[Council Meeting] Technical Future, Partnerships and Hiring

Philipp Kewisch mozilla at kewis.ch
Mon Apr 3 12:21:31 UTC 2017

Hi Mihovil,

thank you for your input. We will decide on this as soon as possible,
but of course also value community input. I agree we need to find a
solution that does not drag us down, but we also do not want to alienate
current Thunderbird users. The new home discussion results will be
announced soon.


On 4/3/17 1:39 PM, Mihovil Stanić wrote:
> Great work with updates Philipp! I for one feel for enthusiastic when
> I see Thundebird is moving in some direction.
> In my opinion, from organizational point of view TB Council should
> make three decisions fast (in next 30 days).
>  1. Gradual rewrite or new code base?
>  2. Forking Mozilla Gecko as it is now (implement only patches for
>     high risk security bugs which affect TB) or continue as it is now?
>  3. Choosing new home for TB.
> Those 3 questions need to be answered as soon as possible so
> Thunderbird can end it's status quo.
> My non technical opinion, based solely on what's more effective, go
> with rewrite and fork Gecko.
> It will give you more manpower to do rewrite if Gecko isn't dragging
> you into mud every release cycle. :)
> Mihovil
> 03.04.2017 u 12:25, Philipp Kewisch je napisao/la:
>> 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
>> thread.
>> -- Philipp, on behalf of the Thunderbird Council
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