zz – Others (pre-2008)

Survey on Intellectual Property

I’ve been busy on a college project involving intellectual property, peer-to-peer technologies and piracy. I would appreciate it if readers could spend around 10 minutes completing this 26 question survey. (and observe how long it would take to collate the maximum of 250 responses for this free survey tool, SurveyGizmo.)

Link to the survey (will open in a new window)

Note: There is a bit of a Singaporean focus here for this group project though.

Thanks to all who participate(d)!

Edit 1: Some 24 hours later, more than a hundred have responded…

Edit 2: See the progress here, along with some preliminary results.

Edit 3: The survey has been closed. Thank you all who have responded!

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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Revamping The Rumbling Edge

The Rumbling Edge is getting past three years old, and >625k visits, and its layout then was quickly hacked up and ported over from The Burning Edge back then (Thanks Jesse).

I am looking to revamp the site and would like to have some ideas on what to add / delete / reorganise in order to continue to fulfill its mission on reporting on weekly Thunderbird news. Some ideas I have in mind are:

  • Removal of adverts: Ads are a big pain in the eyes of the most of the readers, and I am supportive of removing most of them. Due to an improving financial situation on my side I am able to compromise by having just one ad banner (the one that is currently at the top of each individual blog post), removing the side ad blocks and the ones below the first blog posts. I am sure this will be very much welcomed over the existing situation.
  • Improve the readability of the posts: I feel this is necessary, and would invite any help that anyone can offer to refine my style-site.css , changing the fonts and font sizes etc.
  • Sort out the sidebar: Some links may no longer be relevant, while some links that should be present are not in. Please offer your suggestions.
  • Add automated updates: Some RSS sections to latest mozilla news would be suitable as well.
  • Any other ideas.

The final design should be similar to the existing layout and colour scheme and continue to be HTML 4 Transitional compliant within the existing Movabletype 3 infrastructure. I will post with credits to all who have significantly helped out after the redesign has occurred.

I would not be able to do this alone. Thus, I welcome anybody who has experience in CSS / web design / any other relevant skills and who can help redesign the site. I welcome all suggestions to make this become a better portal for weekly Thunderbird build news, in preparation for the upcoming MailCo taking over Thunderbird development.

Please feel free to post your comments below or email me (see the sidebar) for anything regarding The Rumbling Edge.

Edit: Removed lots of ads. Hopefully this makes the entire interface cleaner for a start.

Edit 2: Some CSS changes, default font increased, please let me know if it’s too big. Reduced the default number of entries from 7 to 5. Bits of layout changes. Side and top links tidied. Firefox 2 image at sidebar removed.

Edit 3: Some links removed or incorporated into posts to prevent me from rebuilding site templates every time a new version is released. Reverted old search function (yes the old template sucks but taking Google search away feels better) Removed more redundant HTML code. Moved categorical archives section up the sidebar. Renamed some old categories. Ensured all posts are now compliant (previous problems mostly involved the & instead of & symbol) Pulled donation button from sidebar.

Edit 4: Removed some links in individual template, reorganized the Archives by Category in the sidebar, may create new categories to accommodate future product updates.

Edit 5: Many thanks to a reader who wished to remain anonymous. I have implemented some of his recommendations. The order of the links on the left have been suggested by him.

Edit 6: Tweaked the size of the search box on the sidebar. Decided against setting a colour for the titles of each post, it makes the whole site too “colourful”. Changed some minor issues with the sidebar.

Edit 7: Changed email address to one that I check more often. Now requires a reCAPTCHA to be solved. Added a “filed under” category name for each post.

Edit for a finalized look: Increased number of posts on front page to 10. Removed obsolete links in sidebar and repaired other ones. Restored search results template to default one for MT 3.3. Added Google Analytics.

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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Scott MacGregor leaves Mozilla

One of the Thunderbird lead developers, Scott MacGregor, will leave Mozilla Corporation on Friday 12 October 2007, but will continue on as a volunteer with his "role as a module owner for the Thunderbird project."

The Rumbling Edge would like to thank him for all the help that he has given since its establishment more than three years ago, as well as to the Thunderbird project, and wish him success in his future endeavors.

Please leave your comments over on his blog.

Edit: David Bienvenu, the other full-time developer, leaves as well.

More by:

  1. Slashdot
  2. PC Pro.
  3. Mitchell Baker part one, part two
  4. David Ascher – Open letter to the Thunderbird community
  5. Jonathan Pritchard
  6. Tristan Nitot
  7. Robert Accettura
  8. CNET News.com
  9. CyberNet
  10. Wired blog network
  11. Ars Technica
  12. Technology Guardian
  13. Betanews
  14. ComputerWorld

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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Tabs in Thunderbird – Status Update #3

Following my "Tabs in Thunderbird – Status Update #2" post back in end-June 07, it is to be noted that the tab functionality enabled then was for the trunk builds.

