Simon’s Developer notes: Contributing to the Calendar Project

After my last post many good suggestions were posted to the comment section

  • An improved website, functioning as a portal to the project, with links to a roadmap, discussion forums, FAQs, developer documentation, etc.
  • Development of a real project roadmap
  • More developer documentation
  • Regular user polls
  • Creation of PR documents and improved PR efforts
  • Creation of a list of easy to fix bugs, which would be suitable for project newcomers
  • Development of often requested features, e.g. sync functionality

Fulfilling all of these items would surely keep one person working full-time on it busy for a few weeks or months at least. But what strikes me here is, that all of the requests and suggestions above (except the last one) do not involve writing code at all.

This brings me to one of the greatest secrets of Open Source: You don’t have to be a developer to contribute to the project!

So this is basically a call to help to all of you out here, who are thinking or have been thinking about contributing to the project in the past, but found it hard to get into or didn’t know where to start. You guys can make a real difference here!

So if one of you thinks that he knows something about web design or web development, send me your ideas. If one of you is good at writing technical documentation, then I can point to the relevant people to get you started on developer documentation. If one of you wants to make a project roadmap a reality, I can point you to all the small pieces that just need to be glued together. If you would like to gather the opinion of our users or want to spread the word about Lightning and Sunbird, just go for it or send me your ideas.

This list could probably be continued indefinitely, but I guess what I’m trying to say is: It’s easy to get into the Calendar project, you just need to do “something”. Back in 2002 this was how I got into Firefox Project (called Phoenix at that time), because I responded to a call from Asa Dotzler about doing some bug triage. Two days later I was someone important in the project. Two years later, I approached the past Calendar project lead, Mostafah Hosseini, with some improvement suggestions to the project website and a week later I was the “officially” appointed website maintainer.

So you see, little stuff can make a difference. Go for it!


  1. Hi Simon, and all,
    i guess, you can somehow retrieve my email from this post as i had to write it down on posting. If you are interested in a forum, i did setup some phpbb forums in the past. i dont know if you have the suiting server with php support. if not, i could provide this either.
    pls let me know.

  2. There already exists a forum for Sunbird/Lightning at mozillaZine

  3. I think this project would benefit from a good CMS, Drupal or Joomla. If no one else would like to set it up, I’d be happy to work on it.

  4. Hi there,
    First, my experience is on WordPress systems, so I can help with that. but then again – we already have this blog :)
    One suggestion though – perhaps this post’s name should be changed to something like ” a call for non-progreming helpers to the project” :)

  5. About the website – you can easily get a system set up like we have on and host it on Mozilla servers like we do. Catch me on the Summit and we can talk this over, if it sounds interesting.

  6. Christophe Humbert

    It is a while I am following passively this blog and all activities around the calendar project but not yet step in.
    In know some javascript but what i found difficult is to be able to identify the already method in place and whihc one to use or reuse ….so as a first step in I am ready to give a hand to build the list of the easy to fix bugs

  7. How do we get in contact with you if we want to help?