Thunderbird Contributors: Documentation and Support

Anne-Marie Bourcier

You want to contribute to the Thunderbird project but you’re not into testing or coding? We have many other areas where we and the community-at-large would appreciate help!

What about documentation or localization?

We talked about software and beta testing in our last post, but software also needs solid documentation. We write Knowledge Base articles to support our releases and also to solve common support problems. Articles are written in English first, then reviewed and validated by our documentation admin (see her portrait here). She would love to have help as she has many ideas to improve our documentation.

We are able to offer versions of Thunderbird in 52 languages! Unfortunately, our documentation is not as widely translated as Thunderbird itself. Some communities are able to localize most or all of the articles on the Knowledge Base, but smaller communities can’t cope with the volume. We would love to have more contributors to localise content.

If you have some technical writing skills (or if you would like to acquire some) we need help with writing new articles, expanding existing articles and general copy-editing and proof-reading. If you want to give it a try, click on this link and join the community.

Maybe Support?

Last on the list but considered absolutely vital within Thunderbird is Support (the capital “S” is on purpose). We have about 20 million users in 52 languages. If you divide the number of users by the number of Thunderbird employees, we have about 2 million users each. We simply cannot support all our users on our own.

Fortunately we don’t have to. We have structured Thunderbird Support to be a mostly self-maintaining community and encourage people to help each other. Roland, our dedicated support guy, monitors the support site, trying to pick out major issues that can be solved by documentation or that should be brought to the attention of the Thunderbird developers.

As a Canadian (see his portrait here), he has a funny accent in French but definitely can’t read 52 languages. In a way, he needs support himself.

This is a good way to get started with the Thunderbird community. Click on this link to find out how to help.

We have tried to give you an overview of the kind of contribution opportunities there are with the Thunderbird project. We are a small team of dedicated people with a lot of expertise and with your help, we can keep Thunderbird flying!