Thunderbird Reorganization Plan - the motivation

Ludovic Hirlimann lhirlimann at
Wed Sep 10 06:38:07 UTC 2014

On 08/09/2014 22:19, R Kent James wrote:
> I'd like to see if we can reach consensus on the general outline of a
> reorganization plan for Thunderbird. I hope it is clear to anyone that
> has been observing our efforts recently that there are issues with our
> current direction. Some symptoms:
> 1) The decision to confirm that we could spend Thunderbird income on a
> gathering of contributors, as promised to the community at the last
> reorganization, required intervention from the highest levels of Mozilla.
> 2) Thunderbird 31 released with very few new features.
> 3) comm-central has been closed now for about six weeks due to various
> breakages. This is really bad for engaging contributors, as well as
> slows down development. Collapse of Thunderbird as a product will
> start with long periods of time where we are unbuildable, so this is
> the first hints of collapse.
> 4) We have been unsuccessful so far at negotiating a resolution to the
> issues of repository structure that are needed for reducing our
> sensitivity to changes in the build system.
> 5) The process to confirm that we can publicly release information on
> our growing daily user count (which we sorely need to counter market
> perception that Thunderbird is dying) has taken over a year and is
> still not complete (though all indications are that we will have that
> approval soon).
> 6) The last entry on the Thunderbird blog was about one year ago, on
> September 13, 2013. Other aspects of public communication, such as
> release notes for Thunderbird 31, have also been inadequate recently.
> At the same time, our user base is growing, and we have a strong core
> team with good internal dynamics. Our product is strong, and we are
> part of a proud brand and organization. We have everything that we
> need to be successful, we just need to get behind a plan and execute.
> I'm going to post the minimal outline of what I think is needed in a
> separate communication, as I don't want to clutter that with the long
> list of problems that I have presented here. That communication will
> lay out key features of the reorganization plan, without too many
> details. I hope that we can reach a general consensus on the minimum
> plan in that document, and proceed to implement any negotiations that
> are needed to move it forward. Details are purposely omitted to try to
> get a list of the bare essentials of what we need to agree to.
> One reason that we need to do this now, rather than wait for the
> Summit, is that we hope to take the opportunity at the Summit to
> prepare a marketing video that would be a key part of the strategy
> moving forward. So we need to agree on pieces of the plan,
> particularly the piece about approaching our users directly for
> funding, so that we can do the video as part of the Summit.
> In the absence of a working governance model, one way that we can
> proceed with a reorganization is to have stakeholders add their name
> to a plan as a co-sponsor. What I will suggest is that I present my
> document, we have some discussions, and then I will modify the plan
> incorporating the input. Those who support the plan will be listed as
> co-sponsors. When you read the plan and comment, consider that you
> will be asked to be a co-sponsor of whatever we agree to.
> If in the end you cannot agree to the plan after discussion, then I
> would strongly encourage you to offer an alternate plan. The plan that
> I present may not be the perfect plan, or the only possible plan, but
> we need SOME plan. If not mine, please present your own. Or state
> clearly why you think that the status quo is working fine.
> Actual summary plan to follow.
++++ because if nobody answers you'll feel nobody agrees.

PS I visited the paris office yesterday for about 30min and checked our
swag stock about 2 boxes of T-shirts one is the beige one with TB
branding  about 30 of these in XXL (count is aprox) and the other is the
grey t-shirt from varsaw in different sizes.

[:Usul] MOC Team at Mozilla
QA Lead for Thunderbird -

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