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The end of Thunderbird?

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speciesx
 
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Post Posted December 1st, 2015, 7:51 am

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... AyVlhfEcXg

Will this be the end of Thunderbird?
sry for my bad english.

My real user agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv: current nightly) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/current nightly

tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 1st, 2015, 10:38 am

No. Its really just a more public discussion about how to make certain Thunderbird has a future. The TB planning digest has had posts about finding a new legal/financial home, how to deal with changes in direction in AMO and Gecko support, how to deal with Mozilla planning to drop support for XUL (its used by most add-ons), and shifting to different technologies so that Thunderbird can also support smartphones for about a year. N1 is an example of a email client using the technologies that they are considering. One of the issues in shifting to using just Javascript and HTML5 is what widgets do you support, for example you want to be able to have real folder hierarchies rather than display them flattened like many apps do. Another issue is how to make it as easy as possible for existing add-on developers to adapt to the new model.

Its possible that the blogosphere is going to go into hysteria again about the end of Thunderbird, but nothing is going to change for a good while. IMHO Mitchell Baker's memo is a good thing as it helps focus attention on the issues.

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Post Posted December 1st, 2015, 8:05 pm

A good post from tanstaafl's link to the TB planning digest
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... igvCJtidHE
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tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 1st, 2015, 9:07 pm

Hacker News comments about TechCrunch's article about the Mitchell Baker Memo. For comparison, look at TechCrunch's so that's it for Thunderbird, from 2012.

Ars Technica article

Future Planning: Thunderbird as a Web App post on tb-planning mailing list Sept. 17, 2015
"tl;dr Thunderbird over the next 3 years needs to convert to being a web app that can run on any browser that supports ES6 Javascript and HTML5. (web app does not imply cloud-based, only that the underlying platform is js/html)."

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 9:27 am

speciesx wrote:https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mozilla.governance/kAyVlhfEcXg

Will this be the end of Thunderbird?

No, not at all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjK2Oqrgic
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 3:12 pm

I suspect that whither Thunderbird goes, SeaMonkey goest. So whatever path Tb developers choose to go on, SM will likely follow that course. It certainly seems like they are going to have to work together no matter what happens.
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 3:54 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Future Planning: Thunderbird as a Web App post on tb-planning mailing list Sept. 17, 2015
"tl;dr Thunderbird over the next 3 years needs to convert to being a web app that can run on any browser that supports ES6 Javascript and HTML5. (web app does not imply cloud-based, only that the underlying platform is js/html)."


It would be great to have Thunderbird on mobile, I hope they will succeed!

patrickjdempsey wrote:I suspect that whither Thunderbird goes, SeaMonkey goest. So whatever path Tb developers choose to go on, SM will likely follow that course. It certainly seems like they are going to have to work together no matter what happens.

Hmmm... so you think we may have SeaMonkey on mobile phones :?: That would be... curiously unexpected :mrgreen:

BTW, is this only me who thinks Mitchell Baker's decision is counter intuitive? Considering that:

1. Firefox market share has been steadily declining in recent years.
2. Thunderbird market share has been steadily growing in recent years.
3. The more Mozilla focus with their excellent ideas on how to improve Firefox, the more people switch to other browsers.

why would she not want Mozilla to be part of growing software but instead laser-focus on a browser, which obviously does not need a laser focus - it just needs a different focus. I'm afraid this laser focus will mean more innovations that will trigger yet bigger exodus.

A yet more problematic for Mozilla is the fact that its Firefox browser is becoming more and more replaceable with each new change they are making to it. Whereas Thunderbird virtually can't be replaced by anything - at least not among free, open source and cross platform options.

I wonder what outcome can we predict for Mozilla?

I believe Thunderbird will live and be getting better and better.
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 5:14 pm

Lemon Juice wrote:Hmmm... so you think we may have SeaMonkey on mobile phones :?: That would be... curiously unexpected :mrgreen:


Ha! That wold be cool, but no I just meant that two teams would be better than one and SM/Tb currently share mail/news code so there's a bit of necessity.

