Open Bug 634233 (support-win64-thunderbird) Opened 10 years ago Updated 9 months ago

[Tracking meta bug] officially support Windows 64-bit builds in Thunderbird

Categories

(Thunderbird :: Build Config, enhancement)

x86_64
All
enhancement
Not set
normal

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: standard8, Unassigned)

References

(Depends on 2 open bugs, )

Details

(Keywords: 64bit, leave-open, meta)

Firefox is working towards supporting (and making official) 64-bit builds on Windows. We should be doing the same on Thunderbird.

Currently though, this isn't high priority and will unlikely be included in a Gecko 2.0 based release as the gecko platform won't be officially supporting 64-bit builds, hence we won't be either.

We will slowly start to ramp up 64-bit windows support on Thunderbird ready for some future release, however the time scales are as yet undetermined and this will depend on Firefox support of the 64-bit builds, so please be patient.

This bug will be used to track the work necessary for Thunderbird. Core issues are tracked by bug 471090.
Depends on: 634420
Depends on: 615473
Depends on: 660508
Depends on: 685178
No longer depends on: 634420
Are you serious ?!  Your statements do not lend much comfort to the future development of Thunderbird.

I have been running win64 version of Firefox full time for over a year.  Firefox HAS delivered for a very long time in the nightly trunk.  The third party Win64 build of Thunderbird was a pain, but it runs and the OFFICIAL win64 Thunderbird nightly (comm-central) runs nicely as well.

Firefox HAS delivered to the point that all extensions need to pony up or die.  The fact that your public has been asking for this for two years is reason enough to develop a solution.  It matters little whether there is significant technical reason - it is what is being asked for and you will soon find greatly diminished support for 32 bit apps on windows.  Perhaps 64 might solve some of the slowness from operating ludicrously large imap accounts.

Anyway - I think that having Lightning is a critical feature for many organizations and would be the tipping factor to push wide spread adoption.

In the mean time, I guess I just have to be envious of 64bit Outlook 2007 (along with Word and Excel - all 64 bit version as verified by task manager and file properties) that came PREINSTALLED on my daughter's bleeping netbook in 2011.

Just my .02 cents.

Signed,
Patiently Waiting.
Duane, whilst 64 bit is perceived to be better, we know from testing that Firefox 64 bit is not currently as fast as the 32 bit version. The work required to get 64 bit ready for release is significant and has been decided it is not the highest priority. You can read more about the decision here:

http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/1cc83f09e7f5efe3/ec7afa6636637c71?lnk=gst&q=windows+64#ec7afa6636637c71

Thunderbird has already made the decision not to support 64 bit officially until Firefox does, as a significant part of the code base comes from Firefox, and would put us at risk of issues if it was not supported by Firefox.

If you have any queries about these decisions, please use the relevant planning lists and not bugzilla - bugzilla is for bug tracking and fixing things, not for policy decisions.



As I realise this hasn't been mentioned before, for those tracking this bug, nightly 64 bit builds of Thunderbird are available from:

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/nightly/latest-comm-central/

These should be considered experimental and whilst we will try to keep these going, it is not our highest priority, so they may break for a period of time if we encounter 64 bit specific issues.
Depends on: 814009
Keywords: 64bit
Summary: [Tracking bug] officially support Windows 64-bit builds in Thunderbird → [Tracking meta bug] officially support Windows 64-bit builds in Thunderbird
Note, Firefox has bumped their minimum requirements to win7/64, per bug 1094013 and bug 1093741
Alias: support-win64-thunderbird
Depends on: 393302
Duplicate of this bug: 1226149
Added CC from bug 1226149.
Hi guys.

Well, Firefox has an official x64 out since v43.0 or 42.0 I think. 
Will we see an x64 official from Thunderbird soon? The 3:rd party ones are old, not any good. 
I want the official build.
We would like to support 64 bit Thunderbird, but somebody has to be motivated to put in the work. This is complicated because it requires support from the Mozilla build team, but they are not tasked to do anything new for Thunderbird, only maintain the old.
I would very much welcome 64-bit Thunderbird to be supported. It's time!
If you cannot support both branches then retire 32bit, the problem is the argument that 64bit requires excessive effort does not hold water whilst you do support 64bit linux.

I see there is 64bit nightly builds, surely all one has to do is apply the nightly build script also to stable and job done?  At the very least do it for beta builds.
Depends on: 1302005
Duplicate of this bug: 1307582
Depends on: 1307591
This probably wouldn't be hard to finish off for version 52 ... not so certain about the mapi piece.
Priority: P5 → --
Depends on: 1308191
Depends on: 1324290
Any idea when this will appear on http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/?
I'm not tracking this for TB 52.
Duplicate of this bug: 1390786
Depends on: 1390849
Duplicate of this bug: 1390786
Duplicate of this bug: 1433661
Duplicate of this bug: 1454244
Keywords: leave-open
Pushed by mozilla@hocat.ca:
https://hg.mozilla.org/comm-central/rev/e8e3559eeb07
Add a release-style mozconfig for win64; r=me
Depends on: 873039
Is there a place to start testing 64 bit "beta" builds of Thunderbird?

