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Mozilla is global community of technologists, thinkers & builders keeping Internet alive & accessible.
Industry: Computer Software   # Employees: 501-1000
Programming, Full Time    Anywhere    Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2016
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This is an engagement opportunity for an Independent Contractor

Thunderbird is a cross-platform desktop email, news, calendaring and chat client.

The Thunderbird and Firefox projects have common organizational and technical roots. While being separate products, they both grew out of the original combined Mozilla suite in 2004, and continue to both be based on a large body of shared code - principally, the Gecko HTML rendering engine.

In 2012, the Mozilla Corporation decided that Thunderbird, while an excellent email program, was unlikely to be a route to making progress on significant parts of the Mozilla mission. And so it significantly reduced the deployment of paid resources on Thunderbird, and a greater role was taken on by volunteers.

This change was an organizational one, not a technical one. Since then, Thunderbird has tried to maintain its practice of being based on the latest version of the shared Gecko codebase. However, in 2016 we find this is both putting pressure on Thunderbird's limited resources and slowing down Firefox - and this problem is going to increase in the short term as Firefox prepares to make some larger breaking changes.

Therefore, we need a plan to move Thunderbird to greater independence from the Firefox development process. This requirement, then, is for an infrastructure engineer who can assist with some of the practical parts of that process.


  1. Canonical Domain
    • Make Thunderbirds canonical domain, hosting the main TB website
  2. Telemetry
    • Set up the telemetry collector to receive telemetry reports from Thunderbird
    • Set up a version of to display telemetry data
  3. Release Notes
    • Set up a website for hosting release notes, along with an administration interface
  4. ISPDB
    • Set up a TB-controlled instance of ISPDB (the database Thunderbird uses to set up your account when it knows your e-mail address)
    • Change various redirects to forward there and change Thunderbird to use it directly

There may be additional tasks are required, either as part of this contract or in future contracts (which the recipient of this contract would be in prime position to get).

Deliverables and Milestones

Time estimates for the above tasks are:

  1. DNS services, specifically 2 days
  2. Telemetry: 1 week
  3. Release notes: 2 weeks
  4. ISPDB (Email configuration database): 3 days

With those estimations in mind, this initial engagement will be expected to run for one month

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