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This is the fourth post in the 2016 Fastmail Advent Calendar. Stay tuned for another post tomorrow.
FastMail has a global team working on internal and open source products. Today, we’ll hear from Robert S., one of the major contributors to the Cyrus project.
Name: Robert S. Time working for FM: 1.5 years
What I work on
Cyrus and JMAP. This year, I’ve spent most of my energy on calendaring, search, and the charset pipeline. I’m happiest working on low level code.
How did you get involved with FastMail?
About 2 years ago, I was working on implementing a CalDAV server on my own, and learned how complicated it was. After I had already invested all that time learning the spec, I learned about FastMail’s involvement with Cyrus, and reached out to them. 2 days later, we were having a Skype call about how we could work together.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve worked on this year?
Xapian and the search code, particularly the language constraints around making search work. I love technical problems that lead you to learn about topics outside of tech, and working on this gave me the chance to learn a lot more about how Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages work!
What’s your favorite FastMail feature?
I always give businesses a unique email address at my domain, so I love the catch-all feature for personal domains.
What’s your favorite or most used piece of technology?
Probably my alarm clock on my mobile phone.
What’s your preferred mobile platform?
Undecided! I am a longtime iOS user, but switched to Android because of the cost. But I just broke my phone, and the calendaring on the iPhone might be drawing me back.
What other companies, people or projects inspire you in your work?
Pinboard is a very great service, and Pobox was actually something I admired for many years, even before FastMail bought it. In terms of projects, I like to look at redis; it’s nice to look at clean C code.
What are you listening to / watching these days?
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love bouldering, and try to go climbing at least twice a week. When I was in Australia, I got to take a trip out to the Grampians, which are a world-famous bouldering location.
Any FM staffers you want to brag on?
Having been to CalConnect, JMAP is something people in the IMAP community are really excited about. I hope it gets momentum; Bron and Neil should be very proud of what they’ve done. In our Cyrus work, Nicola has really pushed us to be an open community, and welcoming of new contributors. Where conversations used to happen in more closed channels, now even our weekly meeting is open to community participants.
What are you proudest of in your open source Cyrus work?
The calendaring we’ve added to Cyrus is really cutting edge, as are its contacts. Everyone knows Cyrus for its IMAP mail handling, but with these new additions, I think there are many new communities that can benefit from it.
Thanks, Robert! If you’re interested in getting involved in the Cyrus project,
Join us on Freenode
#cyrus or on the