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Dear Gerry,

Le jeudi 12 juillet 2012 à 14:07 +0200, Gerry T. a écrit :
Dear all,

on Monday, Mozilla Foundation has decided to reduce development 
resources on the email/PIM programme Thunderbird after version 17 
expected by November this year (please see the links below this email), 
basically to to bug fixes only.

Besides my personal disagreement with the analysis behind that decision 
(underlying assumption of their decision: there is not room for 
innovation in PIM programmes), I assume that Mozilla's decision will 
have severe impact on the uptake of LibreOffice. The often promoted and 
natural combination of office programmes (if not Microsoft Office) is 
LibreOffice/OpenOffice together with Thunderbird/Lightning. Both are 
suitable for companies/organisations/universities and both are 

I am not sure I agree with your thesis. I would point out that in most
organization it's the email / groupware server (Exchange/Lotus) that's
the primary barrier, not the mail client.
If I'm not mistaken Thunderbird or Mozilla do not distribute such
groupware server.

After that decision, the uptake of Thunderbird installations will go 
down in the long run (and even now IT staff will have hard time to 
convince management to migrate to a "dying" - exaggerated of course -  
platform). The result is that LibreOffice misses a competitive PIM 
programme vs. MS Office. This will unevitably reduce LibreOffice uptake. 
In bigger and cross-platform installations, there are no real Open 
Source alternatives to Thunderbird/Lightning. In my opinion, it will 
have quite some negative impact on LibreOffice.

If the Mozilla Foundation, with its resources that are orders of
magnitude larger and more abundant than the Document Foundation, has
decided to reduce its investment in Thunderbird,  I don't think how the
Document Foundation could start to invest in it. 

The main question of my email is whether the Documentfoundation shall 
act and, contact the Mozilla foundation and discuss the severity of 
their decision. Whether they revise their decision or to discuss other 
strategies to reduce development costs, i.e. better involve actors and 
start a real donation challenge like the Documentfoundation did it (and 
there Mozilla has the advantage that the website shown during 
Thunderbird start could be used for such a message).

Such  donation campaign would be Mozilla's exclusive decision. 
But to come back to your suggestion, I think that while the development
or distribution of a mail client alongside LibreOffice might be worth
thinking about *if the appropriate resources* are available, the notion
that the Document Foundation would "take over" the development of
Thunderbird is impractical, and will not become real in any way. 

Best regards,

Charles-H. Schulz
Co-Founder & Director, The Document Foundation,
Zimmerstr. 69, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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