Survey results out! – part 3

Continued from part two..

d) Meek STV voting algorithm ("If you are electing multiple people and simplicity is not important, then we recommend Meek STV. Most people agree that Meek STV is the best variant of STV, but it can only be implemented with a computer program." – from OpenSTV FAQ)

Output from OpenSTV: (precision for this case was increased to three decimal places)

Election: Suggested enhancements to Thunderbird in the form of an extension or otherwise.
Method: Meek STV
Number of Ballots: 688
Threshold Name: Droop Dynamic Fractional
14 candidates running for 9 seats.

Round
Default calendaring support
64-bit support
Groupware server integration
Data synchronization with other devices
Instant messaging
Minimize-to-tray
VOIP
Video conferencing
Offline applications
Search bar improvements
Improved migration of data
Find-as-you-type
Collapse quotes in messages
Others
Exhausted
Surplus
Threshold
1
150
75
78
47
50
32
36
23
42
28
28
29
39
31
0
96.6
68.8
2
69.783
96.905
80.655
56.886
59.8
37.378
41.786
26.9
45.545
30.429
29.806
33.322
43.821
34.984
0
40.943
68.8
3
70.717
69.659
75.272
64.506
65.362
41.008
43.659
29.704
48.248
31.379
31.086
35.437
44.957
37.006
0
9.248
68.8
4
69.17
69.561
69.225
66.327
66.848
41.672
44.2
30.284
48.913
31.498
31.474
35.923
45.218
37.686
0
1.556
68.8
5
68.854
68.906
69.002
66.614
67.062
41.797
44.281
30.387
49.007
31.535
31.522
35.999
45.269
37.763
0
0.363
68.8
6
70.127
71.085
71.759
69.183
67.801
43.03
45.863
      
50.53
33.425
35.812
41.107
46.61
41.668
0
6.953
68.8
7
69.057
69.263
69.481
70.128
68.882
43.597
46.254
      
51.009
33.692
36.142
41.487
46.91
42.099
0
2.811
68.8
8
68.93
69.009
69.06
69.095
69.323
43.906
46.47
      
51.163
33.84
36.295
41.587
47.064
42.26
0
1.416
68.8
9
71.66
72.382
71.312
71.021
71.781
47.959
48.249
      
53.536
      
42.518
43.981
48.855
44.746
0
14.156
68.8
10
69.358
69.838
70.368
70.855
70.575
49.462
49.491
      
54.592
      
43.397
44.783
49.773
45.508
0
6.994
68.8
11
69.124
69.235
69.447
69.652
69.736
50.297
50.178
      
55.141
      
43.87
45.141
50.261
45.918
0
3.194
68.8
12
68.943
69.008
69.095
69.189
69.196
50.684
50.502
      
55.395
      
44.087
45.311
50.488
46.101
0
1.431
68.8
13
68.864
68.892
68.933
68.974
68.981
50.858
50.646
      
55.508
      
44.185
45.387
50.589
46.184
0
0.644
68.8
14
72.404
72.388
73.627
74.026
72.999
57.811
57.667
      
58.18
      
      
47.712
52.572
48.612
0
21.445
68.8
15
69.714
70.455
70.872
71.538
71.803
60.488
59.818
      
59.945
      
      
49.121
54.226
50.018
0
10.383
68.8
16
69.275
69.476
69.762
70.035
70.113
61.916
60.979
      
60.858
      
      
49.816
55.056
50.715
0
4.662
68.8
17
69.009
69.115
69.219
69.344
69.388
62.566
61.503
      
61.268
      
      
50.13
55.429
51.03
0
2.075
68.8
18
68.893
68.939
68.988
69.041
69.059
62.858
61.737
      
61.45
      
      
50.271
55.595
51.17
0
0.92
68.8
19
68.841
68.861
68.883
68.907
68.915
62.988
61.841
      
