My personal journey from MIT to GPL

Your parents probably taught you about the Golden Rule when you were young: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The GPL is the legal embodiment of this Golden Rule: in exchange for benefiting from my hard work, you just have to extend me the same courtesy. Its the unfortunate acknowledgement that we’ve created a society that incentivises people to forget the Golden Rule. I give people free software because I want them to reciprocate with the same. That’s really all the GPL does. Its restrictions just protect the four freedoms in derivative works. Anyone who can’t agree to this is looking to exploit your work for their gain – and definitely not yours.

Drew De Vault

Thunderbird, finally a 64bit software

Thunderbird 60.2.1 info 2018-10-15Thanks to a system reinstallation, due to an upgrade to an SSD drive, I’ve casually discovered that there’s a recently release of the version 60.2.1 of Thunderbird, my preferred e-mail client since the ‘death of Eudora’ (a couple of years before 2006).

I was really surprised by the missing update notification from the software. Going to the official website I begun to understand…

Thunderbird version 60.0 is only offered as direct download from thunderbird.net and not as upgrade from Thunderbird version 52 or earlier. A future version 60.1 will provide updates from earlier versions.

System Requirements: • Window: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or later • Mac: Mac OS X 10.9 or later • Linux: GTK+ 3.4 or higher.

This was in August; during the following months something clearly happened in the builds, so we’ve been faced directly to version 60.2.1 at the beginning of October::

Thunderbird version 60.2.1 provides an automatic update from Thunderbird version 52. Note that Thunderbird version 60.1.0 and 60.2.0 were skipped.

… then probably the broadcast message of the available update should have been clearly delayed to avoid servers overload, and I’ve ‘discovered’ it before it was sent to me.

The list of new features is big; at a glance we can see three of them: the executable is finally a 64-bit one, there’s a new icon and the overall look and feel has been cleaned and polished, it’s finally here the new plugin/extension behavior we’ve seen on Firefox from the beginning of the year. At the first reboot of Thunderbird it will update the Lightning plugin – which covers the calendar functions – and then marks as incompatible and de-activates all the old extensions.

I’ve been using it all day, and so far I can tell it’s a safe upgrade.
Given you don’t rely on any special feature provided by the extensions you have. In that case I suggest you to investigate if the developer is working on an update or if someone has made a fork or a replacement of that particular plugin feature.

update

A friend of mine over my Italian blog made me notice that Windows users are still prompted with a 32-bit application download.

After a little research I’ve discovered that on Windows the 64-bit support is still considered ‘experimental’, while on macOS and Linux there are no problems. You can read more about this HERE.

Anyway Mozilla provides the 64.bit executable directly on their FTP repository, here: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/60.2.1/win64/en-US … It’s not provided directly in the download page of the product.

On paying for software

I like paying for my software when I’m buying it from a company that’s responsive, fast and focused. I like being the customer (as opposed to a social network, where I’m the product). I spend most of my day working with tools that weren’t even in science fiction novels twenty-five years ago, and the money I spend on software is a bargain–doing this work without it is impossible.

Seth Godin