Answers to the future of Lightning post

In the last posting regarding the future of Lightning after Mitchell Baker’s Thunderbird announcement, I asked you to post your questions regarding this or other issues and that I would try to answer them in a followup-post.

So here it is:

  • Antonio Silva asks:
    I would like to know if the future releases of Lightning are going to have an agenda-like option – such as the one on Google Calendar?

    There are currently no plans to implement such an option. But I really like the idea of it.

  • Miles asks:
    On last OOOcon there was talk of integrating Th+Li as a Outlook killerapp into OOo. Is something happening on that front or was this more or less just a rumor or a wishful thought?

    The intent of Sun as a sponsor of as I understand it, was never to fully integrate Thunderbird into the codebase, but to improve its feature set, so that the combination of Thunderbird and Lightning would be come a viable solution for many people in combination with the existing suite. We are still absolutely committed to that goal, so no, this was not a wishful thought.

  • Martin asks:
    Do you have download stats for Lighting and for Sunbird? It would be interesting to know which one is more popular.

    We have regular download stats for Lightning, but not for Sunbird. I’m currently discussing possible options with the Mozilla Sysadmin team, to provide us with regular download stats for Sunbird as well. I’ll let you know, once this happens.

  • lfarkas asks:
    Is there any roadmap for 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0? I always miss these kind of roadmap with some kind of dates.

    Yes, there is a roadmap-like web page on, but it does not provide exact release dates, especially not for later releases like 0.9 and 1.0. You might also find the proposed feature list for 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0 interesting.

  • Walter asks:
    As many others I think that Offline support and PDA synchronization are the two big improvements that Lightning miss to became a killerapp. Do you have plan to support any of them before 1.0?

    We are hoping to implement offline support with the 0.9 release. We do not expect to implement device synchronization before the 1.0 release.

  • Matt asks:
    Any chance that Lightning and Sunbird will be available for Ubuntu on some repository?

    The current Ubuntu 7.10 Alpha builds have pre-built Sunbird and Lightning-extension packages in the repository by default.


  1. They are some solution to synchronise PDA with Lightning :
    But yo have to install OBM (Full Open source) .
    It’s not a personal solution but a (complex) multi-users solution … but it’s free !

  2. Is there any plan to implement SyncML in Lightning ? There’s the Tsync extension but it currently supports only SyncML for contacts.
    SyncML would be great to sync with mobile devices.

  3. I’ve looked through the roadmap & bug lists and I was wondering if there is anyone working on the 24 hour event timepicker? I realize more countries use 24 hour time than AM/PM but the rest of TB & Lightning works great in regards to AM/PM. The timepicker just isn’t intuitive for those of us who use who don’t normally use 24 hour time and it is the most common complaint I received in my office since we started switching over from Outlook. I was hoping someone might look at before you reach a 1.0 release. Thanks.

  4. Martin Schroeder

    You get the 24 hour timepicker if your OS has 24 hour time as your regional setting.

  5. Re: kael, Funambol has a community connector that works well.

  6. Actually, my OS is set to US eastern standard (AM/PM) and I’m stuck with the 24 hour timepicker in Lightning. Actually, there’s at least a dozen people on various OS’s in my office with the same problem, so I don’t think it’s not just my system. My TB/Lighting is also set to US New York. I am hoping for a strictly AM/PM time picker. Any thoughts?

  7. I don’t suppose the nightlies are universal builds yet? It doesn’t matter for me until the bug is fixed that prevents mac users from using the date/time pickers, but I am anxious to start using lightning which I can’t do now.

  8. I too get the 24 hour timepicker and it is also something that I wish there was a choice for in the options. It not a killer problem, but it is an annoyance for those of us who are not used to the 24hr format.

  9. I don’t mean to sound rude but I’m very frustrated that synchronization with PDA/SmartPhone devices are still not being addressed. The community, at large, has been asking for this with the Mozilla products since 2003 and yet Mozilla developers/programmers keeps ignoring these request, leaving it up to 3rd party tools that work in a semi-acceptable state.
    Why is that? Do the developers of Lightning and/or Sunbird and/or Thunderbird not realize that as soon as this is working, there would be a substantial number of want-to-be users that would use this platform full time to ditch the bloatware that is Outlook?
    If I knew how the SyncML language worked, I would tackle it myself but I am barely keeping my head above water with MultiValue Database programming integration into websites. :P
    Thanks for letting me vent.

  10. Hey, I’ve been using Lightning for my Thunderbird program for a while now, and this morning I wanted to go in and add a new calendar, since in the beginning, there wasn’t any other way to categorize anything by color. Now that there are categories, I wanted to switch over to using that instead, and I was going to make a new calendar with no colors so that I could just start trading all of my colored entries over to categories, instead.
    Don’t know if that made sense or not.
    Anyway – the upshot is that I can’t access the calendar options anymore. I can’t change color of a calendar, change the calendar a particular entry belongs to, or create a new calendar. All new events apparently have to go into an already created calendar … so I would have to delete everything if I want to start over without using “calendars” as categories, it seems.
    Could you please give us access to the calendar options again so that we can make changes in there?

  11. @Moof
    To create a new calendar go to menu File -> New -> Calendar.
    To change the calendar color go to the Calendars tab in the Lightning sidebar and open the Properties dialog for the calendar.
    To move an event from one calendar to another edit the event. Select ‘All Events’ if you edit a repeating event. In the Event dialog select a different calendar from the dropdown menu.

  12. Is there a way to make one of the set views (e.g. month view, week view, day view) come up automatically when I start Thunderbird?