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Now 91.1.0: Current shipping Thunderbird: 78.13.0 or 91.0.2?

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DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 25th, 2021, 12:21 pm

Hi,

I've been using Thunderbird for a long long time now. I am currently on version 78.13.0, and have upgraded many times along the way.

I was just on a different PC, and went to google and looked up "download Thunderbird". This brought me to https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/download/ and the version it wanted to download is 91.0.2.

So, is this now the currently shipping version of Thunderbird? If so, how come it does not update mine or others?

Thank you.
Last edited by DN123ABC on September 10th, 2021, 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 25th, 2021, 1:57 pm

The project has a habit of making a new major version only available as a setup program on thunderbird.net for a couple of weeks before they make it available as a automated update. The idea is to get feedback and an opportunity to fix more bugs via minor updates before 25 million users use it. However its misleading as new users assume its a release build.

I assume this is a side effect of getting rid of the earlybird channel (now there is just release, beta, and daily channels).

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Post Posted August 26th, 2021, 3:07 am

Moving this to Thunderbird General...
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DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 26th, 2021, 8:22 am

It is now 91.0.3 as the current shipping released version.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 26th, 2021, 9:48 am

Its not really a "release" build until its enabled for auto-update despite app.update.channel being set to release in the settings.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 26th, 2021, 12:09 pm

It is the only one they post on their download website for the general public to get. How could it be ANYTHING BUT a released version?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 26th, 2021, 1:39 pm

Because they're not accountable to users. Perhaps if the Thunderbird Council had decided on a different fiscal/legal home a couple of years ago than negotiating a new deal with Mozilla we wouldn't be having this conversation because they'd be influenced by the culture of whatever home they chose.

Even when a major release is made available via auto-update they frequently enable that only for a percentage of the users, monitor the status, and if all goes well a couple of days later enable auto-update for more users.

FYI Every setup program (old, current, built but not released yet) is available from http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/ . You can get candidates for release versions there too that state they're a release version. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Go_back_to_an ... hunderbird explains the layout of the directory tree.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 30th, 2021, 7:39 am

That link you gave refers to versions From 3.x to 2.0.0.24.

It looks SO out of date, I doubt anyone ever even reads it. I surely didn't and won't. Seems like a waste of time.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 30th, 2021, 4:14 pm

Suit yourself. You're complaining about a section I didn't expect you to read. The "Go back to a recent release" section (uses version 45.8.0 as an example) is pretty up-todate.

The pre-amble needs work to deal with the changes to profile.ini in version 78. I have a updated copy of the KB article on a different wiki that I'm not ready to make public yet.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2021, 12:26 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Suit yourself. You're complaining about a section I didn't expect you to read. The "Go back to a recent release" section (uses version 45.8.0 as an example) is pretty up-to date.

The pre-amble needs work to deal with the changes to profile.ini in version 78. I have a updated copy of the KB article on a different wiki that I'm not ready to make public yet.


Why would you post it, if you did not expect me to read it?

That is the old version, and it needs work? Then that should not be posted either.

Version 45.8.0 is "pretty up to date"?

LOL! :roll: ](*,) :) :) :)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 2nd, 2021, 1:35 pm

I expected you to read the "Go back to a recent release" section not the "From 3.x to 2.0.0.24" section. Most of the value of the KB article anyways is mentioning where old setup programs are stored and explaining the layout of http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/ , which hasn't changed.

I didn't say version 45.8.0 is pretty up to date, I said the section that used it as an example was pretty up to date. Version 68 introduced some complications due to tying a profile to a specific Thunderbird instance in profiles.ini. This can result in Thunderbird claiming you are using a incompatible version with that profile if you move a profile. See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/de ... stallation . If you had asked I would have explained how to workaround that problem.

The KB wiki has been frozen for almost 2 years due to the administrator locking it and suddenly disappearing. We're working on a long term solution for that but I see no reason not to point somebody to an existing (though frozen and needing updating) KB article if it still has useful information. SUMO (official support site run by Mozilla) also has problems keeping their KB articles uptodate, though for a different reason.

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Post Posted September 2nd, 2021, 9:24 pm

tanstaafl wrote:The project has a habit of making a new major version only available as a setup program on thunderbird.net for a couple of weeks before they make it available as a automated update. The idea is to get feedback and an opportunity to fix more bugs via minor updates before 25 million users use it. However its misleading as new users assume its a release build.

