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How You Can Contribute To Thunderbird Without Knowing How To Code

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Thunderbird and K-9 Mail are both open-source software projects. That means anyone can contribute to them, improve them, and make them better products. But how does one contribute? You must need some programming skills, right? No! Do you want to learn how to help make a big difference in the global Thunderbird community, without knowing a single line of code? We have a few ideas to share.

Our friend Dustin Krysak, a contributor to Ubuntu Budgie and a customer solutions engineer at Sysdig, brilliantly compares a software project to a construction job:

“Programming is the carpenter, but you still need the architects, designers, project managers, and permit people to make a construction job come together.”

Dustin Krysak

Similarly, making an open-source project like Thunderbird requires an entire community! We need the talents of programmers, graphic designers, translators, writers, financial supporters, enthusiastic fans, quality assurance helpers, bug hunters, & beta testers.

Even if you just have an idea to share, you can make a difference!

No matter what your skill set is, you can absolutely help make Thunderbird better than ever. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Join The Support Crew

Are you an experienced Thunderbird user who knows the software inside and out? Maybe you want to pay it forward and volunteer some time to help new users! We even have a private discussion group for our support crew to help each other, so they can better support Thunderbird users.

To get involved: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/tb-support-crew

Testing

Want to help improve Thunderbird by simply using it? Testing is a great way to #contribute and requires no prior experience! Help us catch those bugs before they get loose!

Here’s all the info you need to get started with testing: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing

Let’s Go Bug Hunting

Speaking of bugs, capturing and reporting Thunderbird bugs is really important. It’s invaluable! And you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping MILLIONS of other users avoid that bug in the future!

We use Mozilla’s Bugzilla, a very powerful tool: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/

Translate This

We want the entire world to use Thunderbird, which is why it’s currently available in more than 60 languages. If you’re a wordsmith who understands multiple languages, you can aid in our ongoing translation efforts for translating various Thunderbird web pages.

Join 100 other contributors who help translate Thunderbird websites! https://pontoon.mozilla.org/projects/thunderbirdnet/

Document All The Things

Know what else is important? Documentation! From beginner tutorials to technical guides, there’s always a need for helpful information to be written down and easily found.

There are many ways you can contribute to Thunderbird documentation. Start here: https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/get-involved/#documentation

Financial Support

Financial contributions are another way to help. Thunderbird is both free and freedom respecting, but we’re also completely funded by donations!

Year after year, the generosity of our donors makes it possible for Thunderbird to thrive. You can contribute a one-time or recurring monthly donation at give.thunderbird.net.

Sharing Is Caring

Do you share our tweets, Fediverse posts, or Facebook messages? Do you tell your friends and colleagues about Thunderbird? Then yes, you are contributing!

Word of mouth and community promotions are yet another key ingredient to the success of Thunderbird, and any open source project.

Enthusiasm is contagious. Keep sharing ❤️

Coding

If you DO have coding skills there are so many ways to help! One of those ways is adding new functionality and designs to Thunderbird with Extensions and Themes!

Here’s what you need to know about making add-ons for Thunderbird: https://developer.thunderbird.net/add-ons/about-add-ons

Last but certainly not least, we’re always looking for contributions to Thunderbird itself from the talented FOSS developer community!

Our Developer Hub has everything you need to start hacking away on Thunderbird: https://developer.thunderbird.net

K-9 Mail and Thunderbird Mobile

Last but certainly not least, there’s the newest member of the Thunderbird family, K-9 Mail. As we work towards bringing Thunderbird to Android, contributions are encouraged! Find out how you can help the K-9 Mail team here: https://k9mail.app/contribute

We can’t wait to see the many important ways you’ll contribute to Thunderbird. If you have questions about it, leave a comment on this post or ask us on social media.

3 responses

Hi wrote on

Hi, please fix the broken link in “localizing Thunderbird software…”.

Tiziana wrote on

I can not use thanderbird anymore, I have wrote you already since few month.
I have a google account and when I open it, google ask for password.
At the moment I can open it only trow google, anfortunatelli. I enter by duckduck reserc to be able to protect my data.
If you please, answer to me to help to return to tinderbird. preferibli in italian.
Thnkyou Tizi

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Tiziana, feel free to translate this message with Google Translate (https://translate.google.com).
Since two months ago, Google requires people who use a Gmail account with a “third party” application like Thunderbird to authenticate before they can log in and retrieve their email.

You will need to let the Google login process happen. This is beyond our control. You can find more information here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/automatic-conversion-google-mail-accounts-oauth20

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