THANK YOU! -- re: The Thunderbird Project is hiring ... and you are the first to know ;-)

Axel Grude axel.grude at
Sun Jan 21 09:20:52 UTC 2018

Dear Mike,

PR / Marketing for Thunderbird is badly needed. In my experience a
developer is not a good choice for communicating these points. I was
thinking  for a while this may be something our community manager could
handle, but even that may be not the right approach. As I understand the Tb
community has a different stake into the Thunderbird project than the whole
user base.

As a long term user and Add-ons Developer I have grown more and more
interested in end user communication (I have written thousands of emails
supporting my Add-on users to help them and find solutions to better use
our beloved Mozilla mail clients [TB,  Seamonkey, Postbox]) but what we
need is a general, public, easy to digest platform for regular PSAs about
the progress and future of the project.

I am also a (music) YouTuber for a number of year and opened up a small
channel (Thunderbird Daily) initially aimed at promoting and supporting
mail Add-ons. I would like to have more content in it that is of interest
to all Thunderbird users and have been looking for ways to answer exactly
the questions you asked. The hardest thing is to make predictions on what
is going to happen on behalf of Thunderbird such as "the UI is not going to
radically change" / "your add-ons are going to work in the future" /
"feature X is always going to be supported" even though I am very confident
about its future as desktop mail client.

Technical predictions and descriptions of completed work (such as bug fixes
/ implementation of mail standards)  are also hard to explain to a general
public, I believe people are generally more interested in features and work
flow improvements. So it's actually hard to pick something to tell them
that makes it obvious the project is progressing, and I am reluctant to
speak on behalf of Thunderbird without being sure that I have communicated
the correct and most important points.

I am offering my channel as a platform  to anyone who wants to communicate
to the general public about the future of Thunderbird. you can contribute
your own videos or give me a script or talking points that you would like
covered; I just not prepared to choose these points on my own.

I could also imagine makIng the info available in the form of an interview
/ google hangout (I have quite done a few of these) with Tb council members
which I could edit down to something digestible. You could contribute by
gathering a number of questions from the user's perspective.

I sincerely believe YouTube is a perfect platform for doing this kind of
PR, and I would love some input from the Tb Planning group and the
interested Thunderbird user base.


On 20 Jan 2018 19:38, "Mike Ramey" <miker206wa at> wrote:

Jörg Knobloch et al --


This is the first evidence I have seen in a looong time that Thunderbird
has a future.  I have been mentally composing a message to you asking:
"Kent -- Has the TB Council discussed what desktop email client they will
recommend to TB users when TB becomes un-maintainable?"  Really!  That
question has tormented me for a couple months now, and caused me
anticipatory grief (I am *not* joking here!) for the day when I must either
(a) fall back on the Gmail web UI, or switch to and learn another desktop
email client.  It reminded me of the sadness and anger I felt when I lost
UW-pine on *nix at Speakeasy via telnet.  No joke!  I still miss a couple
of features from UW-Pine.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I have sent you money (tho' not much), and I haven't heard *a damn
thing* about what you've done with that money, and what you're doing to
keep TB alive into the future.  So, it seems to me that one of the duties
of the proposed *_Thunderbird Software Engineer_* (or someone!?) *must be*

   - *Not less often than quarterly (every three months) you will inform
   all TB users of progress and plans (including successes and problems) for
   maintaining and extending TB (as a viable multi-platform communication
   tool) into the long-range future.*

Why?  Because TB will *not survive* without the long-term commitment and
support (with money, and otherwise) of its users at both the enterprise and
individual level.  If you want support, you've got to earn it.  It's not
sufficient to 'do good work[s]' -- you must *be seen* as 'doing good
work[s]' !!!  If you don't document it, it doesn't exist.