You are correct up to the last sentence. There is nothing misleading - what is on the website as 91.0.x is absolutely a release build.

We could dig into details about why it is done this way and debate about whether it is good or not, but in the end someone still has to be first. Existing users who chose to do so had their opportunity at the new release during the beta period. But on average I think most users would say they don't want to be first. And so it is not initially provided as an update and instead offered on the website as the best approximation of getting it into the hands of only those who want to be first.

Already, just three weeks after release, 4.3% of users or roughly 200,000 are using version 91. Not shabby numbers. https://stats.thunderbird.net/#version

And providing the new release via the website, in many cases to new users, has the advantage, we hope, that they tend to not be using add-ons. Versus existing users who are more likely to be relying on add-ons, which we know in the initial release period many authors have not yet provided a compatible update. From that perspective, "new users" are good candidates.

tanstaafl wrote:I assume this is a side effect of getting rid of the earlybird channel (now there is just release, beta, and daily channels).

No, it has nothing to do with the earlybird/aurora channel.

We are actually better off without earlybird. The short explanation is:
* for thunderbird, earlybird did not significantly increase product quality because it did not have sufficient numbers of users - in 2015 shortly before the channel was removed it had 1,500 ADI, which was only slightly more than than the number of daily channel users
* earlybird's main role was to provide "string stable" code for localizers to do their language work - and with some retooling that activity moved to the beta channel
* earlybird added a full cycle to the product pipeline, and therefore slowed the delivery of fixes and features to users by the length cycle (a frustration for both developers and users) - by removing the cycle the delivery time to users improved by four weeks

Further, since 2015 the number of beta users has doubled (40k-50k users depending on time of year), and nightly has over 6,000 users, up from 1,000 in 2015. This, plus other factors has resulted in better release quality today, on average, without earlybird, compared to 2015 with earlybird.
Last edited by wsmwk on September 3rd, 2021, 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 3rd, 2021, 5:15 am

wsmwk wrote:And providing the new release via the website, in many cases to new users, has the advantage, we hope, that they tend to not be using add-ons. Versus existing users who are more likely to be relying on add-ons, which we know in the initial release period many authors have not yet provided a compatible update. From that perspective, "new users" are good candidates.

I fully understand why the project wants to do it. I agree that it helps improve the quality by providing more testing/feedback, which is badly needed. It doesn't change the fact its deliberately misleading. You're deliberately using new users as guinea pigs since they thought they were getting a production quality build, not becoming part of a defacto field test. You're doing the same thing with some existing users, who don't understand what is going on. That's why we get posts in the forum asking why they weren't automatically updated to the new version on the web site.

Your comment about add-ons is right on as only one of the add-ons I used with 78 works with 91. The project could figure out the appropriate wording to encourage somebody to decide to download version 91 instead, while also making a download of 78 available if they wanted to. I'm not arguing about the results, just the ethics.

wsmwk
 
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Post Posted September 3rd, 2021, 6:25 am

We don't buy into your premise(s) of not production quality, etc. If we felt it wasn't production quality we wouldn't release it.
* We've delayed shipping releases in the past because of quality concerns, this time it was not necessary.
* In fact most of the 200,000 v91 users are not new users - they are users who got updated because their "management software" practically forced them, or one of the dozens of website hosted hosting software pointed them to it, or some well meaning person posted on the internet "hey get this release". We acknowledge many of these users don't understand what's going on. But we have zero control over any of that part of the ecosystem. And we have no way of communicating to the majority of them because they are not going through the Thunderbird website. And even if we did try to communicate with them ...
* Very likely there's no wording on the website, except the most offensive warnings, that would dissuade most users from downloading.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted September 7th, 2021, 9:30 am

FYI:

"Release" version just automatically updated to 91.1.0 (64-bit) under Help:About Thunderbird


Here are the "release notes":
https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thund ... 0902035758

Changes
changed
VCard attachments now sent with "text/vcard" instead of "text/x-vcard"


fixed
Thunderbird registered Accessibility Handlers using same GUIDs as Firefox, causing performance issues for NVDA users fixed

Focus lost when reordering accounts by keyboard in the Account Manager fixed

Account setup did not use provider display name for setting up calendars fixed

Various theme and UX fixes fixed

Various security fixes



The download site https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/download/ is still doing 91.0.3

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