MozillaZine

The end of Thunderbird?

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
Nomis101
 
Posts: 1013
Joined: January 7th, 2008, 7:46 am
Location: Germany

Post Posted December 8th, 2015, 1:21 pm

rsx11m wrote:My concern with p≡p is their possibly fairly limited scope of e-mail encryption. While I see that they want to keep a project they depend on in a significant way for the Enigmail extension alive, I'm not sure to which extent they are interested in maintaining and further evolving e-mail applications in general.

My understanding was, that they give the money and the maintaining will be done from the current peoples? The only code change they want is the default enabled pEp technology. Or did I misread something?
And, I don't have concerns about pEp. As I understand, the pEp people are from swiss CCC, and Thunderbird + Enigmail is a standard at the CCC. So, I'm sure pEp is interested in maintaining and further evolving e-mail applications in general.

rsx11m wrote:
WLS wrote:Nov 2015 - Kent James writes Mozilla Infrastructure used by Thunderbird

That's an interesting one and shows what would have to be taken care of if indeed Thunderbird had no longer access to any of the Mozilla infrastructure and services - quite a long list!


I also think it will be a very hard job to use another infrastructure for Thunderbird. Thunderbird is using a lot of resources within Gecko (sqlite for Gloda, the notification API, turbojpeg, and a lot lot more). Everything was ported to moz.build and other new Gecko infrastructure. All of this needs to be adapted and rechanged for the new infrastructure. Sounds like a very hard job to me!
Recently there was a discussion about using Atom/electron for that: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/St ... 0-20#rkent
Which is using Chromium, like Gecko. Maybe this makes it easier than??

rsx11m
Moderator
 
Posts: 14425
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 7:40 am
Location: US

Post Posted December 9th, 2015, 8:25 am

Nomis101 wrote:Which is using Chromium, like Gecko. Maybe this makes it easier than??

Swapping the rendering engine for both UI and content (Google's Chromium is not Gecko) would be an inherent rewrite of anything that communicates with the user, as well as backend modules communicating with the server (including security, etc.). So this sounds rather painful (and then you can equally go with something closer, even Servo if it's ready at that time).

Lemon Juice
 
Posts: 784
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 9:41 am

Post Posted December 9th, 2015, 4:36 pm

-Arch- wrote:
LoudNoise wrote:Given the problems suffered by SeaMonkey recently I am pretty sure that access to the Mozilla infrastructure isn't all that it's made of to be. Mozilla can, and will, kill off resources in a passive/aggressive matter.

i get the feeling Moz will kill of Resources also. im more worried they dont stab TB in the process

TB is getting stabbed more and more:
I'm sorry that it makes you sad, but Mozilla has explicitly decided to
prioritize the bar to entry for Firefox development, and the speed of
development of Firefox, at the expense of Thunderbird (and seamonkey).
And as Firefox development moves faster toward things such as stopping
supporting XUL addons, removing support for heavyweight themes, and even
cutting XUL altogether, we should all expect the impedance mismatch to
become worse. We are not only saying that you don't have to fix
comm-central apps: we're also saying that we don't *want* core
contributors to spend time on comm-central.

My general perception is that Mozilla want to do development on their own - stop collaborating with related projects and laser-focus on their Firefox not paying attention to anyone else. I wonder if that's a good direction if they want to succeed? Firefox's code base will soon become a lone ship hoping enough enthusiasts stay on board - hopefully, if people still want to use their browser. They won't help Thunderbird nor SeaMonkey nor any other project - theoretically they will not be slowed down by them but at the same time no one will want to help them, either.

If we image that Mozilla decided to make their browser engine an embeddable module - what would happen? Thunderbird could take it and use easily in their email client. SeaMonkey could use it. And there are a number of other projects that would benefit of an embeddable browser engine and could use it, too. But then all these other projects would start caring about Firefox's engine and start helping making it better by contributing patches. In this way Firefox gains much more volunteer help from various people than if they stay on their own and write code only for themselves. Isn't that how open source works?
*** SeaMonkey — weird name, sane interface, modern bowels ***
Mouse Gestures for SeaMonkey/Firefox
Convert Fx and TB extensions to SeaMonkey

LoudNoise
New Member

User avatar
 
Posts: 40048
Joined: October 18th, 2007, 1:45 pm
Location: Next door to the west

Post Posted December 9th, 2015, 8:49 pm

Actually, Gecko was embeddable for a time, it ended in 2011. I doubt if they will do it again.

To an extent, they do have some good reasons for doing this although most of them have to do with defining a system many years ago that was specificity meant to support an internet suite.

