Lightning 1.0b3 Release Planning

As you may have noticed, that blog posts are not as common as they were before. This doesn’t mean that development has slowed down, but as you may remember, Simon has reduced his work on the project to an absolute minimum, due to job and real life restrictions.

Nevertheless, we are working as hard as we can to get the next release out of the door. If you are currently testing a 1.9.2 branch nightly (labeled as 1.0b3pre), you will not have noticed any improvements over 1.0b2 yet. Our current work has happened on comm-central (labeled 1.1a1pre, this is not the final version number though), which uses the latest version of the Mozilla Platform. Mozilla has done loads of changes to the platform with far-reaching consequences for the Calendar Project. We’ve decided to follow these issues to reduce the work needed later on.

We’ve also been working on lots of new features and bugfixes though and will be porting our fixes to the 1.9.2 branch very soon. If you’d like to see the list of fixes beforehand, check out this link.

We haven’t decided on a firm release date yet, but our goal is to release 1.0b3 towards the end of the year. Currently, there are 22 bugs left to fix for the release. 6 of them are in review and I’m confident that we’ll be able to fix the others soon.

But what can you do to help us towards the release? Yes, exactly! Testing! There is no way we can make a stable release without the help of our testing community. If you’d like to help out, you have two options:

  • Testing for adventurers: You’re up for a challenge? You make regular backups of your calendar data? Then this is for you! You’ll need the latest nightly of Thunderbird from comm-central, together with the latest nightly of Lightning from comm-central. Be sure to create a full backup of your Profile.
  • Testing with some safety ropes: You’d like some safety? Maybe you don’t want to upgrade your Thunderbird just yet? Thats fine too, but you’ll have to bear with us! Use your stock Thunderbird 3.1 together with a nightly version of Lightning from comm-1.9.2. Currently, this version doesn’t bring much advantage over the 1.0b2 release, but we will soon be porting patches so that you can take advantage of the new fixes. Note you should be backing up your profile in this case too, but its a lot less likely that something will break.

In any case, be sure to check out the Lightning Nightly Updater Extension to make sure you’re getting the newest testing version(s) on a daily basis


Thank you for your help and remember: We can’t do it without you!


  1. Sad to see that the effects of reality have indeed taken their toll on the calendar project. I’ve long been an avid user of Sunbird, through all of its testing, and I’m jumping on board finally with the Lightning project. It would be good to see more people getting into this program, but I worry sometimes that people are beginning to lose sight of how important it is to keep you life in order. So many people these days seem to just follow the current of life that sweeps them down stream. They don’t apply any direction to themselves, which, of course, will affect a calender project immensely

  2. The infomatics goes on, but Lightning is always there, with the same error, and we don’t have a free email client with calendar and activity.
    I use it for my personal things, but if it is always on beta version, I’ll never use it for work. Ther are too many bug and many lack of functionality.
    It cames always later Microsoft, it’s a good product but have not great details, this is why people use microsoft for works. The details make the difference.
    I know it’s difficult to work on a free project…but the too long release time, bring the people to use Microsoft product…
    Thank you,

  3. In my opinion the Thunderbird team is focussing on the wrong tasks. Lightning with all its rich features is such a strong argument for people to switch from Outlook etc. that they should treat it with more attention and put some resources in. Lightning is not just another add-on. It’s essential to the future of Thunderbird itself.

  4. thanks for your support over the years, but I have changed to MS Outlook now.
    Much, much better.

  5. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for your work and for the news.
    I’m agree with Heribert : “they should treat it with more attention and put some resources in. Lightning is not just another add-on. It’s essential to the future of Thunderbird itself. ”
    If Lighting projects stops, we will be forced to go back to Outlook that we have left 6 or 7 years ago ! Thunderbird without Lightning has no sense in most of professionnal environnements.
    And Firefox 4 has to be really good (much lighter in system resources use) if Mozilla don’t want to see last power users migrating for example, to Chromium !
    God (or his new CEO ;)) save Mozilla !

  6. I agree with Heribert. There no good alternatives to outlook calendar expect lightning. I would really like this project to get more appreciation.
    The only other alternative is google calendar, but I’m not sure it is safe in the long run. Cloud computing is dangerous.
    King regards,
    A satisfied thunderbird user.

  7. What ever happened to Sunbird?

    At this point I really don’t care about any improvements to Thunderbird ‘main program’. All that would matter to me is to get a lightning release that is a) stable and b) has at least the same (working) features as lightning 0.9.
    I consider myself as ‘power-user’ and strong supporter of open source (I even contributed code to another open source ‘GIS’ program). After waiting for >1 year and sticking to tb 2.x with lightning 0.9 (while regularly checking for new developments) I seriously consider switching to Outlook. Feeling like this despite having used lightning for the last 3 (or 4) years and despite my almost ‘political’ views on open source makes me worry about how other (less enthusiastic) thunderbird users will react.
    For me, Thunderbird is simply useless without a working+stable Lightning-Calender

  9. Hi all,
    I also agree with Heribert ! I think that Lightning will be the future for Thunderbird. I’m using both of them since years and I don’t want to come back to MS’ world…but please we need some more professional improvements !!!
    One exemple : for time zone, you propose just a list of towns. But how can I be sure that, just because I’m located near one of them, I will be in the same time zone ?
    Think to poor workers travelling around the world !!!
    Tons of thanks and greetings for your work :-))))))

  10. If you’re on a mac try ical, address book and mail they really are quite a nice trio. They are all separate but interact nicely. I much prefer this configuration because I can look at my calendar and my mail at the same time, which is really handy when moving back and forth between the two. They also have nice uncluttered interfaces. They’re not perfect though they have numerous small annoyances (like mail insists on making folder for to-do items), they only work on mac, there is no decent to-do component that allows planning (its all an afterthought) and it is proprietary.
    I’m using thunderbird and sunbird at the moment but synchronization is a hassle. I use google to sync my calendars, but addresses seem to be harder, and just forget to-dos (afterthought on sunbird too). My palm is now a door stop because I cannot sync to it. So I am seriously thinking about getting an iphone and moving back to apple apps. Hate to do it but how much inconvenience can one put up with?
    Don’t say this to imply criticisms of the developers. Sunbird made great improvements and so has thunderbird. I really hope they continue to, though I’m not sure there is much sense of a unified idea around what is being created, why it will be better/more convenient than outlook

  11. Hi,
    When can I expect to see for x86_64 platrofmy for Thunderbird 3.x series?

    Kiam mi povas atendi eldonon por x86_64 por serio Thunderbird 3.x?