mether's Fedora Blog

Random thoughts, usually on Fedora

Thunderbird problem gets fixed

The last Thunderbird 3 (beta 4) update issue I talked about in a couple of posts has been fixed and users should get a new update that disables both indexing and smart folders by default. Many thanks to the maintainers for being responsive and resolving the issues quickly. Christopher Aillon, primary Thunderbird maintainer in Fedora explained the details here.

A related issue: One of the problems which is quite common with Fedora updates is the lack of detailed description of changes. That was the case for the earlier thunderbird update as well. If you cannot highlight the important changes, the minimum you should do in every single update is to link to the upstream changelog or release notes. If you as a maintainer of the software do not atleast try to explain the changes to your users, it is not really appropriate to push the change in the first place. One way to avoid issues is to avoid pushing every single upstream release an update.

Describing the changes in a bit more detail would really help testers focus on the important changes as well as help end users determine whether the update should be applied on their system. There is a set of general package update guidelines that maintainers can follow. I don’t really think I am a perfect maintainer either. I goof up often as well. It only becomes a serious issue when people involved refuse to accept that there is a problem worth resolving. Thankfully for the maintainers involved, that was not the case this time. Sanity returns.


Written by mether

October 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

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  1. Folks who think this is about new features are completely misguided and misinformed.

    This thunderbird update, in the middle of a stable release, without any warning at all,

    1) Increased the home directory disk space requirement by several GIGABYTES.

    2) Collected data from separate email accounts into a single file, potentially creating a LEGAL problem for end users.

    You don’t drop that on end users without warning. That is just not good release engineering.

    Jeff Garzik

    October 14, 2009 at 8:59 pm

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