Likely timing of future Thunderbird Gecko builds

Benjamin Kerensa bkerensa at
Wed Apr 19 09:48:31 UTC 2017

I support Ben's proposal and I was going to run for council and push for a
rewrite and push for some action as I've seen TB in a rut for awhile and
not moving any direction. I wish I had the time to take on another
volunteer opportunity but just don't have that much more time for unpaid

That said I think it's very important TB Council not continue to sit by
idle as Mozilla makes changes that will leave TB in a bad situation.

Hiring a development team, community manager and release manager and
starting a rewrite is the best direction TB can take.

The longer TB Council waits it increases the risk to the project.

On Apr 18, 2017 10:30 AM, "Ben Bucksch" <ben.bucksch at> wrote:

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 project.

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

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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