Judging by the website, the project is nearly dead. That's not right...

Ryan Sipes ryan at thunderbird.net
Sun Mar 3 03:54:09 UTC 2019


Hi guys,

This thread sounds like fun. So let's talk it through. I'll try to lay
out the status of the project from how I see it and the challenges we
face going forward. I did make a blog post in January
<https://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/2019/01/thunderbird-in-2019/>
laying out some plans for 2019.

One thing I laid out in my council candidacy is that we need to
establish a vision. I am iterating on a vision I presented to the
council in Q4 of last year and will present it to the new council when
elections are finished. I'll address this more below in response to
"Thunderbird NEXT".

> Just right now I think a who is actually working on Thunderbird might
> be a good bit of information.  There are now about the same number of
> employees as there are council members.  Who do we contact about
> what?  What are they doing?
We hired quite a few people in a short amount of time, but I am planning
on detailing some information about the new staff on our blog and on
this mailing list over the coming weeks. Organizationally, I think the
Thunderbird team is learning how to do onboarding and get our hires
plugged in as we've gone from 5 staff to 12 in the span of half a year.

It sounds like I might need to accelerate this as there is a lot of
interest leading up to the election.

> Does Thunderbird have developers working on the lack of features.
Yes, Magnus posted what we were hiring for on the maildev mailing list
<http://lists.thunderbird.net/pipermail/maildev_lists.thunderbird.net/2018-October/001317.html>.
One of those things is better operating system integration, specifically
on Windows and better support for standards like CardDAV/CalDAV. But as
I said above, some of those folks are just starting - so it may take
some time for them to get up to speed and start getting new code in the
door.

> We heard a lot about Thunderbird NEXT some time ago,  so are we doing
> a rewrite? Either wholesale or component by component.  What is the
> road map for that process?
The Thunderbird NEXT discussion was before I was involved in the
project, but based on the work we've been doing the past year and
Magnus' hiring plan above - we have been addressing platform breakage
and paying down technical debt. There does not appear to be enough
support on the council currently to start fresh, so we've lived under
the assumption that we will stay on the Mozilla platform. The good news
is we finally have our head above water and are able to look at how we
can innovate and move forward in significant ways. We had success in
increasing donations significantly - so that certainly helps (ala the
staff noted above).

> Are we going to stick with the term web extension to describe
> Thunderbird extensions or are we going to rebrand it something
> relevant like mail extensions as it should have far more "local"
> access that web extensions do if it is going to be a strong and useful
> API.  Retaining the term web extensions also lead new developers that
> have web extensions experience to think they know the environment. 
> They will not.
I want to call them "MailExtensions" and get good documentation out the
door, especially tutorials that help new add-on developers get involved.

> Thunderbird is moving forward, and I am seeing a lot of positive
> moves.  But where we are going appears to be a very closely guarded path.
Agreed, maybe more of these conversations that we have on the council
and in the community + staff status meetings on Tuesday should be
happening on tb-planning. Especially if that helps with the
implementation of those ideas. 

This is as much as I can get out of my head at the moment. I'll work to
share more as soon as possible.

Ryan Sipes
Community Manager
Thunderbird

On 3/2/19 7:52 PM, Matt Harris wrote:
> Just right now I think a who is actually working on Thunderbird might
> be a good bit of information.  There are now about the same number of
> employees as there are council members.  Who do we contact about
> what?  What are they doing? 
>
> Does Thunderbird have developers working on the lack of features.
> Things like 2FA authentication ALA Outlook.  Windows people app
> integration. Categorisation of accounts (work home etc) address book
> list in the main pane that provides a one click access to mails from
> the contact or some oldie but goodies, real tabs, full calendar
> integration, latest card_dav support for import and export, provide a
> profile import and export and ActiveSync support for mail and calendars.
>
> We heard a lot about Thunderbird NEXT some time ago,  so are we doing
> a rewrite? Either wholesale or component by component.  What is the
> road map for that process? 
>
> Are we going to stick with the term web extension to describe
> Thunderbird extensions or are we going to rebrand it something
> relevant like mail extensions as it should have far more "local"
> access that web extensions do if it is going to be a strong and useful
> API.  Retaining the term web extensions also lead new developers that
> have web extensions experience to think they know the environment. 
> They will not.
>
> Thunderbird is moving forward, and I am seeing a lot of positive
> moves.  But where we are going appears to be a very closely guarded path.
>
>
> Matt
>
>
> On 02-Mar-19 4:09 AM, Eyal Rozenberg wrote:
>> Motivation:
>> So, someone just asked on the elections list for our council's current
>> composition, and what we are able to give is just this:
>> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Thunderbird#Thunderbird_Council
>> which doesn't cut it.
>>
>> If I visit https://www.thunderbird.net/ , I should be able to readily
>> access information about the organizational infrastructure behind
>> Thunderbird, including information about the Thunderbird council, its
>> its role, its composition, its members background - as a minimum. But -
>> this information is not accessible nor does it seem to exist, i.e. I
>> can't find a page about that anywhere.
>>
>> In fact, if I click the small "about" link, what I get is the Mozilla
>> Foundation:
>>
>> https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/
>>
>> whose navigation bar / menus will essentially tell me Thunderbird
>> doesn't exist and there's only Firefox.
>>
>> If I go back to our website, I don't see what would be telling me "Hey,
>> I'm not dead yet! I'm getting better!" (Monty Python reference there,
>> sorry.)
>>
>> If click the twitter user link:
>> https://twitter.com/intent/follow?screen_name=mozthunderbird
>> I see few tweets and their nature also hints at us being sort of near death.
>>
>>
>> Just saying,
>> Eyal
>>
>>
>> PS - It's not that the website is not reasonably-nicely-designed.
>> _______________________________________________
>> tb-planning mailing list
>> tb-planning at mozilla.org
>> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning
>>
>
>
> -- 
> “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” /― Friedrich
> von Schiller, Die Jungfrau von Orleans /
>
> _______________________________________________
> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at mozilla.org
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning
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