Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Sat Nov 30 05:38:12 UTC 2013

Hey Kent,

this proposal doesn't reflect our discussion here at all.

1. I think Dave had a very strong point that in-product Donation 
requests have a cost, and that we should first exploit the low-hanging 
fruit of asking those followers and "fans" that came actively forward by 
following the Thunderbird Facebook page and similar means.

2. The idea of steering the feature development by the funds. We've 
discussed this at length, but summary is: A donation gives you a vote 
for features, but with the clear statement that this is just expressing 
a wish and direction and the funds will go into a general pool. We would 
still cover needed expenses first and make that clear.

This isn't just an incentive for people to donate, but I want to see 
some clear structure and transparent decision making path of how the 
funds are being used, it not being up entirely up to a closed group of 
people with no input from the people who actually put up. I'm unhappy 
how Mozilla Corporation can get more money than ever, but pull all money 
from Thunderbird, and the decision is completely intransparent and the 
community had no say in it whatsoever. I think this is a poster child 
case of a community project forgetting the community. I want to ensure 
that something like that cannot happen again.

3. After servers, the most important thing that Thunderbird will need is 
software developers. Users see a difference when long-standing issues 
are fixed and much-needed features like AB/phone sync are implemented.

Contracting for specific things should be an option, but it can be 
tricky: compare results from "Summer of Code", which is not very 
fruitful, because it's "drop and leave". Somebody needs to manage them, 
too - who is that, if there's no staff? Sometimes it's a good solution, 
but not the standard solution. I think the best way to get consistently 
high quality is to hire some standing staff. (But they need to be on the 
right track, see point 2.)

What Thunderbird needs most is developers that fulfill users' (!) needs. 
That seems to be the one thing *not* in the spending list.

OTOH, there are things on the list of spending which are directly 
contrary to the nature of Thunderbird, e.g. "server-based innovations". 
Where is that coming from?
Thus, I think the spending list is totally upside down.


Sorry, but that proposal doesn't reflect what we've been discussing here 
and what people expressed.

Kent James wrote, On 30.11.2013 01:50:
> I have now put a page up on the Mozilla Wiki that describes the 
> donation link proposal:
> That page includes a list of people who, as far as I can tell, should 
> be approving this. I'll be preparing an email to all of those people 
> asking that they review the proposal after a few more days of comments 
> or recommended edits from the community.
> :rkent
> (Not real happy with the link name, but after I created it I could not 
> figure out how to rename it).
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> tb-planning at

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