Dec 09

Questions and answers for the Lightning 1.0 beta1 release candidate

Since my announcement, that we’ve released a first release candidate of Lightning 1.0 beta1, there have been a few questions here in the comments, which I’d like to address:

  • I am getting this error when trying to install Lightning: “Lightning 1.0b1 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox 3.5.6.” What’s wrong?
    This happens when you just click on the link to the Lightning add-on file in the announcement post in Firefox. Firefox is unable to distinguish between add-ons designed for Firefox and add-ons designed for other Mozilla applications. Please make sure, that you right-click on the link to the add-on file and choose “Save Link as…”. After that follow step 2-4 in the announcement post.

  • The Google Calendar Provider add-on from the links in the announcement post gives the following error message: “0.6b1 requires additional items”. What’s wrong?
    This is a known bug and will be fixed shortly.

  • Are 64bit builds for Linux available?
    Not yet, but our lead developer Philipp Kewisch is in the process of creating them and will post an announcement here on the blog once he’s finished.

  • Does the lightning-all.xpi file contain all localizations, and does the lightning.xpi in the en-US folder contain only the English strings?

  • Will this release candidate build automatically update itself to the final version of Lightning 1.0 beta1?
    No. Once Lightning 1.0 beta1 is released in its final form, we will make it available on addons.mozilla.org. You will need to download it again then.

  • I have an error “An error was encountered preparing the calendar located at moz-profile-calendar:// for use. It will not be available.” I cannot create events or tasks. What can I do to fix this?
    Please take a look at this blog post here.

  • There’s no release candidate for Sunbird yet. When will that be available?
    As said in the earlier post we are having problems with our Sunbird build machines. Once those are fixed, we will make a release candidate for Sunbird available.

I hope that answers most of your questions.

Dec 09

Lightning 1.0beta1 release candidate is available

After all the trouble that we went through to prepare the Lightning and Sunbird builds for 1.0 beta1 (see Philipp’s posts here and here, we have finally succeeded (at least on the Lightning front).

Candidate builds for Lightning 1.0 beta1 in 37 languages are available as of now for:

A corresponding build of the Google Calendar Provider is also available at those locations.

To install these builds in Thunderbird 3, please follow these steps:

  1. Download the build for your operating system to a folder on your hard disk
    UPDATE: Please make sure, that you right-click on the links above and choose “Save Link as…”. Otherwise Firefox will try to install Lightning and you will get an error message like “Lightning 1.0b1 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox.”
  2. Open Thunderbird, then open its add-on manager via Tools –> Add-ons (or the corresponding entry in your language)
  3. Click on the “Install…” button on the lower left and navigate for the lightning.xpi file that you just downloaded.
  4. Restart Thunderbird after the add-on installation has been performed. Voila!

What is missing right now are two things:

  • Linux builds for the x86-64 platform. We need someone from the community to provide those to us. Please contact our lead developer Philipp Kewisch (contact details are available here) if you can help out.
  • Sunbird builds. We still have problems with those but hope tho have those fixed before Christmas. Watch this space for more information.

Please tell us what you think of these candidate builds and file bugs in Bugzilla as you go.

Dec 09

Release Status – Lightning for Thunderbird 3

I’d like to give you guys another update of how our release process is going, especially since Thunderbird 3.0 is now released and we are not ready yet. To take the interesting details up front, I believe we will be able to release rc1 before Christmas. If no urgent issues show up, we will be able to release the 1.0b1 final for or shortly after Christmas. This release will be compatible with Thunderbird 3.0.

From the product point of view, we are ready. We have all the patches in that we think should belong in 1.0b1rc1. Therefore, the nightly builds should be of the same quality that the release candidate 1 will be.

If you cannot do without Thunderbird 3 and are brave enough to try pre-release grade builds, I’d suggest to take a look at our nightly builds. Be sure to do backups first though! Otherwise please bear with us until we have the beta released and stay with Thunderbird 2 in the meanwhile.

From the release engineering point of view, we are constantly running into Problems. I believe the biggest and most unsolvable problem is that I am in a different timezone than Mozilla Messaging’s release engineering, which means there is only a small timeframe where we can communicate about build issues. All other problems are at least solvable, but need some time to identify and find a solution for. Each attempt for building the release candidate has a build number. Let me summarize what happened during our builds:

Various problems before we could start building, including but not limited to missing access and l10n problems.
Build system problems caused first mac/win32 to fail, then linux/mac to fail, and so on. The reason was that a script only used for calendar was called with the wrong path, but only in the rare case that the build is called with the packaging target needed for the release.
We noticed, that Thunderbird 3.0 has some storage changes that are not on the normal 1.9.1 branches, so we needed to make sure the calendar release branch is based off of the Thunderbird 3.0 release branch.
Lightning version number was incorrect, the version bump script doesn’t take care of install.rdf changes
Mac’s lightning.xpi is not universal, which means we need to respin. Also checked in some last minute caldav and wcap patches we probably would have taken for rc2 anyway.
Normal Sunbird builds succeeded, localization repack failed. I hope gozer knows why this is happening and can tell us tomorrow.

Another “problem” is that gozer needs to trigger and upload the Lightning builds manually, which also takes extra time once for each build. I do hope we can finish off the last problems soon. I’d like to again note that next time around this process will be much shorter. We don’t need to fix the small build system issues, all we need to do is update the release config and trigger a build.

Dec 09

1.0 Beta 1 Progress

We are working hard on getting the first release candidate for Sunbird and Lightning 1.0 Beta 1 out and since our nightly testers have surely noticed that the latest nightlies have been named “1.0b1pre” I wanted to give a short update.

We have been working on releasing the beta since last Wednesday. To make releasing easier, we have decided to make use of the Thunderbird release automation scripts. This is also the reason the version number changed to 1.0b1pre. Since the directory structure of Calendar is a bit different to what Thunderbird and Firefox use, we had some complications that need to be mangled out first. Unfortunately, building is a lengthy process (it takes a while until we are able to find out what went wrong) and Mozilla Messaging’s Release Engineering is in a different timezone (6 hours difference), things are taking a bit longer than I anticipated.

Nevertheless, I am confident that we will be able to publish our release candidate in the next week, and depending on if we find further blocking issues or not, release 1.0 Beta 1 in the next 2-3 weeks. Also, for the next release the process should be much quicker since we’ve now had the time to take care of the one-time issues (missing access, minor bugs in our build system, etc.)

Update: Linux and Windows builds of RC1 have succeeded! The fix for Mac is on its way, we now just need to take care of some branching issues and let the Mac box build.