[Council Meeting] Technical Future, Partnerships and Hiring

Philipp Kewisch mozilla at kewis.ch
Mon Apr 3 10:25:39 UTC 2017

Dear Community,

on Thursday we had our second meeting with the new council. Aside from
checking in on progress from last week’s action items we talked about
the technical implementation of Thunderbird based on Ben's proposal also
to be found on tb-planning. We then delved into thoughts on how we
should handle partnerships and briefly discussed progress on the build
and release position we plan to hire for.

On the topic of technical implementation there was general agreement
that by starting from scratch like Ben proposed would allow an
implementation to move faster than gradually adapting the codebase,
since there would be no legacy code to worry about. We also agree that
we need to make sure that users still feel it is Thunderbird, which also
includes the general look. But there are also other important factors
that would justify doing a gradual migration instead of a rewrite, and
due to differing opinions we did not come to an agreement on this topic
for the moment.

Regardless of which approach is chosen, the financial aspect must not be
forgotten. In order to support our community we will have to hire
multiple developers and with the amount of technical work that these
tasks encompass, we need a solid financial plan to make sure we can
cover the costs. We believe that donations are only part of the picture
and are looking for further opportunities.

We then moved on to a discussion on how we would achieve partnerships
and what kind of partnerships make sense. To some, partnerships are
considered advertising, an area that needs to be treated very carefully.
 We also need to make sure that any partnerships we enter do not hurt
our credibility and bring a benefit to our community. In the end we
decided to table the discussion, as it will be easier to make
partnership agreements when we have a financial home.

Finally we discussed some open questions on the build and release
engineering position. Ideally we'd like to have someone capable of both
fixing issues in the build system and release automation, but also
equipped to help us move to a new continuous integration system (which
may or may not be Mozilla's TaskCluster system).

We will meet again this week to continue the hiring discussion, also for
other roles. We will keep you updated when the positions are finally open.

I hope you enjoyed today's update. As always, we are open to your
feedback. Note also there is an open thread on the technical
implementation, related feedback may be better placed in the existing

-- Philipp, on behalf of the Thunderbird Council
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