Thunderbird’s Future: the TL;DR Version

Axel Grude axel.grude at
Mon Aug 11 21:07:32 UTC 2014

Am 11/08/2014 um 20:42 schrieb Kent James:
> On 8/11/2014 12:02 PM, Benjamin Kerensa wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 1:20 PM, Kent James <kent at> wrote:
>>> Thunderbird usage is growing, we have a strong core team, and expect to
>>> remain relevant to the internet for the foreseeable future.
>> Do we have metrics to show that it is growing? Data from the Metrics
>> Team perhaps?
> <rant>I have been trying for 2 years to get permission to publish the available data 
> on Thunderbird usage without success. Yes we have data, yes Thunderbird usage is 
> growing, but these numbers are only available to staff, and when shared with me 
> privately they are always stated as unshareable except in broad statements. Nobody 
> seems to be able to figure out who has permission to release these numbers publicly. 
> </rant>
Ok, this one I really don't understand. What's the point in an open source product 
when you can't share usage data?
>>> How We Get There
>>> Three full-time developers are needed to ensure a stable core base, and
>>> allow forward progress on the minimum feature set expected of us.
>>> We cannot reasonably expect Firefox and MoCo to subsidize our operations, so
>>> we need to raise income independently, through donations directly from our
>>> users.
>> How do we accomplish this? I do not see Mozilla allowing a third party
>> to raise money on Mozilla Thunderbird's behalf and for that money to
>> be kept by a separate entity. I think we need to figure out how to
>> work with Mozilla to sort out access to Thunderbird's revenue and have
>> a SOP around requesting funds. I do not think TB has ever generated
>> enough revenue to even hire a part-time developer.
> Perhaps it was not clear from my post, but the current structure that I am proposing 
> is that Thunderbird continue to be under the Mozilla umbrella, but with governance 
> that is community-based rather than staff-based.  "I think we need to figure out how to
> work with Mozilla to sort out access to Thunderbird's revenue and have a SOP around 
> requesting funds" is exactly the next step. I am determined though to try to get 
> that SOP ("Standard Operating Procedure") to rely on a community-based management 
> structure, though the community itself needs to be better organized before we need 
> to be talking SOP with Mozilla. There is no proposal on the table for a third party 
> to raise money. Donations raised through the in-product promotion would presumably 
> be run through MoFo, and managed by a community-based governance structure. 
> "Community-based governance structure" does not mean third-party, it means a more 
> formal structure within the Mozilla umbrella that empowers rather than dis-empowers 
> the community.
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