The good news for users of branch builds such as the latest Thunderbird is that Myk Melez has just ported over his tab functionality patch over from the 1.5 builds to 2.0 builds. Builds for Windows, Linux & Mac OS X are available over @ his blog.

Myk adds that "To open a message in a tab, context-click it and select ‘Open message in new tab’ from the context menu. To make this the default behavior when opening messages, set Preferences > Advanced > General > ‘Open new messages in’ to ‘A new message tab’."

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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Thunderbird gets new Corporation

First news trickles out 17 September 2007 8pm PDT, (18 Sep 3am GMT)

Latest off the press is that Thunderbird has undergone a vast overhaul of its internal structure, getting "Dr. David Ascher, currently CTO and VP Engineering of ActiveState", to establish a new company focused on mail.

Mitchell Baker adds that "The goals for the new company are:

  • Take care of Thunderbird users
  • Move Thunderbird forward to provide better, deeper email solutions
  • Create a better user experience for a range of Internet communications
  • Spark the types of community involvement and innovation that we’ve seen around web "browsing" and Firefox. "


Official Mozilla Press Release

Wired news


Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Blog (Cross-posted)

David Ascher

Asa Dotzler

Al Billings

Air Mozilla blog on Mitchell & David live @ 19 Sep 07

Tech sites:

  1. Slashdot
  2. Ars Technica
  3. News.com
  4. PCWorld
  5. Wired
  6. ZDNet
  7. Computerworld
  8. Mobility Site
  9. Read/Write Web
  10. GigaOM
  11. IT News Online
  12. Tech Shout
  13. ZDNet AU
  14. boingboing
  15. heise online
  16. vnunet
  17. TrustedReviews
  18. PC Pro
  19. Platinax

Search Google News

Please head to this mozillaZine thread for discussion. The thread has already been stickied.

Edit: More sites added. It’s been slashdotted as well.

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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I will be busy with uni stuff this week. Updates will resume next week. Thanks for all your understanding!

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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Thunderbird Future

OK, I guess it’s time for me to break my silence and offer my humble opinion on what’s going on:

Firstly, I looked over Mitchell’s (over 100 comments!), Scott’s, Asa’s and even the usual mozillaZine forums. I’m not in a position to say how Mozilla operates as I don’t fully understand their structure, and that’s not the main aim here.

Basically from what I gather is that Thunderbird requires a new focus, whether within Mozilla, or outside of it. And Scott and David are still going to be full-time lead developers of Thunderbird “tomorrow, the day after, and into the foreseeable future“, as Asa goes. So, be rest assured, Thunderbird is not going to be abandoned any time soon.

My personal opinion is that I don’t really care about the organisational structure of Thunderbird, I just want to see development progress. There’s no point in having an optimum organisation but yet nothing gets done. Yes, the way the developers communicate with each other, discuss the priorities, or even criticise each other’s work is important, and that’s true for every office or workplace out there in the world today. However, ultimately what end-users care about is the final product, no matter whether they are home users or corporations.

If something has to be done about the structure, please go ahead and do so, and do so quickly before development is slowed in one way or another. Eventually, it should not have a negative impact on the development of Thunderbird. We should not be in a position where progress is stalled for a long extended period of time because some restructuring is halting everything up.

There are many users who acknowledge the hard work that the full-time developers, Scott and David, put in, as well as many volunteers around the world. I personally have exchanged correspondence with Scott, both regarding The Rumbling Edge as well as Thunderbird matters, and I can say that he (as well as David) is definitely one devoted to the Thunderbird cause.

Yes, Thunderbird’s impact on the web today is considerably less than Firefox, but we should not let that affect us. No matter whether it remains under the main Mozilla umbrella or not, I’m sure there will be people willing to pick up the slack. I personally would like to do so, but besides my changelogs, weekly posts and the occasional bug report, I have been technically unable to provide anything else until I complete the computing course that I will be starting soon (and ending four years later). Honestly, I have learnt many things by starting early, from writing documentation for software to using Bugzilla to query database. It will be an interesting educational experience for all aspiring computer programmers (or engineers or whatsoever).

I am confident that the Thunderbird community will step up and prove its worth in these difficult times. It is true that it will be no match for the might of the “Firefox empire”, but being small doesn’t mean that nothing will get done. If there’s something within my capability to help Thunderbird through, I’ll definitely “throw my hat in the ring”. This community has taught me enough for me to contribute back to itself. And just like the many volunteers who don’t want to see Thunderbird die, I will do my very best to see it through.

Gary Kwong

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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50 million downloads mark reached

The number of Thunderbird downloads has exceeded 50 million, since the release of 1.0 back in December 2004.

According to Asbjørn Sloth Tønnesen, this mark was reached on 12 July 2007, which means that Thunderbird took just over 2.5 years to get to this mark, and just under 6 months from 40 million.

zz - Others (pre-2008)

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