Likely timing of future Thunderbird Gecko builds

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Tue Apr 18 17:30:30 UTC 2017

Kent James wrote on 18.04.2017 19:17:
> I don't understand what you are proposing as the alternative.

Get going with the rewrite, in a coordinated way, with a team of hired 
development staff.

I'm trying to convince the TB Council that his is the right way forward.

> Devote increasing resources to compile against a Gecko that is 
> determined to stop supporting us?

Until the rewrite is ready, yes. That's the only option I see. All other 
options are more expensive / less feasible / unrealistic / deadly.

> There will be a last Gecko version for current TB. Is it 59? 66? Then 
> what happens after esr eol?

After our ESR is EOL, and we can't go to a newer ESR?

We're dead. Plain and simple. I just want everybody to understand that.

All we have left at that point is to announce that TB (based on Gecko) 
will cease to exist (we wouldn't be the first project to do that), and 
users have a few months to migrate. We can keep TB running for a few 
more months, on ICU, but not much longer than that. This is only for the 
time to get the last users to migrate, until we pull the plug for real.

> The worse thing we could do is to devote resources for many months and 
> then fail. When do we decide? Are you proposing a TB66 based on Gecko? 
> TB59 will be a challenge. 

I've been saying 1-2 years ago that we need to start the rewrite. That 
would have been the right moment. We're in deep trouble, yes. We're 
facing the wall, with full speed. It's good we finally realize it, as a 

> You say we have a few months after esr eol, I say 12. I don't see we are that far apart. I am all in favor of an aggressive TB++ effort.

With "a few months", I mean 3-6. I don't give us 12 months after ESR 
EOL. But that remains to be seen. I'd rather be too pessimistic, and it 
ends up being better, than too optimistic, and we're caught on the 
toilet stool with the pants down.

Because we have a responsibility for 25 million users. We can't mess 
this up.

But yes, we're not far apart.

> we need to face facts.

Indeed. That's what I'm trying to accomplish.


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