22
Jul 14

Lightning 3.3 is Out the Door

I am happy to announce that Lightning 3.3, a new major release, is out of the door. Here are a few release highlights:

  • Various components have been made asynchronous, allowing for better perceived performance. This means less hanging when Lightning is busy.
  • Improved invitation processing, as well as a few new features:
    • Restrict sending invitations to newly added attendees
    • Send one invitation email per attendee, not disclosing other attendees
    • Consider default BCC and CC of configured email identity when sending invitations
    • More actions when viewing invitations, e.g. tentative accept, accepting only occurrences.
  • When accessing Google Calendar via CalDAV, the authentication dialog doesn’t constantly reappear.

There have also been a lot of changes in the backend that are not visible to the user. This includes better testing framework support, which will help avoid regressions in the future. A total of 103 bugs have been fixed since Lightning 2.6.

When installing or updating to Thunderbird 31, you should automatically receive the upgrade to Lightning 3.3. If something goes wrong, you can get the new versions here:

Should you be using Seamonkey, you will have to wait for the 2.28 release, which is postponed as per this thread.

If you encounter any major issues, please comment on this blog post. Support issues are handled on support.mozilla.org. Feature requests and bug reports can be made on bugzilla.mozilla.org in the product Calendar. Be sure to search for existing bugs before you file them.

Addons Update:

There are a number of addons that have compatibility issues with Lightning 3.3. The authors have been notified and a few first fixes are available:

  • Calendar Tweaks: This addon causes constant flashing and makes Lightning unusable. The author has been notified and has released version 6.0 which shoul fix all issues. Plase notify him in case there is more trouble.
  • Thunderbird Conversations: There is an issue with the Lightning invitations plugin. It has been fixed in one of the nightly builds and will be available as a release soon.

Other Updates:


12
Dec 13

Lightning 2.6.x Version Recap

As you may have read in the previous post, there have been quite a few issues with Lightning 2.6.x. I wanted to explain what happened and what we can do to avoid these issues in the future.

The Lightning build process is closely coupled with Thunderbird. Every time Thunderbird does a release, we get builds for Lightning for free. This means we mostly depend on them doing a release, otherwise I have to patch the final builds manually. This is a little more work. Luckily, each of the releases between 2.6 and 2.6.4 have been done together with a Thunderbird build.

Google Calendar Issues via CalDAV

Just before Lightning 2.6 was released, we made some last minute changes to accomodate for the fact that Google Calendar had changed their CalDAV URL. Not only that, they also implemented a specification for faster synchronization of CalDAV. We already supported this specification, but only an older version. A quick fix was done to take care. In total, were some authentication issues and an error loading calendars. We knew we had to release a 2.6.1, but we didn’t know it had to happen so fast…

Version compatibilitiy issues

When Thunderbird 24.0.1 was released, Lightning 2.6 did not work on Linux. The reason for this was a regression in the Mozilla Platform around Thunderbird 23. The binary component we have was built with a specifc compiler flag with a parameter that was too strict. It bascially said “this binary component is only for version 24.0.1″. The fix was easy, change it to “this binary component is for version 24.*”, but it took a while for that fix to be completed and admitted to all branches. Lightning 2.6.1 was quickly released as a workaround specificly compatible to Thunderbird 24.0.1, Lightning 2.6.2 was needed for Thunderbird 24.1.0.

Another problem why this was so hard to figure out for users is that some Linux distributions decided to skip the minor releases and only do 24.0, 24.1.0, 24.2.0 and so on. There were complaints because the latest Lightning version wasn’t working, when 24.1.1 was missing from the distribution repositories. We still needed to release consequent Lightning versions though, otherwise users using the stock builds would complain.

Lightning 2.6.3: Issues with CalDAV

Unfortunately, one of the patches for 2.6.1 had an error in it. We decided there needs to be a quick fix, and it was just in time for Lightning 2.6.3. The binary compatibility bug had been fixed by now, so this should also be the first version that is compatible to any version of Thunderbird 24.1.1 and up.

Lightning 2.6.4: Yet another one

Now this is the release that really annoyed me. First of all, I did a bad job on one of the patches. The other one was a minor issue with servers that don’t have a certain XML element in their response. These are the kinds of issues we could have easily figured out before the release with more and better unit tests. We might have even saved another release.

Conclusion

We probably could have known about all of these issues beforehand if we had tests to catch them. Just running the any of the tests using the build machinery would have caught the binary compatibility issue. If we had at least some manual tests to test CalDAV servers, we could have started them for a few public demo servers and caught all of the CalDAV regressions. Both of this has been on my list for quite some time, but given all the other things coming up I never got around to it.

Integrating the tests with the build system is unfortunately something only someone with Mozillians trust can do, but if you want to help us write some unit test, that would be marvelous. The cool new thing to use is promises and tasks, which allow writing really easy to read asynchronous code. I have some demo code thats not quite working but is ready for someone to pick up.

