Nov 10

Helpers wanted: Migrating calendar software documentation to the SUMOMO KB

Dear Calendar community,

This Friday between 7am – 2pm PST we are going to begin migrating the Calendar software documentation to the SUMOMO KB – and we need your help!

Helping is really simple. Connect to our IRC server (irc.mozilla.org) and join #calendar-website – for the migration backchannel.

All you need is:

  • An IRC client (or simply click HERE)
  • A support.mozillamessaging.com account, if you don’t have one, create one here
  • Time and patience
  • Lightning installed is a plus
  • What are we going to do?
    We need your help porting over all the existant help articles on wiki.mozilla.org to support.mozillamessaging.com. Many of the articles are outdated, so it would be great if you could help us check all of the steps mentioned are correct then before migration and  This includes updating the screenshots.

    Once all the articles are ported over, we will send a invitation to the localization community to help us with localizing the articles into other languages.

    Thanks in advance!

    –The calendar website team
    (Tobias Markus, Tom Ellins, Jan Bambach)

    Nov 10

    Recent Rumors Cleaned Up

    In a recent blog post, some rumors have emerged. Partially this is due to bad wording on our side, so I’d like to straighten things out here.

    • “Since we never leave our users with one outdated version of Sunbird, we always give Sunbird new updates with new cool features and bugfixes.” – This is plain wrong, we are not actively working on Sunbird. Nevertheless, due to a shared codebase between Sunbird and Lightning, users who build Sunbird on their own might still profit from some changes. The sentence was corrected in the original blog post.
    • Philipp writes all the blog posts here – Nope, please take a close look at the Author. We now have great support from Jan, Tobbi, and TMZ. I unfortunately don’t get notified about comments on blog posts I don’t write, so I didn’t have a chance to answer via comment. Sorry about that!
    • The latest version of Sunbird is 1.0 beta 2 – Although the folder structure on the ftp server might suggest this, the latest version of Sunbird is still 1.0b1. The naming of that folder is merely an artifact of the release automation used for Lightning 1.0b2. There were no Sunbird builds produced and promoted during that Lightning release.

    Nov 10

    Bringing your Calendar to the Web, Part 1: Introduction

    Lately, I’ve been exploring some new ideas on how to attract new users and maybe also developers. There are many people out there that prefer using a web-based calendar, which is fine, but I believe they can find added value by storing their data locally.

    Surfing the web, you probably make a lot of contact with calendar related websites. The most obvious is a web-based calendar like Google or Yahoo Calendar. But there is actually a lot more. Have you ever used a short-term scheduling service like doodle.de or tungle.me ? Or to go one step further, you’ve surely visited a site that contains a massive amount of calendar data, for example local event sites like eventful.com or upcoming.yahoo.com.

    So what happens when you visit a scheduling site? You’ve probably been invited to participate by a friend. So you look at the site to see what times are suggested. Then you switch back to your calendar to see if you have time. Then you switch back to the site and after a few clicks you have set up your availability. But then you forgot to check for the next week. You see whats going on here? You are switching back and forwards, wasting a lot of time. If you could allow the site to access your calendar, you could see all the data in one place, no need for switching to your calendar application or website. The same goes for upcoming events. If you’re looking for a nice concert to go to, it would be swell to know if you are free on those days.

    This post is the start of a series, I will be posting more about this topic soon. Next up I will be writing in more detail about the possible consumers of your calendar data. Please stay tuned, you are welcome to leave your feedback and ideas.

    Nov 10

    The growth of our download numbers and active users

    About one month ago we shared our download numbers and we announced the majority of the lightning users are on Thunderbird 3.x. The numbers showed that roughly 75% of our users now used a Thunderbird 3.x. During the last month some things have changed: Even more users have downloaded lightning for Thunderbird and the number of users who use Thunderbird 3.1 has grown.

    In this chart you can see that most users are still using Thunderbird 3.0, but the number of users who use Thunderbird 3.1 is steadily growing and it will lead very soon. The number of Lightning users on Thunderbird 3.1 has been growing very fast in the last two months, which shows that Lightning is a great add-on and people just love it as much as we do.
    While the number of Thunderbird 3.1 users is growing, the number of Thunderbird 3.0 users has literally collapsed, although the number of Thunderbird 2.0 users is going down very slowly.


    In this chart you can see the active daily users of Lightning on Thunderbird. You can see, that the number is still growing, but in the last few weeks the number has been falling a little bit.

    That’s all about Lightning – let us move on to Sunbird!

    In this chart you can see the active daily Sunbird users. The average is still moving up, but earlier last month the number was moving down for some weeks. This chart explains itself pretty well, so let us move on again…

    Sometimes people are still using an outdated version of Sunbird. Although the development of Sunbird has stopped, you are still able to update Sunbird. Now, you may ask how much the daily growth of updates is. In this chart you can clearly see that the numbers are really random…

    So, let us finally compare the download growth of Lightning and Sunbird.
    You can clearly see that we got more Lightning users on Thunderbird than Sunbird users. While the number of Lightning users is still growing, Sunbird is almost dying. In the 35-day moving average you can see that the download number was rising for a short while, but suddently just dropped again.

    Now, what do these numbers mean for us, the calendar software and its future?
    To find this out, you need to have some different angles of view on the download numbers: The future of Lightning seems really good so far, while the future of Sunbird looks very dark. But what have we learned from this? Well, we learned lots of things, for example that some users don’t want to use an application for mail and for calendar – they don’t want to use more than one program, they want to use an add-on that brings the calendar-function to Thunderbird, an awesome mail client, while some users prefer using multiple applications.
    We also learned that people really like to have the latest version of software installed, although some people just want to stay on the old versions.

    The future of our calendar software seems obvious, but even if you take a closer look at it you can’t really predict what the numbers will look like…