Thunderbird:Thunderbird Post 3.1 Plan

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Update! Mark Banner recently posted an update to these plans on the tb-planning mailing list.

Because Thunderbird is based on Gecko, we can't commit to the safety of our users for Thunderbird versions built on unsupported versions of Gecko. We believe that staying safe on the Internet requires keeping your desktop software up to date. As a result:

  • We'll continue to do frequent major Thunderbird releases, with at least one per major Gecko release, which are driven by the evolving Firefox planning process.
  • We expect our next major release to be based on Gecko 1.9.2.
  • Thunderbird users should expect to upgrade more frequently than they may have in the past. We will endeavor to make such upgrades as painless as possible, while still continuing to evolve the product.

We realize that not all users upgrade as soon as a major update is possible, and so we will maintain security releases on at most one older branch for as long as we can efficiently do so. We will take into account, among other factors, the number of users still using that version, add-on compatibility issues, and the specific known relevant security threats.

We will continue to pursue a more nimble development strategy, particularly in the sense that we don't expect the user-visible feature work to be heavily planned and roadmapped. We'd like to see core developers continue to focus their efforts on:

  • improving Thunderbird as a platform for add-on developers (specifically to support our ongoing strategy of doing new feature work in add-ons first, and landing in the core later)
  • taking advantage of key new Gecko platform capabilities when appropriate