why?

>> - " 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.
> This is not important to the overall plan, and since BenB also flagged
> this perhaps I should just remove it, unless there are lingering
> doubts about whether Thunderbird can profitably use additional
> resources. "Support for external projects directly related to
> Thunderbird innovation" is not really what I had in mind, but it is
> not worth the effort to clarify.
I am not sure what the argument is here. Surely the primary focus of any 
funding is the development of Thunderbird in toto. A secondary 
objective, should there be sufficient money available, might be the 
promotion of TB, by what ever means seem appropriate.

> The other part of a broader plan is to have a parallel commercial team
> that follows a "Freemium" strategy with the community-driven
> Thunderbird as the free part, and a commercial product that wraps the
> core Thunderbird with addons and support as the premium piece. That is
> not part of this proposal however.
I am not sure about this idea. Would an non-paying user be able to 
install apps/extensions (for example Lightning, cloud connectivity) or 
would these only be available to the paid user. My concern here is that 
such a move might drive users away.

I wonder if one way of funding might be that paying users get 
"professional" support, while unpaid would have to rely on community 

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