Surely, this has got to be wrapping up soon. Are there tracking bugs for starting to ship this to small groups, the same way it was done for Firefox?
(In reply to Worcester12345 from comment #22)
> Is there a place to start testing 64 bit "beta" builds of Thunderbird?

https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/63.0b1/win64/
 
> Surely, this has got to be wrapping up soon. Are there tracking bugs for
> starting to ship this to small groups, the same way it was done for Firefox?

https://github.com/thundernest/thunderbird-website/issues/49#issuecomment-403233127
See Also: → 1509918
Depends on: 1509918
See Also: 1509918

Magnus, after bug 1509918 is fixed, do you see any other blockers, tests in particular? https://mzl.la/2V4bUgW looks clean, but is there anything in https://mzl.la/2ZfkdFU where 64bit is in the bug comments?

And how do you foresee rolling this out? Do you think we need more users testing 64bit in beta to the extent that we would do Enable-32bit-to-64bit-migration aka bug 1390850? Or...

An alternative to auto-pushing users to 64bit on initial roll out, is through self-selection via manual download activity:

I favor an slower roll out on initial support, unless there is demonstrated value in some automated roll out.

Flags: needinfo?(mkmelin+mozilla)

I don't see any particular blocking issues if that bug gets fixed.
Agreed it needs some more testing though and preferable slow roll-out. Serving 64bits to users downloading like you write sounds good (after that).

Not sure how the auto-update roll-out for migration happens. If we can do that slowly it would be great.

We need to make sure testing profile-per-install doesn't mess up users when upgrading them (it's in another install location, right?)

Flags: needinfo?(mkmelin+mozilla)
Depends on: 1556748

Just updated to 60.8.0 (32-bit). Still 32 bit.

The migration will not happen until sometime after 68.0 I believe. The change in 60.8 was to set the registry keys in Windows that will allow a future version to be used as the migration. I don't expect 68.0 to be the version we do that.

Any reason not to put the 64 bit up for beta download now? https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/beta/all/
And also default 64 bit download.

I think we've pretty much given up on bug 1509918, and would just ignore it (it's a one time thing, if you click a button).

My comment was more for driver discussion. AFAIK at the moment bug 1509918 is the only problem, but I think we can go ahead with that still unresolved.

(In reply to Magnus Melin [:mkmelin] from comment #28)

Any reason not to put the 64 bit up for beta download now? https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/beta/all/
And also default 64 bit download.

Yes, I think the timing is good to expose it on public download and this doesn't need to block putting it on beta. And as Rob pointed out, auto migration to 64bit isn't going to happen for a few some time.

NI Rob, Andrei to move that forward, assuming there are no other objections.

I think we've pretty much given up on bug 1509918, and would just ignore it (it's a one time thing, if you click a button).

Who is "We"? I don't think bug 1509918 comment 30 suggests we give up - two ideas are offered, one offers a lower bar. It also hints that we need to modernize TB shell integration anyway - are you suggesting we ignore that need? (Perhaps needs a different bug?)

Also "giving up" forces the 64bit-capable portion of 25% of our users into a support scenario. (25% of our users are still on Windows 7 - for beta that should be 10k-15k users). That's a pretty huge number and so ignoring doesn't seem like a good idea.

Flags: needinfo?(sancus)
Flags: needinfo?(rob)

There is also bug 1509918 comment 32 (and you may agree or not, but even revving the engines we'd just putting effort on an EOL OS before we could get it shipped). I'm just saying it's unlikely any developer would magically appear to fix it since it's not easy for anybody to be personally annoyed by it (they would just click ok and be done with it), and it's not super justified to put other resources on it either IMHO.

I don't think it's a support scenario to have to click a button.

Very strange. I'm on Windows x64 with TB x64. With that option to check at startup, I don't see a problem. That said, we are in urgent need to fix bug 1509918 and get TB aligned with FF, see bug 1509918 comment #38 and bug 1509918 comment #23 and above. My vote is to hire someone who is competent in the field for that limited defined task.

(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #31)

NI Rob, Andrei to move that forward, assuming there are no other objections.

AFAIK It's a matter of updating the website to know about the win64 arch. The download bouncer URLs work already. I think the bigger question has been UX related.

I tried to mangle the website code myself to help Andrei and ran into some problems..

