Thunderbird Future: Status Update

Gervase Markham gerv at
Wed Feb 24 20:46:43 UTC 2016

Dear tb-planning,

As you know, I have been working on various aspects of Thunderbird's
future. I think it's time for an update on where we are.

1) Fiscal Home
Simon Phipps, ex-president of OSI, has written a report on the options
here. It is currently undergoing review but we hope to publish it soon.
We hope it will inform the discussion that the new Council will
doubtless want to have about which option is best for Thunderbird.

2) Technical Future
Thunderbird is facing a number of short and medium term technical
hurdles, which together amount to a significant problem. The strategy
here is for MoFo to hire an architect who can take their time to
understand all the problems and recommend a path forward which is within
the capabilities of the Thunderbird team. I have drafted the text of the
Schedule of Work for this architect position, and have sent it to Mark
Surman for review. This will be discussed on this list before we
formally advertise the position.

2a) Build and Release Infra Transition
This is one of those technical challenges, and the one with the nearest
deadlines. A plan has been developed and proposed to the Council, and we
are still working through their concerns. If/when they approve the
general outline of it, we will post it publicly for discussion.

3) PEP
PEP (Pretty Easy Privacy) have kindly offered to help assist
Thunderbird. I have been attempting to help the Council and PEP work
through some communications difficulties. See the recent message posted
in tb-planning for the short-term resolution.

4) Accepting Donations
Web development work is going on to set up a web page where MoFo can
take donations for the use of Thunderbird. This work can be tracked here:
The goal is to have this done by the end of Q1.

5) Disbursements
We are working with MoFo finance to put together a process to allow MoFo
to spend the money it raises, without overly taxing the MoFo finance
team. The current work item is an operations manual on how best the
Thunderbird contact can work with MoFo finance; they are putting this

6) Governance
A new Council has been proposed and is currently being voted on. The
vote closes at midnight on Friday/Saturday this week. Please see
previous messages on this list for voting instructions, and please do vote.

I welcome any questions on the above, although I am not working tomorrow
so replies may be delayed.


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