As for the razor sharp focus on Firefox, I doubt if that will work simply because they haven't seemed to pull it off in the last few years. Google, Apple and Microsoft can afford to largely dismiss their userbase -- MS and Apple because few people really care if they are using the supplied browser or not, Google because they can pay to play by being cool and being the browser to be piggy-backed on the installations of such things like Flash. Mozilla lives and dies by it community. Considering the number of users they have lost over the recent years it appears that dying has been the choice.
Post wrangler
"Choose between the Food Select Feature or other Functions. If no food or function is chosen, Toast is the default."

d4rkn1ght

User avatar
 
Posts: 9
Joined: June 30th, 2013, 3:10 pm

Post Posted December 10th, 2015, 10:01 pm

Why Mozilla don't want to see that Thunderbird still doing great after they limited their support. :?

http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/10/thunde ... -the-rise/

Frank Lion

User avatar
 
Posts: 20266
Joined: April 23rd, 2004, 6:59 pm
Location: ... The Exorcist....United Kingdom

Post Posted December 11th, 2015, 6:59 am

d4rkn1ght wrote:Why Mozilla don't want to see that Thunderbird still doing great

10 million or 10 million x 2.5 users of a free product still doesn't pay the bills and that userbase is not going to donate anything like what would be needed.

I'm guessing that donations are well nigh non-existent (don't forget, I've had themes back in the day with millions of users) and crowdfunding (and pouring buckets of water over your head) is not that attractive with 'non-exciting, but vital' projects.

So, here's an idea. T/Bird doesn't only do Emails, it also connects to the Internet. I know this because I used to have Google News set as my homepage on T/Bird. It was a good idea - check out the morning's Emails and world news at the same time, all from the same product.

At the moment, any weblinks from the T/Bird homepage will just automatically open the default browser. But, they could equally be directed to open in a new tab within T/Bird itself.

So, what's the plan? What am I, the World's Mother? I'm just the guy that does the initial lateral thinking on stuff, but it does strike me that if Firefox made vast revenue out of search engines, then T/Bird could do a smaller 'breakfast time' version of the same idea or do a rolling news service, etc, etc.

Over to you.
Metal Lion latest SeaMonkey & Thunderbird Themes - Sea Monkey and Silver Sea Monkey
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

Lemon Juice
 
Posts: 784
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 9:41 am

Post Posted December 11th, 2015, 3:27 pm

Another idea might be to make Thunderbird semi-professional and run by a company that would provide the standard email client for free and also offer paid support and some extras like professional extensions, etc. Many large and small open source projects are backed up by companies and get funds in this way, for example Blue Griffon or PostgreSQL. This could have a positive effect of larger adoption of Thunderbird in corporate environments. The key would be to find an owner who would keep the current feature set available for everyone and not turn Thunderbird into a crippled trialware.
*** SeaMonkey — weird name, sane interface, modern bowels ***
Mouse Gestures for SeaMonkey/Firefox
Convert Fx and TB extensions to SeaMonkey

Mouse5
 
Posts: 1330
Joined: April 11th, 2014, 7:34 pm
Location: Sydney Australia

Post Posted December 11th, 2015, 3:47 pm

Lemon Juice wrote:Another idea might be to make Thunderbird semi-professional and run by a company that would provide the standard email client for free and also offer paid support and some extras like professional extensions, etc. Many large and small open source projects are backed up by companies and get funds in this way, for example Blue Griffon or PostgreSQL. This could have a positive effect of larger adoption of Thunderbird in corporate environments. The key would be to find an owner who would keep the current feature set available for everyone and not turn Thunderbird into a crippled trialware.

bad idea that, having 2 c types, 1 Free an 1 Paid support, i cant see that going down to well.

Lemon Juice
 
Posts: 784
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 9:41 am

Post Posted December 11th, 2015, 3:58 pm

-Arch- wrote:bad idea that, having 2 c types, 1 Free an 1 Paid support, i cant see that going down to well.

Why not? This is not a new idea and is successfully practised for many products. If run well, nothing would really change in terms of free support and open source development style - except there would be paid extras that don't exist now. Remember that there are many people and companies for whom forum support is not adequate - they need to have a technician on the phone or on a chat line ready to provide immediate help. Thunderbird could also with time develop tools targeted for corporate use that companies would be more than willing to buy.
*** SeaMonkey — weird name, sane interface, modern bowels ***
Mouse Gestures for SeaMonkey/Firefox
Convert Fx and TB extensions to SeaMonkey

Mouse5
 
Posts: 1330
Joined: April 11th, 2014, 7:34 pm
Location: Sydney Australia

Post Posted December 11th, 2015, 6:33 pm

Lemon Juice wrote:
-Arch- wrote:bad idea that, having 2 c types, 1 Free an 1 Paid support, i cant see that going down to well.

