Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology

12Jul/120

Random thoughts on Thunderbird’s current state

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Well, like the Mozilla Suite before it, Thunderbird seems to have been given the Boot by MSF. This is hardly surprising for a group which single-handedly (single-mindedly?) decided that "nobody wants an internet suite anymore; people only want separate web browsers and email clients." Right...

In all fairness, I think SeaMonkey has probably done better as a "project" at Mozilla than as a "product" thereof. Hopefully, Thunderbird will similarly find its place. I do think that it is something of an oxymoron, however, for an open source application to be put on "life support." That's kind of like telling me that I may not create and complete my own crossword puzzles, simply because the local newspaper has decided that they will not be making any new ones. It's open source. the code is freely available and may be modified in any way. It seems to me that a worst case scenario would be that like LibreOffice forked of of OpenOffice, the entire lot of it could be relocated to someone else's repository, the name could be changed (I always thought that "Thunderbird" was rather dumb for an email app, anyway, but as I use SeaMonkey, I couldn't really point the finger of criticism in that direction), and a new mail client could be created (hopefully addressing the tons of long-standing bugs and oft-mentioned shortcomings of the current incarnation).

All of this, of course, ties in directly with what I've already mentioned about the insanity of this quick release cycle (yet another bone-headed stunt by an organization for which at one time, I had high hopes and held in great regard).

As is always the case with open source projects, the community will have to take up the mantle and do what needs to be done, that's all.

Related (historical) links:

Mozilla Application Suite - Transition Plan
Mozilla Development Roadmap - April, 2003
Mozilla's New Focus on Thunderbird and Internet Communications

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