Fwd: Re: Thunderbird Project as 3rd-year Engineering Group Project

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi
Wed Feb 10 20:35:00 UTC 2016


I doubt replacing the editor is a good group project. It's not an easy 
task, and the work load would not appear easy to split up. You'd have to 
take many many steps until you make it work at all, and it requires a 
lot of familiarity with the code.

Ideally it should be a lot of smaller related bugs so that you can move 
forward and feel you achieve something.

Maybe a group could take on dissecting the document in bug 1243449 
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1243449> (improving 
usability of encryption)?

  -Magnus

On 03.02.2016 11:21, Axel Grude wrote:
> Hi Kent. / James
>
> Well we have been knocking about the idea of replacing the HTML editor 
> (which is currently the generic component from m-c) of Thunderbird for 
> years and it always been deferred to some day in the future. Also 
> there have been numerous suggestions of integrating other existing 
> editors. Without a dedicated developer I am very much doubtful this is 
> ever going to be fixed within the scope of a bugzilla bug.
>
>
> Might this be in scope for a team of five people? If you think it is 
> suitable, I could dig out some of the conversations and suggestions 
> that were made and collate them. I would also offer to work as a 
> design reviewer / adviser for this particular task as I think it is 
> very important for the future of Thunderbird.
>
> just an idea,
>   Axel
>
>
>
> -- 
> *Axel Grude <mailto:axel.grude at gmail.com>*
> Software Developer
> Thunderbird Add-ons Developer (QuickFolders, quickFilters, 
> QuickPasswords, Zombie Keys, SmartTemplate4)
> AMO Editor Get Thunderbird!
>
>> *Subject:* Fwd: Re: Thunderbird Project as 3rd-year Engineering Group 
>> Project
>> *From: *R. Kent James
>> *To:* Tb-planning
>> *Sent: *Tuesday, 02/02/2016 22:38:59 22:38 GMT ST +0000 [Week 5]
>>
>> I've had some discussions with James Quilty about major student 
>> engineering projects involving Thunderbird. Here is his proposal, and 
>> he is asking for specific suggestions of appropriate projects.
>>
>> -- 
>> R. Kent James
>> Chair, Thunderbird Council
>> @rkentjames
>>
>> -------- Forwarded Message --------
>>
>> Hi Kent,
>>
>>  Here's the proposal I made for a 3rd-year engineering group project 
>> working on part of Thunderbird, edited for coherence. I'd be happy 
>> for this to be forwarded to a mailing list for wide consideration.
>>
>>  The School of Engineering and Computer Science 
>> <http://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/> at Victoria University of Wellington 
>> runs group projects as part of its project management course. The 
>> School has students from three specialisations, Electronics and 
>> Computer Engineering (ECEN), Software Engineering (SWEN) and Network 
>> Engineering (NWEN). I'm running these courses from this year.
>>
>>  I'm looking for suitable projects for a team of 4-6 students which 
>> could run across our academic year (March-October) with a workload of 
>> about 5 hours per week for a total of around 150 hours. Both figures 
>> are per student. The purpose of the project is to give the students 
>> practical experience in applying the project management tools they 
>> are learning about in
>> lectures. An achievable but challenging project for SWEN (and NWEN) 
>> students would be really good - this is where I thought a Thunderbird 
>> project might be appropriate.
>>
>>  To give you an idea of what students have been able to produce last 
>> year in a half-year project, please see the WaiNZ 
>> <http://wainz.org.nz/> homepage. The map UI and the Android, iPhone 
>> and Windows Phone apps were all produced or refined in a half-year 
>> project. I'd like something with similar scope for 2016, just run 
>> across the full year. If you want to know what kind of background the 
>> students have by 3rd year, please see the SWEN and NWEN course 
>> descriptions on the School's homepage. One relevant course SWEN 
>> students may take in 3rd year, for example, is a course in UI 
>> engineering.
>>
>>  Any project for the students would have to be "SMART":
>>
>>   * Have goal or end-point that can be specified and refined through
>>     student discussion with the client. For example, a project
>>     involving the completion of a coherent set of bug-fixes and/or
>>     enhancements.
>>   * Produce measurable/testable effect - something that can be
>>     observed in Thunderbird.
>>   * Be reasonably achievable in about 150 hours per student (about
>>     900 hours for a team of six students).
>>   * Delivered by/at the end of a single academic year.
>>
>> What I have in mind when I write "coherent" is bugs or enhancements 
>> all related to, say, one component of Thunderbird. It shouldn't be a 
>> grab-bag of miscellaneous work, nor a year experiencing "business as 
>> usual" in Thunderbird development.
>>
>>  An example, (somewhat trivial and completely focussed on my own 
>> niggles with Thunderbird) would be a project to complete a set of 
>> bugfixes and enhancements to the Attachment pane UI for incorporation 
>> in an upcoming release. There are a set of bugs and RFE's already 
>> filed, and it's a reasonably self-contained part of the UI.
>>
>>  It's not important for the students to write new code for brand-new 
>> functionality. Some code maintenance and migration is perfectly fine, 
>> even a desirable experience, but I do think it's important that their 
>> projects are not dominated by migration or bugfix work. If it were, 
>> then I fear there could be limited opportunity for them to practice 
>> project management and/or they will lose interest.
>>
>>  Other projects up for offer in 2016, to give two examples for 
>> context, will be (1) making a DIY laser cutter with a usable software 
>> and network interfaces, and (2) making a 3-in-1 oscilloscope, 
>> function generator and digital multimeter with undergraduate-friendly 
>> UI for use in our teaching labs.
>>
>>  What I am asking from you for a Thunderbird project is for a useful 
>> project of about the right scope and difficulty to be identified, for 
>> a 1-page high-level spec to be prepared before 29 February (NZ time!) 
>> and for someone to commit to being acting as the client for the 
>> project over the year. I'd anticipate a time requirement of 1-2 hours 
>> per week over the course of the project to interact with the project 
>> team to answer the usual questions clients are asked (usually 
>> clarifying what the client actually wants).
>>
>>  One thing the School does advise external clients for these sorts of 
>> undergraduate projects is to not rely on the student team to produce 
>> a 100% functional working result, and to not entrust them with a 
>> project which is mission-critical. That's not to say that we haven't 
>> had some very successful projects in the past.
>>
>>  I'd love to hear ideas that people involved with Thunderbird 
>> development would have after considering what I've written above and 
>> I'd really like to have a Thunderbird project as part of our group 
>> project work this year!
>>
>> Regards,
>> James.
>>
>> -- Dr. James Quilty Senior Lecturer School of Engineering and 
>> Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, 
>> Wellington 6140, New Zealand. Phone: +64 4 463 5233 ext. 4090
>>
>>
>>
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>> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning
>
>
>
>
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