Lemon Juice wrote:BTW, is this only me who thinks Mitchell Baker's decision is counter intuitive?


Not counter-intuitive to Mozilla logic at all. Mozilla needs Tbird to uncouple as quickly as possible so they can get on with the business of dumping Gecko and XUL and start working on Servo integration and new interfaces. If anything, this was predictable, if not a bit rude to do this as a top-down announcement instead of in a meeting with Tbird folks.

If you are asking if the entire direction of Mozilla is counter-intuitive to the real-world problems facing Firefox, then I think that's pretty obvious. Mozilla has been out-of-touch with the user base for a long time and doesn't want Firefox to be a "niche" browser, which is a shame because there are HUGE niche markets just waiting for a champion... and Firefox was always traditionally a "niche" browser to begin with... fighting for standards isn't exactly mainstream stuff.
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 7:21 pm

Lemon Juice wrote:[

patrickjdempsey wrote:I suspect that whither Thunderbird goes, SeaMonkey goest. So whatever path Tb developers choose to go on, SM will likely follow that course. It certainly seems like they are going to have to work together no matter what happens.

Hmmm... so you think we may have SeaMonkey on mobile phones :?: That would be... curiously unexpected :mrgreen:


That sounds like a joke that starts "Four guys at a bar..." :)

BTW, is this only me who thinks Mitchell Baker's decision is counter intuitive? Considering that:

1. Firefox market share has been steadily declining in recent years.
2. Thunderbird market share has been steadily growing in recent years.
3. The more Mozilla focus with their excellent ideas on how to improve Firefox, the more people switch to other browsers.

why would she not want Mozilla to be part of growing software but instead laser-focus on a browser, which obviously does not need a laser focus - it just needs a different focus. I'm afraid this laser focus will mean more innovations that will trigger yet bigger exodus.

A yet more problematic for Mozilla is the fact that its Firefox browser is becoming more and more replaceable with each new change they are making to it. Whereas Thunderbird virtually can't be replaced by anything - at least not among free, open source and cross platform options.


Something of a case of riding home on the horse that brought you. 30% market share against a browser that is included with the OS was pretty impressive and Firefox certainly made CSS what it is today. Lets face it, email clients are not nearly as sexy as a mobile browser.

In Baker's defense, there has been a great deal of conversation with the Thunderbird Council. The controversy here seems to be more a matter of Mozilla's weakness for kamikaze PR than anything else.

I wonder what outcome can we predict for Mozilla?


Likely a good deal of money being wasted on the OS. Eventually, the foundation will announce that they regrettably are going to stop supporting any specific projects and provide money support to the general idea of open-source.
I believe Thunderbird will live and be getting better and better.


Me too :)
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 7:29 pm

patrickjdempsey wrote:I suspect that whither Thunderbird goes, SeaMonkey goest. So whatever path Tb developers choose to go on, SM will likely follow that course. It certainly seems like they are going to have to work together no matter what happens.

Both SeaMonkey and Thunderbird would definitely benefit from working together on this, already implied by their code shared in comm-central and the other comm-* repositories. Discussions have just started about what the implications are, and not all of this comes quite as a surprise, but now that Mozilla's intentions and a possible time line are getting clearer, what has to be done needs to be figured out (both in terms of possible changes/replacements in infrastructure and retaining important pieces of the common Gecko engine that will be deprecated by Firefox in the not so far future).

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2015, 11:24 pm

Right... the whole builds situation especially has me somewhat nervous. What's to say that with the deprecation of Gecko and XUL that Mozilla isn't about to announce major changes to the whole build infrastructure and process?
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Post Posted December 3rd, 2015, 6:51 am


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Post Posted December 3rd, 2015, 9:56 am

rsx11m wrote:
patrickjdempsey wrote:I suspect that whither Thunderbird goes, SeaMonkey goest. So whatever path Tb developers choose to go on, SM will likely follow that course. It certainly seems like they are going to have to work together no matter what happens.