If you want to help in some other way, please contact me! Even if you are not a developer, there is a lot that can be done for someone with a little initiative.

 


13
Oct 13

Using Lightning 2.6.* on Linux? Be sure you are using the exact compatible Thunderbird Version

As you may have noticed, Lightning is no longer working with Thunderbird 24.0.1. This is totally unexpected for us, it seems Thunderbird 24.0 and 24.0.1 are not binary compatible. We will be releasing Lightning 2.6.1 this week to fix the issue and afterwards find out how this could have happened.

If you are using Lightning 2.6, please downgrade to Thunderbird 24.0 for now and you will regain access to Lightning and your calendars.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Here is the compatibility table:

Thunderbird Version Lightning Version
Thunderbird 24.0 Lightning 2.6
Thunderbird 24.0.1 Lightning 2.6.1
Thunderbird 24.1.0 Lightning 2.6.2
Thunderbird 24.1.1 Lightning 2.6.3
Thunderbird 24.2.0 (unreleased) Lightning 2.6.3 and up

Update 1: This seems to be a Linux-only issue. Windows and Mac users can safely upgrade to Thunderbird 24.0.1!

Update 2: You can get the English version of Thunderbird 24.0 for Linux here. For other languages, please see the release directory on the ftp server.

Update 3: Lightning 2.6.1 is the version compatible to Thunderbird 24.0.1. To date it has not been reviewed by the Mozilla Addons Team, but you can still get it manually using the Other Versions page.

Update 4: Lightning 2.6.1 is now public. On Linux, it is compatible ONLY with Thunderbird 24.0.1, so go ahead and upgrade now.

Update 5: To be more clear: If you are using Thunderbird 24.0 on Linux you MUST continue to use Lightning 2.6. If you are using Thunderbird 24.0.1 on Linux, you MUST use Lightning 2.6.1. Thunderbird 24.1.0 (no typo) will be released soon, you MUST use the upcoming Lightning 2.6.2 here.

Update 6: If you cannot use the newer Lightnig versions yet and want to disable addon updates: Go to the Addons Manager → right click on Lightning → Show More Information → Disable Automatic Updates.

Update 7: Thunderbird 24.1.0 (not .0.1) has just been pushed to the mirrors. On Linux you will need Lightning 2.6.2 together with it. I have heard from some packagers for the Linux distributions that, in contrary to 24.0.1, this version will be made available. If you need Lightning 2.6.2 now, you can get it from the Other Versions page until it has been reviewed.

Update 8: I was now able to set up the version compatibility correctly. If all goes well, Thunderbird 24.0 users should NOT be getting upgrades to Lightning 2.6.1 anymore, all other versions should work correctly too.

Update 9: Updated for 24.1.1 release. The problems are now going away :) I will recap as soon as I get to it.


22
Sep 13

Lightning 2.6 has been released

I am happy to announce the release of Lightning 2.6, compatible to Thunderbird 24 and Seamonkey 2.21. The release went live on Tuesday, September 17th and is the next major release after Thunderbird 17 and Lightning 1.9. If you are using the Provider for Google Calendar, you will also have to upgrade to version 0.25.

You may have not received the updates automatically because of server side throttling, you can either wait until the update occurs, force checking for updates via the About Thunderbird dialog, or grab them manually:

Before upgrading, be sure to backup your profile so you can restore in case something goes wrong unexpectedly.

The release notes can be found on addons.mozilla.org. An important note for users of Google Calendar via CalDAV (not via Provider for Google Calendar): Due to a server side change at Google, you must update the URL of the calendar, as described in this post.

Should you be experiencing any issues, here are some steps that might resolve them:

  • Make sure that you are running Thunderbird 24 or SeaMonkey 2.21.
  • Redownload and install Lightning using the download links above.
  • If you are using the Provider for Google Calendar make sure you upgrade to version 0.25
If you are experiencing issues (Lightning not installing or the calendar not working at all), try removing the Lightning addon and doing a fresh install. Your calendar data will be kept intact, as it is contained in your profile. To be sure, create a profile backup as described above.

If you enjoy this update or want to thank us for the hard work we have done, feel free to leave a review at addons.mozilla.org. If you have issues upgrading, please don’t misuse the reviews. Leave a comment here and I’ll try to get back to you soon! If you are sure you have found a bug, you can also search for it on bugzilla or file a new one if it doesn’t yet exist.


26
Jul 13

Lightning 2.5+ Localization Issues

Hello Folks,

As you may have noticed if you are using the beta versions, there have been a few localization problems in the past. This is not the localizers fault, but rather a problem with our build infrastructure.

I have been working on moving the Lightning builds from their own build machines to building together with Thunderbird. This doesn’t mean that Lightning will be pre-installed with Thunderbird, it just saves time while building since I don’t have to maintain a separate set of build machines.

