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Change of release and governance model for Thunderbird

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  1. Hello Mozillians:
  2.  
  3. On Monday Mitchell Baker will be posting on the future of Thunderbird.
  4. We'd like you to be aware of it before it goes public.  However, this
  5. is *confidential* until the post is pushed live Monday afternoon PDT.
  6. Please don't tweet, blog or discuss on public mailing lists before
  7. then.
  8.  
  9. In summary, we've been focusing efforts towards important web and
  10. mobile projects, such as B2G, while Thunderbird remains a pure
  11. desktop-only email client. We have come to the conclusion that
  12. continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our
  13. resources given our ambitious organizational goals.  The most critical
  14. needs for the product are on-going security and stability for our 20+
  15. millions users.
  16.  
  17. However, Thunderbird is one of the very few truly free and open source
  18. multi-platform email applications available today and we want to
  19. defend these values.  We're not "stopping" Thunderbird, but proposing
  20. we adapt the Thunderbird release and governance model in a way that
  21. allows both ongoing security and stability maintenance, as well as
  22. community-driven innovation and development for the product. This will
  23. mean an eventual shift in how we staff Thunderbird at Mozilla
  24. Corporation - we are still working out details, but some people will
  25. likely end up on other Mozilla projects.
  26.  
  27. We are going to open this plan for public discussion to individuals
  28. and organizations interested in maintaining and advancing Thunderbird
  29. in the future on Monday. We are looking for your feedback, comments
  30. and suggestions to refine and adapt the plan in the best possible way
  31. throughout the summer so we can share a final plan of action in early
  32. September 2012.
  33.  
  34. If you have any questions prior to Monday please reach out to me
  35. [jb@mozilla.com] or Mitchell [mitchell@mozilla.org].  Again, this
  36. information is for Mozillians-only until Mitchell's post goes live.
  37.  
  38. Regards,
  39.  
  40. Jb Piacintino
  41. Thunderbird Managing Director
  42.  
  43.  
  44. Additional information:
  45.  
  46.     New release and governance model for Thunderbird will be available
  47.     here concurrently to Mitchell's post:
  48.     https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Proposal:_New_Release_and_Governance_Model
  49.  
  50.         Info on Modules and Thunderbird owners:
  51.         https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules
  52.  
  53.  
  54.         You're receiving this email because you're a registered
  55.         Mozillian. We'll send you timely and occasional organizational
  56.         news and updates - meant just for Mozillians. If you do not
  57.         wish to receive these updates, please unsubscribe here. Read
  58.         the Mozilla Privacy Policy.
  59.  
  60.         Mozilla
  61.         650 Castro Street, Suite 300
  62.         Mountain View, CA 94041-2021
  63.         (650)903-0800
  64.  
  65. ##################### A Comment From the Paster ######################
  66.  
  67. Oh, you'd like to repudiate the headline?  Not necessarily because it's
  68. inaccurate, but because, well... it just hasn't been massaged into the
  69. right form, has it?
  70.  
  71. This:
  72.     We're not "stopping" Thunderbird, but proposing we adapt the
  73.     Thunderbird release and governance model in a way that allows both
  74.     ongoing security and stability maintenance, as well as
  75.     community-driven innovation and development for the product. This
  76.     will mean an eventual shift in how we staff Thunderbird at Mozilla
  77.     Corporation - we are still working out details, but some people
  78.     will likely end up on other Mozilla projects.
  79.  
  80. Means this:
  81.     The Thunderbird team at the Mozilla Corporation (the one absorbed
  82.     from Mozilla Messaging) will be essentially dissolved.  A few will
  83.     be allowed to continue development as their primary "assignment",
  84.     in a token gesture.  Others *will* continue to work on
  85.     Thunderbird, of course, but it will be in their free time.  In
  86.     that sense, they could just as well be spending their time
  87.     analyzing the history of East Asian pottery glazing techniques,
  88.     but with this, we'll be able to point to them and say "Look!
  89.     See?  They're-- C'mon, they're still there.  See?"
  90.  
  91.     This will happen in a half-sincere* hope that a "community-driven"
  92.     model will come up and take over, leaving unpaid volunteers and
  93.     contemporary open source companies to fill the gaps.
  94.  
  95.     (*) Whether or not this is successful is not really much a
  96.     concern.
  97.  
  98. And a more broadly focused post script that won't necessarily make
  99. sense to those outside Mozilla (or even a good chunk of those within):
  100.  
  101. The fact that this message was marked "confidential" is part of a
  102. deeply, deeply troubling trend.  The biggest irony?  Uninitiated
  103. employees--those being discussed in .governance right now, and who
  104. feel that there's actually quite a lot at Mozilla that shouldn't
  105. happen in the public--will point to this incident to try to make their
  106. point, in a tremendous display of Not Fucking Getting It.
  107.  
  108. Let's rewind a year or three, MoCo.