"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" (from Mel Brooks' 1974 Western Blazing Saddles)

Eric Moore emoore at fastmail.fm
Fri Aug 10 00:24:56 UTC 2012

> However, now that we are changing Thunderbird's governance model, we
> need to find out if the Thunderbird community thinks it is worthwhile
> to implement Thunderbird Badges and if the community is able and
> willing to run the program for themselves in the long term. If the
> community likes the idea and wants to move ahead, we will do all the
> preparation and set up the technical aspects and then hand the
> program over to the community in the fall.

My impression is that the only people who want badges for Thunderbird 
are Mozilla employees. I don't see the point. It might also be divisive 
as I suspect some of those badges would never be awarded to somebody who 
contributes in unofficial communities such as MozillaZine and GeckoZone.

>> Additionally, I was also thinking since the last one that I should
>> maybe host a workshop for add-on authors with a focus on Thunderbird
>> add-ons, either a "getting started with Tb addons" or a "exchanging
>> experiences for authors of existing add-ons". Or maybe one about
>> Monetization in Tb-Addons. Comments about what you think would be most
>> desired by the community, or best help the (Thunderbird) cause?

>Great ideas ! We did that at the last mozcamp, and during Fosdem, I'm
>not sure it triggered new extensions bt I like the idea. One thing that
>we might also work on is making the documentation for add-ons authors a
>bit better. Jen will be onsite so we might also during the workshops
>take notes on what needs to be improved documentation wise.

Rather than badges, I suggest a focus on encouraging people that already 
contribute in some way to get more involved by removing obstacles they 
might encounter. It might help to open up and distribute information 
that is made available only at mozcamp or Fosdem. For example make 
videos of some of those workshops available (and easy to find by 
somebody who never heard of either of them).

The introduction in 
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Extensions/Thunderbird points 
you to a Add-on Builder that uses the the Add-on SDK. Every post I've 
seen about using Jetpack with Thunderbird says its still too limited to 
be useful. Supposedly the statement about Thunderbird compatibility was 
removed from install.rdf due to the lack of testing.

A tutorial that shows you step by step how to build a trivial add-on 
would help somebody make sense of the scattered documentation. A short 
guide comparing Thunderbird Standard Library, STEEL, Jetpack, XPCOM/XUL 
and when each approach is appropriate might help. My impression is that 
the barrier to entry is a lot higher than it has to be. The best analogy 
I can think of is the current documentation caters to C++ programmers 
while ignoring users who can program in VB. We need both. (its an 
analogy about skill sets, I know VB is not supported)

Any chance of getting a FLOSS manual on how to write a Thunderbird 
add-on to supplement whats in MDN?

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