Unfortunately, since Lightning is just piggybacking the Thunderbird build targets, this causes a dilemma for the localized builds. Before the localization process begins, the language files are downloaded from the mercurial server and updated to the specific version which was signed-off by a Thunderbird localizer. As Lightning can only hook into the build process itself, there is no previous step to update the language files to the version which was signed-off by the Lightning localizers. Adding this step is non-trivial.

In some cases it will magically work, if the Thunderbird localizer signed off a later version than the Lightning localizer, because the Lightning changes will then be contained too. Right now I don’t have a good solution other than to ask localizers to sign off on the Thunderbird dashboard. I’m trying to figure out some alternatives, in the worst case I will have to do the language repackaging manually for Thunderbird 24 / Lightning 2.6.

If you have some experience with Mozilla’s release engineering and have an idea how to solve this, I’m happy to hear it!


21
Jun 13

Localized Lightning Nightly Builds are Back!

Its been quite a long time, but now I am happy to announce that localized nightly builds have returned. The main intent for these builds are to help localizers check if their language changes are correct, but of course anyone can use them.

You can get the builds for the comm-aurora branch or when the network outage is solved then also for the comm-central branch. There is one file per locale.

These builds are just in time for the major release of Lightning 2.6 which will be compatible with the Thunderbird 24 release. After the upcoming merge on June 24th, Lightning 2.6 will be on comm-aurora. If you are a localizer, please take the time to make sure your translations are accurate and ready for the release. If you are a user you can do the same, please report bugs in translation to the Mozilla Localizations product.


27
May 13

Lightning 2.4b1 is out

While Thunderbird is having a test week, we’ve released the version that goes with it 2.4b1.

We are interested in catching regressions with regards to : Alarms, CalDAV Servers and Email Invitations.

The beta is on AMO now, I think the most user friendly link is https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/lightning/versions/?page=1#version-2.4b1.


12
Feb 13

Lightning 1.9.1 Release Candidate Available

We are happy to announce that a Release Candidate for Lightning version 1.9.1 is now available for testing here. For those using linux, please use the build in the linux/ folder rather than the platform-specific folders. Windows users can find their builds in the “unsigned” folder.

This version fixes an issue that prevents some events from being modified and some reminders from being dismissed in CalDAV calendars with Offline Support enabled – those affected are encouraged to test this build. If you have seen an error message with “this.mItemInfoCache[aNewItem.id] is undefined”, this is you! Be sure to reset your cache, by unchecking the “Offline Support” checkbox, restarting, then checking it again.

The full list of changes in this version can be found here.

It is really important that you test this pre-release, as it will become the next release for Thunderbird 17. There is no additional beta phase, this is it! If you are using Thunderbird 17, please give it a try and let us know if you encounter any errors.


28
Nov 12

Lightning 1.9 released, please update your Provider for Google Calendar

As you likely noticed, Lightning 1.9 was recently released. Aside from the common issues during an update, the most reported problem was that calendars were no longer working. In almost all cases, the solution for this issue is to also update the Provider for Google Calendar to version 0.18. A function in Lightning was changed that was used by the Provider version 0.17, hence the update.

For an unknown reason, the addons manager did not find the update of the Provider for Google Calendar to version 0.18. We have mitigated this by blocking the older version of the extension on addons.mozilla.org, but we have yet to find the reason this has happened in the first place.

The next release is still a while away, but if you experience issues in a future update, please make sure you are using the latest version of all relevant extensions.

If you are having a different error, please check out the Error Console in the Tools menu and comment with any relevant messages by comment. Also, in the advanced config editor (Preferences → Advanced → General → Config Editor) there is a preference called “calendar.debug.log” and “calendar.debug.log.verbose” which you can set to true to get additional messages regarding your problem.


21
Oct 12

Having trouble with Lightning 1.8 ?

I have heard a few reports that calendars are not showing after upgrading to Lightning 1.8. I’d really like to get to the root of the problem and find out if this a code regression or something different. If you are having trouble please comment with the following information:

  • Make sure you are using the right version combination: Lightning 1.8 is compatible to Thunderbird 16.
  • Do you have any other addons installed? I’ve heard about some trouble with the “Calendar Tweaks” extension for example.
  • Open Tools → Error Console and tell me about any error messages you see there
  • Are any calendars no longer in the calendar list on the left side?
  • What kinds of calendars do you have? Local? CalDAV? Google Calendar via the Provider? Other?
  • If you are using the Provider for Google Calendar, what version do you have installed?

Update, with a few common issues:

  • If you are using the Calendar Tweaks Extension, make sure to update to version 4.3.
  • If you are using Lightning 1.8 and the Provider for Google Calendar, please make sure you are using Provider version 0.17
  • If you have a virus scanner that quarantines files, please make sure calbasecomps.dll is not quarantined. Reinstalling Lightning might help.