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Goodbye Thunderbird

Making moves

I have been a dedicated Thunderbird user forever -well I started with Eudora- and suffered through the various releases knowing things would get fixed reasonably quickly.

Then along came the threads debacle and the fork to Betterbird.

It seemed to me to be someone didn't like a decisions and took his bat and ball and went home. Having said that, regardless how others in the development community thought about the previous behavior,  he did have a point. He may well not have many social skills (I am afraid I also am unable to suffer those i consider stupid or prima donnas  and am unable to stop myself from being rude to such people)

It seems to me, as a user, that Thunderbird accepted money from Google for the search engine (which you cant delete) and the strings attached sent the development in a new direction.

The whole threads issue could have be solved by just having one extra "view" - Table View" Cards View and one extra "Table View without Threads".

Even a setting at setup to be able to disable threads for new accounts would do.

Instead we have the VERY kludgy way to remove threads and it is so bad it is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY stupid to use.  Some times it removes threads layout from sub folders, but buried deep in the logic (I think its actually  fuzzy logic - well someones view of what fuzzy logic is) it seems to not do subfolders or only one subfolder deep.

So why do I not not just put up with threads? Well try moving lots of emails in thread view. It sometimes works and it sometime it just doesn't do anything but does not give an indication whats happening.

This whole debacle is so like the way Google operates.

So why not go to Betterbird?

I can guarantee that some contributors will find a way to kill the Betterbird fork.  That's what Google would do.

Most are volunteers, but they are also people, some with long memories and childish outlooks on life. If you use the google playbook you would slowly move Thunderbird to not accept fixes from Betterbird, then add code under different license so Betterbird can't adopt it. Far fetched? Just remember you heard it first here.

The moves by the bigger companies have always been to kill opposition by having firstly ensuring web standards (that they control - of course there is no collusion in standards between the big companies is there.. ) and making sure those standards evolve to force out the opposition.

I am a USER. (I can write programs but don't have the time or capacity to contribute on projects)

I have the greatest respect and admiration for open source free software developers, but in software development it is the ENDUSER who, I think, should be driving direction.

Open source developers should have ALL the decision making authority and if they ignore users then they will eventually be developing for themselves and major projects end up being developed for the sake of developers. Users have the ability to influence development direction only in one way. We vote with our feet if suggestions or ground swell (even by only a subset of users) is ignored.

The measure of how successful a project is is how many people use it. Is the user base for Thunderbird growing or shrinking? (well it shrank by 1 today).

I love Firefox, but its decision to accept money from Google to make a default search engine whose results always say to "Try google Chrome" and provide a link (but only for firefox) is the classic example of shooting yourself in the foot and ensuring the eventual demise of Firefox.

Well Thunderbird is on the same path.