61.531
      
      
50.333
55.668
51.232
0
0.407
68.8
20
73.12
71.84
72.72
74.861
73.664
65.714
70.717
      
66.629
      
      
      
59.376
59.36
0
24.122
68.8
21
69.824
70.884
71.162
71.534
72
69.456
71.341
      
68.803
      
      
      
61.497
61.5
0
14.603
68.8
22
69.513
69.886
70.155
70.495
70.578
71.119
70.243
      
70.274
      
      
      
62.813
62.923
0
11.863
68.8
23
69.429
69.764
69.849
70.248
70.265
70.344
70.132
      
69.93
      
      
      
64.001
64.038
0
9.561
68.8
24
69.304
69.575
69.662
69.944
69.964
70.092
69.836
      
69.7
      
      
      
64.959
64.963
0
7.677
68.8
25
69.206
69.421
69.487
69.714
69.73
69.825
69.641
      
69.528
      
      
      
65.739
65.709
0
6.152
68.8
26
69.126
69.297
69.35
69.527
69.54
69.621
69.473
      
69.384
      
      
      
66.37
66.313
0
4.918
68.8
27
69.061
69.197
69.238
69.379
69.388
69.454
69.339
      
69.268
      
      
      
66.878
66.798
0
3.924
68.8
28
69.008
69.117
69.149
69.26
69.268
69.321
69.231
      
69.174
      
      
      
67.286
67.188
0
3.127
68.8
29
68.966
69.052
69.078
69.165
69.171
69.214
69.143
      
69.098
      
      
      
67.612
67.5
0
2.488
68.8
30
68.932
69.001
69.021
69.09
69.095
69.129
69.073
      
69.037
      
      
      
67.873
67.749
0
1.978
68.8
31
68.905
68.959
68.975
69.03
69.034
69.062
69.017
      
68.989
      
      
      
68.081
67.947
0
1.572
68.8
32
68.884
68.927
68.939
68.983
68.986
69.008
68.973
      
68.95
      
      
      
68.247
68.105
0
1.248
68.8
33
68.866
68.9
68.91
68.945
68.947
68.965
68.937
      
68.919
      
      
      
68.379
68.231
0
0.99
68.8
34
68.853
68.88
68.888
68.915
68.917
68.931
68.909
      
68.895
      
      
      
68.484
68.331
0
0.786
68.8
35
68.842
68.863
68.869
68.891
68.892
68.904
68.886
      
68.875
      
      
      
68.567
68.41
0
0.623
68.8
36
68.833
68.85
68.855
68.872
68.873
68.882
68.869
      
68.86
      
      
      
68.633
68.473
0
0.494
68.8
37
68.826
68.84
68.844
68.857
68.858
68.865
68.854
      
68.847
      
      
      
68.686
68.523
0
0.391
68.8
38
68.821
68.831
68.835
68.845
68.846
68.852
68.843
      
68.837
      
      
      
68.727
68.562
0
0.31
68.8
39
68.817
68.825
68.827
68.836
68.836
68.841
68.834
      
68.83
      
      
      
68.76
68.594
0
0.246
68.8
40
68.813
68.82
68.822
68.828
68.829
68.832
68.827
      
68.824
      
      
      
68.786
68.619
0
0.195
68.8
41
68.81
68.816
68.817
68.823
68.823
68.826
68.821
      
68.819
      
      
      
68.807
68.639
0
0.161
68.8

Round 1: Count of first place rankings.
Candidate Default calendaring support is elected.
Candidate 64-bit support is elected.
Candidate Groupware server integration is elected.
Rounds 2 to 6: Transferring surplus votes. (shortened multiple lines of output)
Eliminating candidate Video conferencing.
Candidate Data synchronization with other devices is elected.
Round 7: Transferring surplus votes.
Candidate Instant messaging is elected.
Round 8: Transferring surplus votes.
Round 9: Transferring surplus votes.
Eliminating candidate Search bar improvements.
Rounds 10 to 14: Transferring surplus votes. (shortened multiple lines of output)
Eliminating candidate Improved migration of data.
Rounds 15 to 20: Transferring surplus votes. (shortened multiple lines of output)
Eliminating candidate Find-as-you-type.
Candidate VOIP is elected.
Round 21: Transferring surplus votes.
Candidate Minimize-to-tray is elected.
Candidate Offline applications is elected.
Rounds 22 to 41: Transferring surplus votes. (shortened multiple lines of output)
Candidate Collapse quotes in messages is elected.

