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This page is for notes from the Thunderbird post-mortem meeting held on Friday, February 29, 2008 at 10am PST. [1]


davida, dmose, bsterne, dveditz, ss, joduinn, nthomas, emry, abillings


General questions to think about:

  • What did we do right? What worked?
  • What did we do wrong? What didn't work?
    • Advisory was later than ideal. bsterne will work on getting these out earlier in the future.
    • Build hand some one-off issues that were resolved during the process. There were some issues with the uk locale which caused locales needing to be re-packed and a second issue was with the "details" link in the update.

Specific questions:

  1. Why, in general, are Thunderbird security releases trailing Firefox security releases (leaving millions of Thunderbird users at risk) by increasingly larger intervals and is anything being done to address that? The problem seems to be getting worse, not better.
    Some data (yanked from the release notes pages for maintenance releases): Fx released 7 Feb., Tb release 26 Feb. (19 days) Fx released 1 Nov., Tb released 14 Nov. (14 days) Fx released 30 July, Tb released 1 Aug. (2 days) Fx released 17 July, Tb released 19 July (2 days) Fx released 30 May, Tb released 14 June (15 days)
    what are the numbers for TB1.5, especially as we got closer to FF2.0 releases Fx released 30 May, Tb released 30 May (0 days) Fx released 23 Feb, Tb released 1 March (6 days) Fx released 19 Dec, Tb released 19 Dec (0 days) Fx released 7 Nov, Tb released 7 Nov (0 days) Fx released 14 Sept, Tb released 14 Sept (0 days) Fx released 27 July, Tb released 27 July (0 days)
    Answer to both this and #2. We're working on this with MoMess. Part of it is "can we start builds as soon as the Firefox beta period?" This would push up releases by a week at the least. We'll also do timestamps for the next release ( to get a better idea for what's taking the time and where we can improve.
  2. Rather than looking back, looking forward: how can we fix it so that Tb can be released simultaneously with Fx, especially when the Fx release involves disclosure of security issues that Tb is vulnerable to? Over time, MoMo staff will be able to help some, but ideally contributors could help as well, and possibly sooner than MoMo staff. It'd be good to come up with a list of specific tasks that people can do to help with the Tb releases. A few things which would be helpful to document:
    Exactly what steps are involved in a branch release
    How many hours of work are involved at each spep
    What specific skills & privs are needed for each step
    Who is willing to coach new folks who are interested in helping out but don't already know what needs doing. It will take more time in the short term, but save time long term.
  3. When writing the Thunderbird announcement, I included a note about Thunderbird 1.5.0.x no longer being supported. Unfortunately, telling these users to upgrade isn't as simple as saying "Check for Updates". We really need to do a major update to create an easier path for those users. Unlike Firefox, we require fully updated users to download a completely new version from our website.
    We need to have a meeting to decide when we can do a major update. Sam will schedule one with release-drivers and schrep, if needed.
  4. no need to wait until 3pm for TB releases. See
    Sam will note this for future releases. By the time I realized it, it was too late in the process to ship earlier.
  5. is "pushing to mirrors" enough to tell "PR notification can start"
    Sam followed up with Melissa and will begin sending notifications to PR when we know what time we're planning on shipping.
  6. how did website updates go?
    Updates went much smoother this time than Firefox20012.
  7. add new release to stats *before* we ship?
    This was added to the general checklist late (i.e., after it was copied to the 20012-specific one) but will get done for the next release.