Thunderbird++ for each of the four major components

Gervase Markham gerv at
Tue Apr 18 08:09:17 UTC 2017

On 18/04/17 05:53, R Kent James wrote:
> Here's my personal understanding/guess of where we are likely heading
> with each of the 4 major pieces of Thunderbird. What's new here is
> mostly discussing the "other" pieces beyond email, as most of the
> Thunderbird++ discussion so far has implicitly focused on email. Note in
> all cases, it may be possible to incorporate portions of the new work in
> the existing Thunderbird, but that is not a primary goal. Retaining
> existing users IS a primary goal.

Do we have data on what proportion of existing users use Calendar? Or Chat?

Thunderbird lasted for many years without either capability. I would
strongly suggest that neither is part of a minimum viable product for
TB++. We can't forbid people from working on them, but if those people
are also capable of contributing to Mail and/or Contacts, then every
hour spent on them makes the MVP an hour of work further away.

Firefox (and, even, Thunderbird!) demonstrated that a subset of users of
a more complex product (the Mozilla Suite) are happy and find it
refreshing to use a simpler product which does one thing well. That
should be the initial path to gaining users for TB++ - an explicit
refutation of the idea that (initially at least) it provides feature
parity, to correctly set expectations.

If we say "We're rewriting Thunderbird; we'll let you know when it's got
feature parity, and you can come and try it out", that's a path to low
usage, low testing and failure IMO.


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