Why not? This is not a new idea and is successfully practised for many products. If run well, nothing would really change in terms of free support and open source development style - except there would be paid extras that don't exist now. Remember that there are many people and companies for whom forum support is not adequate - they need to have a technician on the phone or on a chat line ready to provide immediate help. Thunderbird could also with time develop tools targeted for corporate use that companies would be more than willing to buy.

why not, i could just see the free Version being Ad supported , the paid version would be Ad Free. other projects depend on Donations. remember also, there are people in the world that may have had some form of Mouth Cancer that cant use a Phone all that well ( speach isnt Great ) so they depend on Google/forum support. a lot of corporates use an email client such as " Novel Evolution " https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution that comes with Exchange support etc. something TB dont do.

patrickjdempsey

User avatar
 
Posts: 23734
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 11:43 am
Location: Asheville NC

Post Posted December 12th, 2015, 2:17 am

You see that because that's what you want to see. Meanwhile that was the actual history of Netscape and Mozilla Suite back in the day... and since Netscape didn't have a popup blocker the one you paid for actually had more ads in it. Funny how that works. Meanwhile, the whole logic that any product in any field that Google is in has to compete directly with Google is idiotic. It's exactly what promote's Mozilla's thinking. Meanwhile there's this awesome thing called niche markets where many products live long and successful lives without having to expand into unwieldy code nightmares or worry about Google squatting on their party.
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
What my avatar is about: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/seamonkey/addon/sea-fox/

Lemon Juice
 
Posts: 784
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 9:41 am

Post Posted December 12th, 2015, 5:36 am

-Arch- wrote:why not, i could just see the free Version being Ad supported , the paid version would be Ad Free.

Fine but that is only one way and there are many other funding ways that do not depend on ads.

-Arch- wrote:other projects depend on Donations.

Donations will hardly ever provide any substantial income - at least not for a product that requires so many resources and infrastructure as TB.

Take a look at some examples:

MySQL Workbench - comes in two editions, one is free and the other has some additional features for more demanding users. The free version has no ads and is a fully featured peace of software that is sufficient for most users.

PostgreSQL - an open source database that also provides commercial support for enterprise customers and there are many companies that do actually help with development by running tests, providing patches, etc. Why? Because they find the product of great value and it is eventually in their interest if it succeeds. As a result PostgreSQL is an ad-free product and is being developed at a really fast pace - and even despite the fact that the database market is already quite competitive.

-Arch- wrote:remember also, there are people in the world that may have had some form of Mouth Cancer that cant use a Phone all that well ( speach isnt Great ) so they depend on Google/forum support.

Phone is just one of many support solutions I mentioned. The thing is a company often cannot afford to write support questions on a community forum and hope that soon someone will respond with something useful if they have time. The company needs someone to quickly take care of their problem and offer solutions fast.

-Arch- wrote:a lot of corporates use an email client such as " Novel Evolution " https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution that comes with Exchange support etc. something TB dont do.

So that's one direction where TB could improve and start offering such solutions to companies - and make money.

TB is quite a complex program and I can't see how it can be developed fast enough without a financial backup of some sort - free programmers for such serious tasks don't fall off the trees. There are open source projects like GIMP where users have to wait around 10 years for a new major version - the sheer volunteer programming has its limits.

patrickjdempsey wrote:Meanwhile, the whole logic that any product in any field that Google is in has to compete directly with Google is idiotic. It's exactly what promote's Mozilla's thinking. Meanwhile there's this awesome thing called niche markets where many products live long and successful lives without having to expand into unwieldy code nightmares or worry about Google squatting on their party.

Very true - and this makes me sad because Mozilla has all the things that differentiate it from the competition (like powerful extensions, customizability) but has chosen to dump it all in the name of competing with the giants. Firefox would never die in its original form because there are simply things that you cannot do in other browsers that you can in Firefox and there will always be market for that. Unfortunately, that will not last long. The sad thing is that Mozilla has really great and talented programmers that can do a lot - but the management just wastes all that potential.
*** SeaMonkey — weird name, sane interface, modern bowels ***
Mouse Gestures for SeaMonkey/Firefox
Convert Fx and TB extensions to SeaMonkey

Frank Lion

User avatar
 
Posts: 20266
Joined: April 23rd, 2004, 6:59 pm
Location: ... The Exorcist....United Kingdom

Post Posted December 12th, 2015, 9:40 am

I do hope this little flurry of posts is not as a result of my post above. I was only suggesting a way to cover overheads of a couple of hundred thousand bucks a year, not how to compete with Moe Greene trying to run a business out of Vegas.

