[Maildev] Engineering Council or Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) - where art thou?

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi
Fri Aug 31 04:14:08 EDT 2018

On 31-08-2018 09:55, Jörg Knobloch wrote:
> On 31/08/2018 01:30, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>> The ESC is *not* in charge of the UI, only of technical aspects.
> The larger technical aspect is: How much of an HTML editor do we want 
> Thunderbird to be.

Yes there are larger technical aspects that can be discussed.

Thunderbird is an email client, and aspiring personal information 
manager supporting various communication protocols. It is not, and was 
never designed to be used as an HTML editor though it has HTML email 
editing capabilities.

> There appear to be tendencies to deconstruct HTML capabilities for no 
> apparent reason, or perhaps with the argument, that you can do stupid 
> things with it.

I think you should look at these capabilities from the other side. If 
you were to design it from scratch, is this feature something you would 
include, and are there use cases where the feature comes in handy. If 
you establish there's a use case, think about what the best way of 
achieving it is.

Now, for bug 690644, you already acknowledged yourself you think the 
feature is a footgun with few use good use cases, but you want to keep 
it for the sake of... not knowing if anybody would be upset?

I think we have a responsibility to our users to make them look as good 
as possible in their communication. Letting them *by default* compose 
mails with font-size=+3 and body bgcolor=red doesn't seem like a good 
idea. (They want to zoom instead.)

In general I don't think there is any point in trying to encourage users 
to use extensive html formatting in their mails. Chances are pretty high 
the recipients will see something fairly different from what the sender 
expected. To have something that looks good, you need to put significant 
time (and have the knowledge) into the composition. You can do that, but 
if you put in the time, what you want is to make a fancy template that 
you can reuse and improve over time. Doing it time and time again is 
just not something to recommend to anyone.

Adding one-off formatting to emphasize certain information in your mails 
is not what this discussion is about. That's a worth while use case. 
We're discussing default values that apply to all the mails you send out.

> So as I see it: During the course of the year we have achieved nothing 
> except the creation of the Maildev mailing list, and steps of getting 
> more people involved in the decision making, not only the discussion, 
> are even being wound back. So much for governance changes :-(

By being part of the discussion people are part of the decision making 
process and can voice their opinions or alternative solutions. The idea 
was to present ideas to a wider audience for feedback before going all 
out. Now, the group of people is not easily definable... Clearly certain 
ideas would be hard to pull through without buy-in from key people, and 
that would be part of the decision on which direction to go (or not).


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