My comment on Exchange Calendar as it applies to financial issues of Thunderbird

R Kent James kent at
Mon May 1 14:40:46 UTC 2017

Some of you might be interested in this exchange about the nature of 
finances for Thunderbird, in a comment I made in a long thread about the 
problems affecting the critical Exchange Calendar addon with TB 52.

@fthommen <>
*fthommen <> * commented 21 hours ago 

Maybe someone with more technical knowhow on Thunderbird software 
development could also comment on

@rkent <>

*rkent <> * commented 16 hours ago 

In response to fthommen:

Adding EWS as a "supported" protocol to core Thunderbird does not 
magically make the resources appear to maintain it. This particular 
addon, Exchange Calendar, is a really good example of the problems. The 
work required is substantial, a free-as-in-beer developer can enjoy 
working on it for awhile, but then there is the inevitable burnout 
followed by periods of poor support, which we seem to be in the third 
phase of now. Personally, I believe that something mission-critical like 
Thunderbird (and critical addons such as this one) deserve better than 
that if people are going to rely on them to get real work done.

But this gets at the core of what people mean by "open source" and "free 
software". There is always that hope that there are lots of potentially 
motivated volunteers that could be attracted, if somehow we just do 
things better.

Personally I don't believe in that, but I am in a minority - and I get 
plenty of flak for charging for ExQuilla. (Note I am the ExQuilla author 
as well as a member of the Thunderbird Council). The solution that I 
think makes sense is something like a non-profit user coop, where there 
would be enough benefits to the users to pay for membership, the code 
could continue open source, but somebody would be paid to keep the 
lights on. We're collecting substantial donations now, and that is 
helping alot, but not enough to imagine that EWS could be added to core 
Calendar and supported.

Looking ahead a few years, I tend to agree with probably most of you 
that EWS support should be a critical part of the maintained core. I've 
got a group of volunteers I am working with ( that 
will work on the rewrite of both Contacts and Calendar as a part of a 
next-generation Thunderbird project, and I intend to make EWS core to 
that. But that does not solve the long-term financial issues.

@fthommen <>
*fthommen <> * commented 15 hours ago 

@rkent <> : I fully agree and I also want to 
add, that I have no problem paying for software I critically rely on. 
This plugin (even TB itself) would be an example of software that I 
would be willing to pay for, as I don't want to live w/o them any more :-)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the tb-planning mailing list