What happened to hiring an architect?

R Kent James kent at caspia.com
Mon Dec 12 08:28:56 UTC 2016

On 12/9/2016 8:28 PM, Andrew Sutherland wrote:
> If something more evolutionary is desired, then I'm not sure we're going
> to find someone with more expertise and experience than :rkent.

Just to be clear, I never claimed that I intended myself to be the
substitute architect, only that a technical plan without a viable
business plan made no sense.

I do see that Thunderbird though has three fundamental options to
consider. 1) Continue our traditional path of being a binary rebuild of
Firefox, which means probably moving toward Rust and custom
WebExtensions or WebIDL features, 2) Move Thunderbird clearly into the
an app category using web technologies, or 3) pick an entirely different
binary platform to run on, like QT or .NET core. Of these three choices,
I think that 2) is the path we are mostly looking at.

I also don't think that a complete rewrite is going to work. A more
likely path forward is going to be developing new approaches as side
projects, then merge those technologies into the core program. That is
the path that Firefox is taking, and I think it is the correct
transition path. I also think that the address book is the easiest place
to do this experiment at the moment.

For the business case, to be competitive with Google and Microsoft we
really need to consider what our answer is for web, desktop, and mobile
users. I really don't think it makes sense to invest in a desktop-only


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