Winners are Default calendaring support, 64-bit support, Groupware server integration, Data synchronization with other devices, Instant messaging, Minimize-to-tray, VOIP, Offline applications, Collapse quotes in messages.

 

Basing on average scores in the raw reports, here are some ideas for new Thunderbird enhancements, be they extensions or incorporated into the application. Top is default calendaring support, which is already in the form of the extension Lightning, but as yet does not come default with official Thunderbird builds. Aside from that, data synchronization with other devices is also much wanted, followed by search bar improvements (similar to GmailUI). Find-as-you-type (Nostalgy) and collapsing of quotes (Quote Collapse) currently exist as extensions. A notable 44 (6%) respondents regarded "Others" as their top choice; there are other enhancements that they feel are more important but which are not listed here as well.

Edit: Did up using the voting algorithms to list the top 5, instead of using average scores. (For Meek STV, which is known for its accuracy, the top 9 were obtained instead.) This time, the order is different – see the order listed for Meek STV, but nonetheless default calendaring support (Lightning extension) is still the top requested enhancement, no matter which algorithm was used. For some reason, 64-bit support came in second, while groupware integration and data synchronization with other devices came in after that.

Question 7: Do you use the Mac version?

Q7
Question 7 results (click for larger image)
 
Number
Percentage
No
560
81%
Yes
129
19%
Total
689
100%

Note: Here, there are 689 responses as tracked by SurveyGizmo; someone must have started the survey at this point.

About a fifth of respondents have used the Mac version before. (This question was not phrased very well. On hindsight, it should have asked for the usage of all the operating systems that Thunderbird supports, instead of being Mac-specific.)

Question 8: If yes, rank suggested Mac-specific functionalities. (Note: Mac OS X Address Book integration and support for tabbed messages have already made it to Thunderbird trunk.)

Q8
Question 8 results (click for larger image)
  Less important Important More important
Total
Ability to search Tbird mail in Spotlight
18% (27)
28% (41)
54% (81)
149
Keychain support to store passwords
22% (33)
27% (40)
51% (76)
149
Mail alerts
27% (40)
45% (66)
28% (42)
148
Others
68% (73)
20% (21)
12% (13)
107

The ability to search Thunderbird mail in Spotlight as well as Keychain support are regarded as being more important than mail alerts. Again, there is this hint of more functionalities being requested instead of other factors.

Question 9: The following lists some ways that Thunderbird could make use of to increase the number of users. Please tick those that apply.

Q9
Question 9 results (click for larger image)
 
Number
Percentage
More features
371
54%
Better enterprise / consumer level support
327
47%
Improved marketing
289
42%
Involve the community (keep people updated on progress, regular bug days etc.)
289
42%
Improve developer / end-user level documentation
222
32%
Thunderbird for mobile devices
212
31%
Hire many developers
209
30%
Others
84
12%

More than half of the respondents feel that Thunderbird needs more features to attract more users. Next comes improved support for enterprises / end-users, and the marketing and community involvement could also help to increase the number of users. Improvements to documentation, a mobile Thunderbird and the hiring of many developers are statistically tied at the rear of the pack.