Both SeaMonkey and Thunderbird would definitely benefit from working together on this, already implied by their code shared in comm-central and the other comm-* repositories.

I think the consequences for SeaMonkey are more serious than for Thunderbird, because SM has a browser component, which needs to stay current and be compatible with one of the major rendering engines - otherwise compatibility problems will arise with some web sites. The web browser in Thunderbird plays secondary role so they can get away with a niche engine like a potential gecko fork. The best thing that could happen would be Mozilla creating their new rendering engine (servo?) as an independent enough module so that other applications can easily embed it.

John Liebson wrote:An update from Mitchell: https://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2015/12 ... rd-update/

Firefox and Thunderbird have diverging needs. Firefox needs to move at the speed of the Web, and needs to bring the things we love about the Web into the world of mobile, social, data and the cloud. That’s a fiercely competitive setting with high consequences. We need to be laser-focused if we want to move these parts of online life towards the traits of individual user centrality and control, openness, interoperability and a level playing field.


I must admit Mitchell has a talent for rhetoric! Personally, I'd prefer a more down to earth, succinct and practical language, otherwise I have a tendency to read too much between the lines... :-k
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Post Posted December 3rd, 2015, 10:14 am

Yeah, not much information in that blog post either, it remains completely unclear what "separating infrastructure" implies.

Lemon Juice wrote:I think the consequences for SeaMonkey are more serious than for Thunderbird, because SM has a browser component, which needs to stay current and be compatible with one of the major rendering engines - otherwise compatibility problems will arise with some web sites.

True, but the hope here is that collaborating with other parties interested in keeping Gecko alive in a Firefox branch with its full feature set and underlying technologies would make that possible.

The best thing that could happen would be Mozilla creating their new rendering engine (servo?) as an independent enough module so that other applications can easily embed it.

Given Mozilla's single-mindedness on the role of a rendering engine, I would be surprised if that's considered as a design parameter for Servo. Being able to keep Gecko for the UI rendering while plugging in another rendering engine for content could certainly solve a lot of problems keeping up with evolving standards.

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Post Posted December 3rd, 2015, 12:36 pm

This comment is entirely personal, and based solely on personal experience: I think that some are being too critical of Mitchell's submissions. I have no intention here to boast of what I accomplished, which would be totally unfitting; rather, I wish, based on my experience, to give my thoughts as to how many projects develop, starting from what may seem to others as nothing more than mere mumbling, eventually result in written plans, procedures, and the like.

When I started to create what eventually became the Crested Butte, Colorado, Fire Protection District, my efforts were based on what I observed at a simple fire in a shed. Not long afterwards, I decided to see what might be done to provide better fire protection for the community. Had I been asked at that time to write down what I expected to do, and how I intended to do whatever that might be, my writing would have been extremely vague, because I had no firm ideas about any of this. I could not have written anything succinct, because no such material yet existed.

I submit that Mitchell is in the same position as I was: When one starts a project that has no known end goal (a common situation,) all one can do is profer thoughts as to what might, in the future, take place; one cannot, at that stage, offer any specific ideas, thoughts, plans, etc.

It was not until a year or so ago that I actually reconstructed from memory and recollections the processes that ensued after that one shed fire, an event that took place in 1971. That mémoire has been posted on the fire district's web site, as has a similar document, also written long after the fact, about my creation of the Eldorado Fire and Rescue Service, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, an endeavor that started in December, 1979. Finally, my third major fire service-related project dealt with what was, at the time, an entirely new fire suppression technology, Class A Foam and Compressed Air Foam Systems; my early publications on this were quite vague and non-specific, as I had very little upon which to base anything firm and specific.

To me, this is the norm. I can only hope that this is taken in the spirit in which it is offered. I am certain that others will disagree with me; I don't intend to discuss such differences, as that is neither why I wrote this, nor would it have any place in this thread.

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