What happened to hiring an architect?

The Wanderer wanderer at fastmail.fm
Tue Dec 13 04:11:10 UTC 2016


On 2016-12-12 at 16:29, R Kent James wrote:

> Another thing that scares me is that we really don't have a good
> idea why our existing users choose Thunderbird. With the direction
> that FF is moving, TB is going to have to change in some ways, and
> there is a serious risk that we will change in ways that alienate our
> users if we don't understand them that well.

I don't claim to be representative in this regard, but for one possible
data point:

I use Thunderbird partly for historical reasons, and partly because it
is - to the best of my awareness - the only mail client in existence
which can be made to have a sufficiently close approximation of the UI
that I want.

More recent versions make that approximation more approximate, and make
achieving it harder; I haven't actually tried anything newer than
Thunderbird 31, because I had so much difficulty getting TB31 to produce
an appropriate UI, and I haven't had occasion to spin up a testing
environment for any newer version in the time since TB38 was released.
(The parts that are farthest from matching what I want are the
quick-filter interface and the fact that nowadays it's apparently
impossible to make some interface components appear in new windows
rather than in separate tabs.)

It's still the closest match of anything out there, however, to the best
of my awareness.

If Thunderbird moves in a direction which breaks the ability to make it
have the UI which I want, I will simply end up sticking with the last
version which does provide that ability, and papering over the bugs
(including, unfortunately, security holes) as best I can - at least
until such time as a version, or fork, comes out which improves on that
situation.

(The same holds true for Firefox, and it looks as if the decision to
move in such a direction has already been irrevocably made on that side.
I still hold out hope that things will somehow be workable, but it's
looking like whichever ESR release is the last to support
pre-WebExtensions addons will be my last Firefox. Then again, I thought
FF3.x would be my last at one point...)

-- 
   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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