Since December, Simon has been working on a report describing the options the leaders of the Thunderbird mail client community have for hosting their project now that Mozilla is ready to take the last steps of separation they have long trailed. The report was published today and is now being considered by the Thunderbird community. While it considers a number of potential destinations, it recommends a choice between the Software Freedom Conservancy, The Document Foundation and a new, arms-length status at the Mozilla Foundation.Mozilla is being very careful and circumspect about this process. Thunderbird is an essential part of the open Internet, has a long legacy and a huge user base, and deserves respectful and thoughtful handling. Mozilla has delivered on that need; as well as retaining Simon to survey new homes, Mozilla is also looking for a seasoned software architect to recommend a technical path forward for Thunderbird.
The process still has some way to go, but there’s no doubt Mozilla is taking the greatest care to give Thunderbird the new home it deserves. It’s the exact opposite of the way proprietary corporations act in similar circumstances and an exemplar of what the open source way means in practice.