  • The "all downloads" page looks squashed after adding a new column for Win64.
  • I can add the win64 arch easily enough, but it's sort of global. Enabling for beta also enables for release.
    That can be fixed with some hackery, but then..
  • The download page that does OS detection and gives you a single download button doesn't seem to know about win64. I got lost in the javascript pretty quickly and aborted. So even when I use a 64-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows I was getting a link to the 32-bit download.
  • I looked at firefox.com, and they link you to the stub installer (which is not ready for prime time for us). There's only only stub installer for Windows, it happens to be 32bit but it will download the 64-bit version if your machine qualifies...
Flags: needinfo?(rob)

(In reply to Rob Lemley [:rjl] from comment #34)

  • The "all downloads" page looks squashed after adding a new column for Win64.

https://github.com/thundernest/thunderbird-website/issues/49

  • I can add the win64 arch easily enough, but it's sort of global. Enabling for beta also enables for release.
    That can be fixed with some hackery, but then..

Does it really matter as TB is available as a 64-bit download at https://www.m64.info/index.php/thunderbird-64-bit-download? Would be nice if the link was on the official TB webpage.

Do most people download Thunderbird from the Free Download button or do they first click on Systems & Languages at https://www.thunderbird.net/ or https://www.thunderbird.net/channel/?

ETA for TB 68 is this month too.

  • The download page that does OS detection and gives you a single download button doesn't seem to know about win64. I got lost in the javascript pretty quickly and aborted. So even when I use a 64-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows I was getting a link to the 32-bit download.

Can this be looked at later? Perhaps this will enable a gradual TB transition from 32-bit to 64-bit?

  • I looked at firefox.com, and they link you to the stub installer (which is not ready for prime time for us). There's only only stub installer for Windows, it happens to be 32bit but it will download the 64-bit version if your machine qualifies...

Can this be looked at later? Perhaps this will enable a gradual TB transition from 32-bit to 64-bit?

What do you think?

Thank you

(In reply to Magnus Melin [:mkmelin] from comment #32)

There is also bug 1509918 comment 32 (and you may agree or not, but even revving the engines we'd just putting effort on an EOL OS before we could get it shipped).

Your instinct may be correct. But let's consider history and hard numbers. Published MS EOL may be 2020, but if history of the XP experience informs the future then we're very far from end of Thunderbird support. XP was EOL in 2014 but not dropped by firefox until 2018. If win7 dies similarly and my math is correct, then Firefox drops win7 in 2022 or 2023, not 2020.

25% of 25M users is 6M win7 users. But we also need to know in bug 1509918 what percentage of users would be affected, and how :

  • Is the bug summary accurate (it states every startup)?
  • All win7 or just a tiny subset?
  • Is the available "workaround" as easy and obvious to the average user as you suggest?

I'm just saying it's unlikely any developer would magically appear to fix it since it's not easy for anybody to be personally annoyed by it (they would just click ok and be done with it),

Sure, the random developer fixing something they care about is a rare bird. But we have money, planning chops, and good comments in the bug, so random developers shouldn't be a factor if fixing is determined by analysis to be important.

I don't think it's a support scenario to have to click a button.

Anything changed and unexpected catches the average user's attention, especially during an update.

So, it sounds like we want Windows x64 enabled for beta, and for live only after 68 is released. Given that we are building 68 now, I will just write a patch to enable x64 on both release and beta and push it sometime after 68 is live on the site. I may not be done until then anyway, depending on when it actually goes live.

Flags: needinfo?(sancus)

While your at it, we also need to make the MSI packages available somehow, see bug 1516741.

(In reply to Jorg K (GMT+2) from comment #38)

While your at it, we also need to make the MSI packages available somehow, see bug 1516741.

https://github.com/thundernest/thunderbird-website/issues/85 - will go on org page.

(In reply to Worcester12345 from comment #40)

If I am reading this bug right, there is only 1 bug blocking Thunderbird 64 from becoming a reality?

64-bit Thunderbird is already available.
https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/all/

When any given user, running version 60 goes to "Help:About", it will automatically upgrade them to the latest version in 64 bit?

If not, then I would NOT say it is "already available". It needs to be automatic and without extra steps involved.

It needs to be automatic

Nope, definitively not. Not even Firefox does automatic migrations from 32 bit to 64 bit. Firefox did this one time, but it was an one-time event. Why should this be a requirement for Thunderbird? Nothing, really nothing in the word "available" contains something about automatic migration, it means only what it says: available. I don't say that Thunderbird shouldn't do something similar but it's not a blocker for saying that 64 bit builds are available and call this meta bug fixed. This is bug 1556748.

(In reply to Sören Hentzschel from comment #43)

It needs to be automatic

Nope, definitively not. Not even Firefox does automatic migrations from 32 bit to 64 bit. Firefox did this one time, but it was an one-time event. Why should this be a requirement for Thunderbird? Nothing, really nothing in the word "available" contains something about automatic migration, it means only what it says: available. I don't say that Thunderbird shouldn't do something similar but it's not a blocker for saying that 64 bit builds are available and call this meta bug fixed. This is bug 1556748.

OK, to clarify, I created a new bug 1598866

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