What's the plan and timetable to fix Thunderbird performance at startup due to Lightning bugs and flaws

Richard LEGER richard.leger at gmail.com
Thu Jul 18 08:42:06 UTC 2019

Dear Thunderbird (TB) team,

Startup performance issues have been plaguing TB for years (7 years or more
possibly) especially due to Lightning being enabled... and it became worth
in past years...

Up to now the "false" assumption has been that all I/O happens in one
thread (ui, email core features in addition of Lightning) causing too much
processing... not responding issues...

While this may have been partially true, tremendous progress have been made
so far in that regards within TB (e.g core improvements, use of workers and
async features helping if I am not mistaking), so it had been more an
aggravation of existing underlying issues in Lightning than a root cause.

Indeed I think such progress shadows the fact that Lightning still contains
bugs and design flaws (no blame on developers here) that are mainly source
of performance issues especially at startup that are still not being
analysed and addressed the way they should (at least from end-users point
of view) by implementing long term fixes/solutions into that code so it
would performs "normally" ;-)

As an end-user, month ago, I have revealed (because end-users could not
take it any more!) bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1502923
(patch issued but backed out without further support) and bug
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1543953 as the tip of the
iceberg but received barely any support from TB/Lightning dev teams so far
or feedback on helping resolving those long lasting and highlighted
performance issues. It may not be a priority for developers (in their time
and resources constraints) but it IS for many end-users...
[Update: there might be light at the end of the tunnel as per new bug
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1567055 created today]

>From my impression, while it seems that lot of efforts (and communication)
are oriented new UI revamping and new features... bugs fixing and
especially those related to performance (quality, reliability, speed) seems
relegated to a lower priority to some extent... while it should be in
reverse order...

Currently are code reviews and new features subject to large scaling tests
to assess performance of code with large data sets prior publishing it?
Are performance issues detected (or reported) fixed immediately or right
after in next dev cycles?

For two years TB quality and reliability had decreased drastically, mainly
due to lengthy discussion about governance that put TB development and
maintenance to a stall, it was kept afloat by the remaining dev team and
community (great thanks to them!).

As it is now past, shouldn't 2019 be the year where TB reliability and
performance are brought back to life and take priority over new features?
Wouldn't that be the best way to bring back confidence (and contributors)
in the project? Wasn't it the priority for 2019 "Making Thunderbird fly
faster" in the first place, as I recall?

Now that a new team is up and running, what is the plan to tackle
reliability and performance issues in TB especially those linked to

Would (and could) time and resources be dedicated to them in particular so
they can finally be fixed once and for all in the next few months?

While Lightning is an add-on it provide a calendar features to TB and
therefore shall be considered as an essential Core feature that need much
care and attention ;-) I am not saying it is not already (because it
certainly is)... just that it needs much more... especially performance

As of today it is still not possible to have 4-5 calDav calendars (with
thousands of items each) enabled and active at the same time, above two, it
cripples TB especially at startup...

Maybe a plan and timetable is already in place if that the case, please
advise and communicate on what can be expected...
Otherwise could a plan and timetable be established with clear goals and
results to clear any performance issues in TB due to Lightning especially,
as a priority?

It may be a wishful thinking but plan, support and fixes on the performance
matters would be greatly appreciated by end-users...

Looking forward to seeing Thunderbird fly fast in 2019!

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