--Mike Ramey

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: The Thunderbird Project is hiring ... and you are the first to
know ;-)
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:12:30 +0100
From: Jörg Knobloch <jorgk at> <jorgk at>
Reply-To: Thunderbird planning (moderated) <tb-planning at>
<tb-planning at>
To: tb-planning at <tb-planning at>
<tb-planning at>

Hi tb-planning subscribers,

the Thunderbird Project is hiring, below you'll see the official text of
the job description. So if you're interested and you feel you qualify,
please send us your application. If you have friends, family or
acquaintances who you think qualify, let them know.

We'll also send this to the other Thunderbird mailing lists, add-on
developers and place it on various job sites.

So here goes:

_Thunderbird Software Engineer_

_About Thunderbird_
Thunderbird is a email client depended on daily by 25 million people on
three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux (and other *nix). It was
developed under the Mozilla Corporation until 2014 when development was
handed over to the community. The Mozilla Foundation is now the fiscal
home of Thunderbird. The Thunderbird Council, who lead the community
effort, has begun hiring contractors through Mozilla in support of this
venture and to guarantee that all vital services are provided in a
reliable fashion.

You will join the team that is leading Thunderbird into a bright future.
As a software engineer you will be maintaining and improving the
existing Gecko-based Thunderbird but also pave the way for its
transition to being based on web technologies.

The Thunderbird team works openly using public bug trackers and
repositories, providing you with a premier chance to show your work to
the world.

_About the Contract_
The Thunderbird project is looking to hire software engineers to help
maintain Thunderbird. You'll be expected to work with community
volunteers, the Thunderbird Council, and other employees to maintain and
improve the Thunderbird product.

This is a remote, hourly 6-month contract. Hours will be up to 40 a
week. You will be expected to have excellent written communication
skills and coordinate your work over email, IRC, and Bugzilla.

_As a software engineer for Thunderbird you will_ ...
* Fix bugs and regressions and address technical debt.
* In collaboration with Thunderbird's Engineering Steering Committee,
replace/rewrite modules to prepare Thunderbird for the transition to a
new platform.
* Maintain and improve Thunderbird to ensure that both nightly builds
and releases are always possible.
* Follow improvements made by Mozilla engineers for the Firefox platform
process and implement those for Thunderbird.
* Be a self-starter. In a large code-base it's inevitable that you
conduct your own research, investigation and debugging, although others
in the project will of course share their knowledge.
* Work with both volunteers and employees across the world to fix issues.
* Collaborate with QA, Security, Localization, and Release Engineering
for coordinated code releases.

_Your Previous Experience_
Since we are looking to fill one or more positions, we are interested to
hear from junior and senior candidates who can offer the following:
* Solid knowledge and experience developing a large software system (7+
million lines of code).
* Solid knowledge of C++ as well as JavaScript, HTML and CSS.
* Ideally exposure to the Mozilla platform as a voluntary contributor or
add-on author with knowledge of XPCOM, XUL, etc.
* Some experience using distributed version control systems (preferably
Mercurial, Git would be acceptable).
* Some prior exposure to Python and build systems (preferably make)
would be beneficial.
* Experience developing software cross-platform applications is a plus.
* B.S. in Computer Science would be lovely, but real-world experience is

_Next Steps_
If this position sounds like a good fit for you, please send us your
resume with a cover letter to apply at

A cover letter is essential to your application, as it shows us how you
envision Thunderbird's technical future. Tell us about why you're
passionate about Thunderbird and this position. Also include samples of
your work as a programmer, either directly or a link. If you contribute
to any open source software, or maintain a blog we'd love to hear about it.

Please note that while the Thunderbird project is a group of individuals
separate from the Mozilla Foundation that works to further the
Thunderbird email client, the Mozilla Foundation is the Project's fiscal
home. The Thunderbird Council, separate from Mozilla, manages the
Project and will direct the software engineer's work.

The successful applicant will be hired as freelancer (independent
contractor) through the Mozilla Foundation's third-party service Upwork
( By applying to this job, you are agreeing to have your
applications reviewed by Thunderbird contractors and volunteers who are
a part of the hiring committee as well as by staff members of the
Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race,
religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age,
marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

tb-planning mailing
listtb-planning at mozilla.org

tb-planning mailing list
tb-planning at
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