More users = More support requests

Onno Ekker o.e.ekker at
Thu Mar 23 07:11:22 UTC 2017

On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 11:48 PM, Axel Grude <axel.grude at> wrote:

> *Subject:*More users = More support requests
> *From:*Bruce A. Johnson <Bruce at> <Bruce at>
> *To:*Tb-planning
> *Sent: *Wednesday, 22/03/2017 17:10:27 17:10 GMT ST +0000 [Week 12]
> More users = More support requests
> I think that getting more Thunderbird users, improving the initial
> usability of Thunderbird for the average dunsel computer user, and getting
> publicity is great.
> Do not forget support, though.  No matter how good you make a program,
> there will always be people who need help with it.  Thunderbird is by no
> means foolproof, and people get turned off by it all the time because of
> problems with it.
> Don't just assume that "someone will take care of it", when it comes to
> support.  The bulk of support requests are answered by people like me who
> have an interest, but who don't know everything there is to know about
> Thunderbird.  We cannot answer every question.
> I say again that we need an escalation process for support requests.  By
> "we", I mean the people who answer most of those support requests.  When I
> don't know how to help, or get stumped, all I can hope is that maybe one of
> the others will try.
> We have an escalation process - it's called bugzilla:
> This could be a good starting point:
> advanced&short_desc_type=allwordssubstr&short_desc=
> test&classification=Client%20Software&product=Thunderbird&resolution=---&
> longdesc_type=allwordssubstr&longdesc=&bug_file_loc_type=
> allwordssubstr&bug_file_loc=&status_whiteboard_type=allwordssubstr&status_
> whiteboard=&keywords_type=allwords&keywords=&bug_id=&
> bug_id_type=anyexact&votes=&votes_type=greaterthaneq&
> emailtype1=substring&email1=&emailtype2=substring&email2=&
> emailtype3=substring&email3=&chfieldvalue=&chfieldfrom=&
> chfieldto=Now&j_top=AND&f1=noop&o1=noop&v1=

Bugzilla is good for filing bugs or enhancement requests, but it is not
meant for support. I see a lot of bugs lately being closed with the remark
that it's not intended for support and the reporter is being directed to
sumo. Also the step between asking a question on sumo and filing a bug is
too big. What I think what's needed is, that the person giving support
should have an easy way of letting others know that he's stuck with a
certain question.

> then there is this forum:
> I think there is also a more general forum at
MozillaZine is a good point for information and I do often put links to
articles from MozillaZine in answers to support requests, but the site
doesn't belong to Mozilla or Thunderbird. I've also seen remarks in bugs or
sumo articles about not linking to MozillaZine for this reason.  It would
be better if the support articles on sumo would have full coverage of all
the things related to Thunderbird. And it helps a lot of users that the
articles on sumo can be and are localized.

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