A few people have asked me different compatibility questions around Lightning 1.0b2. I’d like to take a moment and tell you about what applications Lightning 1.0b2 will support.
What version(s) of Thunderbird will Lightning 1.0b2 support?
This version of Lightning will only support Thunderbird 3.1. To go a bit more into the technical details, Lightning 1.0b2 and Thunderbird 3.1 use the Mozilla Platform version 1.9.2. The previous versions (Lightning 1.0b1 / Thunderbird 3.0.x) use the Mozilla Platform version 1.9.1. Therefore we cannot provide a version of Lightning that is compatible with Thunderbird 3.0.x
Will Lightning 1.0b2 support Seamonkey?
As you can see in this blog post, Seamonkey does not support the Mozilla Platform version 1.9.2. Therefore, Lightning 1.0b2 cannot support Seamonkey 2.0 or 2.1. Note however, the next version of Lightning will most likely use the Mozilla 1.9.3 Platform, which means the next release (due in about 4 months) will be compatible with Seamonkey 2.1. Until then you can still use Lightning 1.0b1 together with Seamonkey 2.0.x.
Which version of the Provider for Google Calendar should I use?
Together with Lightning 1.0b2, I will release a new version of the Provider for Google Calendar. This version will be called 0.7 and will be available on addons.mozilla.org together with Lightning.
Why don’t you use the latest Mozilla platform, verion 1.9.3?
The 1.9.3 platform contains the newest features and bugfixes to date, but this also means that some Mozilla components we use, as well as some UI features, have changed and require us to adapt our code. Changes in the platform can happen every day, which means it doesn’t make sense to rely on it for a release. Just imagine something big changes between now and next week: this would postpone the release indefinitely, which is obviously bad. Another factor is that the newer platform has binary components that have a different interface. If we build Lightning with Mozilla 1.9.3, it won’t be compatible with a Thunderbird on the Mozilla 1.9.2 platform. It makes sense to use the same Mozilla platform version that Thunderbird does, this causes the least amount of headaches.
Why are you releasing betas, and not 1.0 final?
There is a certain level of stability that people expect from such a major release such as 1.0. We have decided on a certain set of bugs that we think should be fixed before 1.0 final is released. Back when we released 1.0b1, we had a few possibilities on what we should name it. There was 0.10 (as in 0.8, 0.9, 0.10, …), but people could think this is similarly mature as 0.1 was. There was 0.9.5, but we wanted to make clear that the Mozilla platform used has a different minor version (1.8.x vs 1.9.x). So we ended up with 1.0b1. Now we have no other choice than to continue with betas until we’ve fixed all the bugs we think make sense for 1.0 final.
I hope this gives a bit of insight, if you have any further questions, please comment!