first of all thanks for the massive feedback on our 0.5 release here on the blog, in the forums, newsgroups and on various websites like mozillazine or slashdot. We really appreciate every feedback that we get.
But today I don’t want to talk about the past, but about what’s coming next. A lot of thought has gone into improving the ease-of-use of our application. In the past people have voiced various issues that should be addressed:
- If you had a long folder-list, the Lightning agenda would cut off some of the folders and you had to do a lot of scrolling
- There were issues, were you could delete a mail, if you had both a mail and a task selected and wanted to delete only the task
- Lightning was only really compatible with the “Classic View” layout of Thunderbird. We did not really support the “Wide View” and the “Vertical View” layout
- Using other popular extensions like the Contacts Sidebar together with Lightning was a real pain
All of these issues have now been fixed with the patch for bug 371916 going in yesterday. With this patch we separate the mail- and calendar-related functionalities. You can now switch between mail-mode and calendar-mode with an easily accessible toolbar below or on top of your Thunderbird folder list.
Here are two screenshots of the new mail-mode and calendar-mode in action:
Here are some of the major features of this new functionality:
- The mode swithcing toolbar can be configured to appear at the bottom (default) or at the top of the Thunderbird folder list
- The different modes are offering different toolbars. You can now configure your toolbar in calendar-mode separately from the toolbar in mail-mode
- The different toolbars are context-sensitive. So the calendar-mode toolbar only offers calendar-related icons, while the toolbar in mail-mode only offers mail-related icons
As you would expect there are also some areas needing improvements, which we will add in due time:
- The state of the calendar view is currently not remembered once you close Thunderbird. It will always startup in week view. This is currently being worked on.
- We currently lack the ability to drang and drop mails on the calendar icons or to drag and drop an event on the mail icon. This is currently being worked on.
- The mode switching toolbar offers a task icon, which you can add to the toolbar, but clicking on it has no effect. We’re currently working on a separate task view, which you can switch to once it has been finished.
A big thanks goes out to Mickey, who implemented this. I’ve been running a private build with his patch for over a month now and can tell you, that this feature seriously rocks! Stay with us! More good things are yet to come…