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Thunderbird Meeting Details :

Remember to use headphones and mute yourself when not talking

Feel free to ask questions in the meeting either by speaking up or by asking them in #maildev on IRC.

Other ways to get in touch with us can be found on our communications page


  • Who's taking minutes? --> jhopkins
  • Minute taking Schedule. Talk to Standard8 for schedule changes/additions.
  • Note: this meeting is for interactive discussion. Feel free to ask questions!

Action Items

Friends of the Tree

Thanks to our Friend of the Tree. When adding someone to this section, please get their T-Shirt size, phone number (needed for shipping!) and send it to that she can send them a shirt!

Thunderbird Development

Feature Work

Test Pilot
Filelink (Big Files)
Instant Messaging

Google Summer of Code Projects

App Tabs for Thunderbird
  • Trung's having network difficulties today, so no voice/video update.
  • Been working on session persistence, so that pinned tabs remain pinned on a session restore.
  • Overview, Blog, bug 761727
Improving GMail Integration
Get ISPDB into Production
'No reply' reminder for Thunderbird

Schedule and Progress

Beta Version

Extension of the week

QA Updates

Marketing Updates

  • working on the new start page.

Build / Release Update

  • Thunderbird 14.0b4 last week, 14.0b5 this week.
  • Building the next ESR this week as well as final TB 14.0. To be released next week.
  • Swapping comm-central win32 builds to be built on win64 build machines. Still a 32-bit build.

Web Update

  • fixed a bug with false positives in the TB14 validator code
  • for whomever cares about Webtrends, we'll be changing our dcsid soon which means that stats will be in the general profile and the specific profile will remain an archive for existing stats.
  • reviewed a validator patch and an ispdb patch
  • started figuring out how to move our pages to bedrock(python back-end)



(If you support Thunderbird or write or translate documentation to help support Thunderbird, please subscribe to the tb-support-crew mailing list and briefly introduce yourself to the list)

  1. Love to hear your feedback and suggestions about the future of support in a Community led Thunderbird (see also Thunderbird/Proposal:_New_Release_and_Governance_Model) . Please start a thread on the tb-support crew mailing list if you are a support contributor OR email rtanglao AT or ping me on irc at :rolandtanglao on #tb-support-crew
  2. 1163 new support topics (1285 one week ago ) - Media:2July-8July2012-GS-TB-1of2-Community_stats_for_Mozilla_Messaging.png ; Media:2July-8July2012-GS-TB-2of2-Community_stats_for_Mozilla_Messaging.png
  3. Thunderbird 13 Support Issues
  4. See this week's Support Appendix for full Get Satisfaction metrics and other support details

Lightning Updates

  • Most Infrastructure Issues have been solved
  • Lightning 1.6 is currently building, 39 locales
  • GSoC Student is doing good work, will get a status update from him tomorrow.
  • Top priorities: Website, in-tree Mozmill tests, javascript ical library

Status Updates

See the Mozilla Status Board for status updates specific to developers.

Roundtable Highlights

NOTE: there are undoubtedly errors/omissions in the discussion notes below. Please clarify with the original speaker if needed.

Current proposal:

  • we are going to maintain two versions of the product after November 12, 2012: ESR and Thunderbird
    • proposal is to base them on gecko 17
  • when there are enough contributions, we might want to consider a release that is off the cycle of the ESR release.


Kent: we get such a different feeling when you look into the reports from the different media. There is a disconnect from the internal and external teams. Can you comment on how you hope to make this transition? Appears Mozilla have not been very successful in building community backing so far.

JB: we have a few months ahead of us to give TB an escape velocity, just like a satellite is given energy to escape gravity. We have to launch TB on a ramp and give it as much speed as possible. We're no sure, frankly, that we are going to succeed in this. We may or may not have a vibrant community ahead of us, but we try as hard as we can. We will continue to update the engine to keep it safe and stable for the next several years. We are creating an environment to accept contributions into the product. It is also the community's responsibility to take ownership to take responsibility for things that are important for him or her. Success in the community absolutely necessary for Thunderbird to continue to survive. It is the best Mozilla is able to do.

