Directions for Thunderbird

Mark Banner mbanner at
Sun Apr 3 19:28:13 UTC 2011

On 02/04/2011 23:05, Andrew Sutherland wrote:
> On 04/02/2011 12:04 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>> Dev process
> ...
>> Innovations (including contributions with 1000 lines of code) are 
>> stopped short to a screeching halt in their tracks by the review 
>> nit-picking procedures and test requirements. I for myself have 
>> concluded that it's impossible to contribute, although would have 
>> liked to. This must change for TB to be alive, which is a 
>> pre-condition for it to survive.
> ...which is that I believe that code review and tests (and code 
> comments) are critically important for us to improve the technical 
> debt situation and we should not relax review or test requirements in 
> the name of speed or innovation.  I completely agree that they can be 
> demoralizing, but the alternative is potentially much worse for the 
> product.
I agree with Andrew here, both of these are important for us to be able 
to continuously improve Thunderbird and move it forward.

Although tests can be a pain to write, sometimes taking longer than the 
fix, they also catch errors and regressions - the majority of these I'm 
sure we don't even see in the main source repo because we run the tests 
before check in. For example, Mike is looking at removing RDF from the 
address book, I'm going to be reasonably confident that we're not going 
to see big regressions for at least the mork/local part of the address 
book because we currently have a lot of tests which cover getting 
address books, mailing lists (iirc) and other address book functions. If 
we didn't have that, I'd be a lot more concerned about it.

I also think that over the last couple of months we've got a bit more 
used to new contributors and we're generally more willing to help with 
tests - its not just r- this needs tests, but typically this needs tests 
and here's where to get information on them and here's some examples (or 
in some cases, we'll actually do the tests or templates for the tests).


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