Wiki page for Thunderbird 2014 Fundraising Appeal (the addon community)
kent at caspia.com
Mon Sep 15 18:29:21 UTC 2014
On 9/11/2014 1:45 PM, R Kent James wrote:
> I've collected some random thoughts on the proposed direct appeal to
> users on a wiki page:
Tanstaafl had some great comments on this at
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Thunderbird/FundingAppeal2014 I am going
to reply here because I want to encourage larger discussions of these
issues. I would encourage folks to read his full comments there. This
message will only deal with one of the issues raised.
"I didn't notice anything about supporting the add-on community. ...
this plan only targets Thunderbird developers. "
You've only mentioned addon authors, there are code reviewers, QA,
support, Mozilla infrastructure, and marketing as well that could easily
justify funding. That last time that we had a discussion about possibly
trying to raise funds for development, aceman and I put together a list
of existing Thunderbird contributors. That is here
<https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Community_Members>. Preparing that
was quite sobering. We had about 70 people on that list who contribute
in significant ways to the success of Thunderbird. There is no way that
we could reasonably raise enough money to reward all of those people at
market rates for their contributions, and it would fundamentally change
the nature of Thunderbird if we tried. For the current plan, all that we
are hoping to achieve is to identify key areas that are either
threatening the continuing existence of Thunderbird (keeping up with the
rapid changes in m-c) or glaring weaknesses that we need to fix to be
competitive (some bugs and address book). There is really no reasonable
expectation that there can be any "spreading of the wealth" beyond those
Yet as someone who is primarily an addon author, I certainly understand
the issue. What I think is the answer, that I have promoted on and off
over the years, is some sort of "Thunderbird Professional" that would
try to combine a number of extras into a product that would require
annual licensing. That would include proprietary addons such as
ExQuilla, perhaps maintained versions of free addons, along with
support and enterprise packaging.
Yet when I have raised the issue, the only person who regularly supports
this is Axel. I'd like to discuss it again at the Summit, yet at the
moment Axel and I have largely developed our own methods of
accomplishing our goals. A Thunderbird Professional would require
significant buy-in from people (as you will certainly get plenty of
pushback) which has yet to materialize. We can discuss this perhaps at
the Summit to see if there are additional supporters of this.
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