Kent: who is going to take the work to update gecko

JB: in the 6-7 areas that are required (support, webdev, qa, backend engineering, release engineering, ...) we are reducing effort but not it is not disappearing.

Kent: concerned about this disconnect that is evident on the mailing lists. Has been there for a long time. When David Ascher came on a long time ago, was surprised to see the negativity. Is that normal or unique to TB? What can we do to get around that?

JH: several years old bugs have been a source of some negativity.

JB: we only talk about late trains and things that don't work. We don't talk about trains that are on time. The reality is this product is used by over 20m users worldwide. If it was so bad, people would not use it. We have a fairly small community.

Josh: the leaked email caused a lot of negative comments. Should Mozilla respond?

JB: there is a good article called "beyond the code" where we have more space to go into where we're going and why. Some new innovations before TB 17 should help erase some of the negativity.

JH: not enough attention given to the team we have that is managing releases out the door and supporting the product. That is huge.

Kent: the support that Mozilla is giving is really appreciated. Without that it would be very hard to maintain this product.

JB: want to set up a wiki page to house the questions and answers to be updated weekly. This living document will outline how we progress to November.

Kent: at some point we have to figure out a way to not be in so control yourselves (Mozilla). If we continue to own the project but aren't supporting it in the long term,

standard8: need discussion on the governance of this product

JB: want to give maximum flexibility to those people who want to contribute. Module owners bringing in community-provided patches based on user experience merit. The only veto that we want to have, because it is _Mozilla_ Thunderbird, nothing goes against our policies or impacts our brand. That is the only level of control we need to have. Other people can join the release driver's team.

standard8: David [Bienvenu] has said he at least wants to finish maildir support, but he's not sure about scheduling yet. Within the rest of the team, we're capable to take on the fixes he's been doing. Not too many concerns there.

Josh: was some kind of communication between TB and B2G people. Future plans?

JB: thought initially that because of the expertise we have on mail, there was a clear path from TB to B2G mail. As it turns out, they have gone to a totally different paradigm. Cannot accept any C-language code. Built from the ground up. Some of the former TB expertise are working on it, but there is no direct correlation.

Kent: could we provide a list of who these community people might be who could be involved.

JB: Mozilla is not in a position to say who is taking on responsibilities. Have had a little people in touch but not many.

wayne: one way to find out whether you have someone who is going to be involved, invite the people who are complaining to do something specific and see if they carry it through. Invite them to be involved in something - sometimes the biggest complainers become the biggest contributors community, [1], too much sympathy, the psychology. The alternative is you don't necessarily have a lot of people coming forward - sometimes you have to invite people. On governance, maybe someone from the community at large be one of the release drivers, be a vested spokesperson. could be a module owner or someone else who's been involved. Without a separate group involved driving the product, there needs to be someone in release drivers.

Kent: in non-profits, even if they only have 2-3 people doing the work, the board of directors could be 20-30 people showing interest. in thunderbird we are in total control.

wayne: someone to show that the community is important.

standard8: up to bienvenu to announce that he is leaving.

JB: how do we improve communication between team members (paid and non-paid). the best answer is let's work together. We want to treat this team of volunteers and paid staff the best way.

Josh: should we have a separate core contributors list?

standard8: Shouldn't need that. mozillians or tb-planning are good ways for people to communicate. If you do have a core contributors list where do you draw the line between core and fringe contributors?

Andreas: a lot of features have been driven by paid staff. might have given the impression that it is just paid staff talking to each other. since the feature will be given over to the community, will hoepfully have more open discussion about new features.

kent: mozilla does volunteer/paid staff better than most organizations, but it's always difficult.

standard8: it's a balance that we've always got to keep working on. would like to think that we're heading in the right direction at least. we've picked up new contributors in the past few months. we just have to keep on working towards it. be accountable to each other.


abourcier, bwinton, fallen, jb, jhopkins, mconley, rolandtanglao, standard8, kent james, andreas nilsson, florian, sancus, wayne, jcranmer, charles