Question 10: Please add other relevant comments / options here, if any. (Optional)

An exhaustive list of ideas in no particular order, which include: (some that duplicate the options in some of the previous questions have been removed to avoid replication)

  • Many suggestions regarding Calendaring, e.g. free / busy scheduling, task lists, invitations etc.
  • Slideshow (like Mail.app in Mac OS X)
  • Group mails by relevance
  • Improved tagging
  • Improved user interface / unclutter the current UI / overhaul of the many menus Thunderbird currently has
  • Add progress dialog
  • Increased webmail integration
  • Encryption of mail storage
  • Easy creation of one-click installation of Thunderbird and extensions for deployment in enterprises
  • Improved address book features / search in address book
  • Replicate the functionality of Outlook & Exchange
  • Easier installation of extensions
  • Compare with Mail.app; it’s always about keeping ahead of the competition
  • Roaming profile support
  • Mail re-direction feature
  • Cut down on memory and CPU use
  • Date recognition in Thunderbird -> insert in Lightning straight away
  • Co-operate with web programs e.g. social networking sites, webmail, google calendar, instant messengers etc.
  • Improved integration with Linux, e.g. KDE, Gnome / Tango icons
  • Use tags to group address book entries
  • Improve IMAP functionality, i.e. do not download headers for all folders
  • "Trainable" spam filter with whitelists
  • Improved newsgroup support
  • OpenOffice integration
  • Improved profile backup and management
  • Better nested email view
  • Better threaded views
  • Simplify font settings
  • Dynamic front page
  • Change display of headers / customize date format
  • Improved filtering system
  • Improve followup and business features
  • More predictability
  • Improved MSI installer support
  • Full vCard support in address book
  • Create automated test frameworks
  • Switch to mozStorage (aka SQLite) for emails and address book entries; mork is obsolete!
  • Message templates
  • Archive emails & secure them
  • Integrate filters with saved searches
  • Make it easier to create Thunderbird extensions (similar to FUEL for Firefox?)
  • … and many many more (I’ve only looked through 4 out of 27 pages, that’s 15%, feel free to look through the rest) …

Anything you feel that could have been done better in this survey?

Ideally, the sample size should be greater than 689, but that was the best I could garner via The Rumbling Edge in three weeks.

Question 3, about the places the respondents go to for support, should have other options such as no support needed and search engines. I should have restructured question 7 (do you use the Mac version?) to reflect on the different operating systems that people make use of, instead of being Mac-only. Oh well, I haven’t used Thunderbird long enough on the others to come up with suitable options for them.

There should also be localizations, and a better theme etc., but all these are beyond my personal ability, and the entire survey questions were my brainchild, so this had to make do while I juggled between Thunderbird-related activities, my studies and ice skating =) .

I want to praise / discuss / criticise this. Where should I comment such that you will read my opinions?

Please feel free to comment below. If it is closed, please head to the respective forum threads at Mozilla Labs or MozillaZine.

Will you do up another survey again?

The Mozilla Community Surveys Project was started not too long ago. They have mentioned that Thunderbird-themed surveys will most likely come your way, with better tracking, details, analysis etc. Thus, this may be the first and probably the only one done up in private capacity.

I want to make use of the results in this survey. May I do so?

Sure, please notify and attribute to me, Gary Kwong, if in print, or a live link to The Rumbling Edge or this post will do. (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, see sidebar)

Who are you?

I am currently a university freshman who should be studying for his examinations at the time of writing, and who loves to travel around the world and meet all kinds of people. Long-time Thunderbird contributor too, though working on Thunderbird doesn’t fulfill any of my module requirements. (What’s the use of studying bubble sort when it’s so comparatively inefficient in practice?)

I don’t want to read everything above! Can you please summarize?

(Please do not take the results as a gauge of the sentiment of the entire Thunderbird community)

MozillaZine is a popular location for users to head to for Thunderbird information, as well as Planet Mozilla for development news.

Thunderbird 2 is already a great product lauded for its stability and adherence to open standards, but with lots of room for improvement and / or innovation. It could do with more features and functionality, especially improved global search across all accounts and default calendaring support (Lightning). Finally, more could be done about the level of official support, marketing and community involvement of Thunderbird in order to increase its userbase.