I was suggesting it as it's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, partner-wise, if you don't want to be constantly watching your back every time you bend down to pick up the soap in the future.

There are practical, ethical and existing skillset problems that relate to this latest bunch of suggestions and in addition, some are just not accurate in their basis -

Lemon Juice wrote:Many large and small open source projects are backed up by companies and get funds in this way, for example Blue Griffon or PostgreSQL.

I take no pleasure in shooting down sincerely made suggestions, I do it because I only ever deal in accurate analysis of facts. Does Blue Griffon really look like a successful project to anyone here? -

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/bluegri ... QMdKeDAwAJ
Metal Lion latest SeaMonkey & Thunderbird Themes - Sea Monkey and Silver Sea Monkey
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

Lemon Juice
 
Posts: 784
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 9:41 am

Post Posted December 12th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Frank Lion wrote:I do hope this little flurry of posts is not as a result of my post above.

Not directly as a result of your post but maybe somehow encouraged by it.

All what we are writing here are just theoretical musings on what could make Thunderbird some money - of course some of them have side effects and might not be the best. I am aware that Blue Griffon is not an example of a successful project - I could find a dozen ones instead but that's not the point. These are just ideas and I highly doubt anyone from the TB council will read them and take them seriously since acting on them is completely different than just talking.

I only wanted to say that I wouldn't mind if TB adopted some of the monetization methods that other software products are using - as long as it stays a full-featured product, openly developed and without annoying ads.
*** SeaMonkey — weird name, sane interface, modern bowels ***
Mouse Gestures for SeaMonkey/Firefox
Convert Fx and TB extensions to SeaMonkey

tanstaafl
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 45240
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted December 12th, 2015, 3:00 pm

Lemon Juice wrote:I only wanted to say that I wouldn't mind if TB adopted some of the monetization methods that other software products are using - as long as it stays a full-featured product, openly developed and without annoying ads.

I suggest you search the tb planning digest archive at https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/tb-planning/ for topics whose title include finance, financing proposal, funding, advertising, business models, donation, or legal and financial home. I'm not in any way suggesting its inappropriate to discuss ways to fund Thunderbird here, just that its useful to know what has been discussed before. For example R Kent James stated in vol 69 issue 12 (22 Oct 2015)

Last night I made up a list of my version of the funding model for Thunderbird in preparation for our meetings with MoFo in a week. It is a critical issue in our relationship with Mozilla, as Thunderbird needs to be a public benefit organization to justify coming under the covering of MoFo.

Let's understand first what I think are the core principles of who we are that affect this:

* We specifically reject advertising of unrelated products and services as a fund raising mechanism. This is THE model of the rest
of the internet, and not having advertising is a key differentiator for Thunderbird.

* The core Thunderbird itself needs to remain an open-source, not-for-profit entity.

Within these constraints, here are some funding possibilities:

1) Contributions from users. Long-term, we need to develop a strong user organization with dues-paying members. Although initially we might ask for a pure donation to sustain Thunderbird, I think that we need to offer specific benefits to members as well. What those benefits are is a separate thread. You may notice comments about registering "Thundernest" as a name, this is intended as the name for the user organization (which we'll probably just call "The Nest".)

2) Major donations from organizations supporting the core values that Thunderbird promotes, or benefiting from the use or distribution of Thunderbird.

3) Referral fees for related services. Currently we receive referral fees from specific vendors offered as email providers, and we should continue and expand this practice.

4) Addon Marketplace. We really need to work with our addon authors to make the development of addons financially viable, by offering pay versions of addons. This would benefit not only the addon authors, but really help the users by making addons sustainable. Thunderbird could also earn a commission as a percentage of those sales. (As a side concept, we could offer free access to addons as a Netflix-like benefit to members of Thundernest, with a corresponding compensation to addon authors from member dues).

5) [Indirect: Certified support partners offering level 3 support].
LibreOffice and their parent TDF have an interesting model, where they certify support providers, requiring them to offer "Level 3" support. What that means is that certified support providers must provide partial funding to a core developer who is capable of fixing the bugs that are critical to their customers. Practically that means that the core foundation is not responsible for fixing core bugs, they expect that from their certified support providers instead. Combining that with the idea that their distribution partners (Redhat and Collabora) provide most feature development, the core foundation is not primarily responsible for moving the code forward! I don't think we can or should go quite that far, but we could incorporate some of their ideas.

Of these methods, 3), 4) and 5) are already partially functioning in a nascent form, we need though to nurture and formalize them to increase
their scale. 1) and 2) are the primary goals of the upcoming MoFo meetings.

As usual, comments are welcome. Even more welcome would be offers to play a major role in developing any of these areas.

Return to Thunderbird General


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest