SeaMonkey and Thunderbird developers may join forces to ensure continued development after Mozilla cuts the ties to the projects (Firefox Exit, FirExit)
Mozilla announced back in December 2015 that it wants to cut the tie to Thunderbird completely. Mozilla's core reason for doing so at the time was that Firefox developers were held back because they had to make sure that nothing would be introduced during development of the browser that would render the email client Thunderbird inoperable.
Thunderbird developers on the other hand had to update the email program more frequently ever since Mozilla switched to the rapid release cycle, and spent most of the resources on that, and only what remained on bug fixes and light feature enhancements.
In short, cutting the ties would certainly be disruptive to Thunderbird and its development, but it would be beneficial to Mozilla and the Thunderbird team in the long run.
Mozilla stated back then that it would support the Thunderbird team financially, with resources required for the separation, and with legal advice.
A recent status meeting of the SeaMonkey team suggests that Thunderbird could join forces with SeaMonkey when it comes to that move.
SeaMonkey, another project that depends highly on Mozilla's infrastructure and code, faces similar issues.
You find the following information under planning:
- Rkent - Thunderbird leader - would like SeaMonkey to join Thunderbird in this move. This might fix our problem with lack of builders and our PERMA-CLOSED trees due to this lack.
- SeaMonkey Council is looking into setting up a separate add-ons site for SeaMonkey extensions. Check to see what Thunderbirds plan is. We might be able to share costs by sharing on add-ons site for both or even all three comm-central applications (Instantbird].
It could mean that both teams join forces when it comes to creating the infrastructure needed to maintain, build and offer SeaMonkey and Thunderbird. Also, the same could become true for add-ons as Thunderbird and SeaMonkey might join forces there as well (plus Instabird).
The last information from the Thunderbird team about the split dates back to October 2016. Back then, prospective new homes were still evaluated.
The idea to join forces makes sense on many levels, not only financially as the development teams would share costs of the required infrastructure, but also legally and maybe also when it comes to support and development as well.