Changes to review policy

Axel Grude axel.grude at
Thu Apr 28 08:45:12 UTC 2016

Dear Jim,

I think the general move to a correspondent column may be a good one, the problem is 
that it is not very obvious which of the emails are by me (having the mere direction 
of a light gray arrow pointing one way or another is actually very hard to parse at a 
glance). I would therefore have liked a more obvious metaphor for "my personal 
emails", which may have been easier to adopt; even if it was something simple like a 
special hue for the arrow or a different icon. An extended UAT phase for fundamental 
changes like this would be great; that would have to be separate from "finding" the 
change in a bug.

Would it be possible to recruit some people for voluntary UAT - this means a more 
focused effort than just relying on beta users to report. It would mean working with 
the new features for a period of time (e.g. 2 weeks) within test cases created by the 
patch author and then gathering the results and reporting them back to the patch 
owner; either directly or via Bugzilla comment. Also a link to a compiled UAT build 
would have to be available.

I would volunteer for being a UAT tester, if it wouldn't include code review or having 
to compile my own version.


*Axel Grude <mailto:axel.grude at>*
Software Developer
Thunderbird Add-ons Developer (QuickFolders, quickFilters, QuickPasswords, Zombie 
Keys, SmartTemplate4)
AMO Editor Get Thunderbird!

> *Subject:*Changes to review policy
> *From:*Jim Porter
> *To:*Tb-planning
> *Sent: *Thursday, 28/04/2016 06:33:52 06:33 GMT ST +0100 [Week 17]
> Given the user outcry around the upgrade from the From/Recipients column
> to the Correspondents column (see
> <> for example), I'd
> like to propose some new guidelines to our review policy to prevent this
> from happening again. To be rather blunt, I don't think we're upholding
> the minimum standards of quality that people should be able to expect
> from us.
> It's an especially stark contrast when you compare the Correspondents
> column issue to another change in 45.0: the new default in composition
> to create new <p> elements every time you hit enter. A number of people
> have also been dissatisfied with the latter, but the fix for that is to
> uncheck a single checkbox.
> Undoing the Correspondents column upgrade, on the other hand, involves
> setting a hidden pref and then fixing all the folders that were
> "upgraded". Worse, we can't automatically roll the column state back
> because we've actually destroyed data! If a user had *both* the From and
> Recipient columns shown, the upgrade code hides them[1], and there's no
> way I know of to look at the current state to determine this.
> Therefore, I'd like to propose the following: any change to
> Thunderbird's defaults should have a super-review before landing.
> Super-reviewers would be especially focused on making sure that changes
> meet most or all the following conditions, in descending order of
> importance:
> 1) No data/program state should be lost.
> 2) Before changing a default, we should be sure the new default is
>     fully-operational.
> 3) Users should have an easy path to roll back to the previous UI/UX if
>     they don't like the new version. If possible, ask the user *before*
>     upgrading them.
> 4) It should be easy for users to find out what's changed, along with
>     instructions for how to adjust the new behavior to their liking.
> Of course, I understand the desire to ship new features, especially if
> we think they're better than the old ones, but we need to be very
> careful. Email is mission-critical for many people, and as such, we have
> a responsibility not to break things. Hopefully with a few more eyes on
> changes like this, we can come up with ways to satisfy existing users'
> needs while still working to modernize Thunderbird.
> Thoughts?
> - Jim
> [1] Full disclosure: this is based solely on inspection, not actually
> running the code.
> _______________________________________________
> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at

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