Improving Performance and Feedback in Thunderbird

Rafael Ebron

In the newest version of Thunderbird, we’ve added Test Pilot, Mozilla’s platform for collecting structured user feedback, and Telemetry a platform for collecting performance data.

Over the past few years, Test Pilot has provided valuable information to the Firefox developers with over a dozen Test Pilot studies launched covering tabbed browsing behavior, search interfaces, and menu usage. We have decided to implement Test Pilot and Telemetry to bring this same feedback opportunity to Thunderbird developers and help us make decisions to improve the user interface and develop new features.

For Test Pilot, users won’t be prompted until the first study or survey. Not all studies and surveys will go to all users. If users wish to opt-out completely, they may uninstall the “Test Pilot for Thunderbird” Add-on, by going to Tools -> Add-ons.

Telemetry provides data that we can use to identify areas of Thunderbird performances that can be improved and Telemetry will prompt users for opt-in on the first run of Thunderbird.

Although we have not delivered the functionality as an Add-on before, we decided to ship Test Pilot as an Add-on to keep it in the same structure as Firefox, and it also gives us flexibility to update all users of Test Pilot regardless of which version of Thunderbird they are on.

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