Thunderbird Reorganization: Summary Plan

Josiah Bruner josiah at
Thu Sep 11 14:03:25 UTC 2014

Great stuff overall, and I really appreciate all your hard work to get 
this stuff rolling Kent!

On 9/9/14 1:25 PM, Kent James wrote:
> While Thunderbird remains a strong product with a growing user base, 
> it's become apparent that we need to rework some basic ways that we 
> operate if we are to successfully meet our user's expectations in the 
> future. Here I present in brief summary the key features of a plan 
> that I believe are necessary to move us forward. Let's discuss this 
> and see if we can reach a consensus so that we can begin the process 
> of implementing any needed changes in conjunction with our upcoming 
> Thunderbird Summit.
> Thunderbird Reorganization: Summary Plan
> 1) Thunderbird to remain an independent project under the Mozilla 
> umbrella, but with a large degree of autonomy. Thunderbird to be 
> subject to the Mozilla Manifesto and brand, but may depart from the 
> current Mozilla Mission of promoting the web as a platform.
"Promoting the web as a platform." This was mentioned quite a bit at the 
2013 Summit, but I'm curious as to its real place in the organization. 
Is this really the new "Mozilla Mission"? A primary goal? A goal? A plan 
that the corporation has (as opposed to the foundation)? I would be 
interested in finding the information on that, maybe someone around here 
already has it.

Regardless, I agree Thunderbird won't probably push for that idea, at 
least not within our own product. I'm just not sure we're necessarily 
"depart[ing] from the current Mozilla Mission", just a single goal.
> 2) Overall authority for the Thunderbird project to be held by a group 
> of people representing various stakeholders, including representation 
> from both the community and Mozilla staff, as well as representation 
> from developers, support, marketing, qc, and users. The name and 
> structure of this group are yet to be determined, but initially call 
> it by the neutral name of the "Oversight Group" or OG.
Sounds good to me.
> 3) The OG has primary responsibility to manage Thunderbird 
> expenditures, staffing, releases, income sources, code, support, 
> quality control, marketing, user and public communications, or any 
> other issues that may arise associated with the Thunderbird email 
> client. Mozilla to retain veto rights over OG decisions, but need not 
> approve each decision through existing departmental channels except 
> for certain exceptions that may be specified by Mozilla. Reasonably 
> the OG would delegate much of that authority to module owners, or use 
> existing Mozilla infrastructure.
> 4)  The existing volunteers and staff are struggling to maintain a 
> viable Thunderbird, let alone move forward, within the complex, 
> rapidly changing Mozilla environment in which Thunderbird exists. A 
> dedicated staff of approximately three people is needed to meet the 
> minimum reasonable expectations of our users as a major product under 
> the Mozilla brand.
Three is definitely ideal, yes. Were you thinking that these three would 
be existing TB developers or brand new employees? 2 already involved and 
experienced TB developers is definitely better than 3-4 new ones.
> 5) Thunderbird to raise income through a direct appeal for donations 
> to our existing base of approximately ten million daily users, using 
> in-product means such as the start page. A reasonable target for 
> annual income is $500,000 per year.
I'm a fan of this idea for sure, but I have a feeling this will be one 
of the harder things to get agreement on (and implement).
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> tb-planning at

*Josiah Bruner* [:JosiahOne]
Front end & UX Developer.
Mozilla Thunderbird.
josiah at
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