As you may have noticed if you are running a Thunderbird 3.3 alpha or nightly, Lightning has changed its version number from 1.1a1pre to 1.0b4pre. I’d like to take a moment and explain why we changed this and what effects it may have.
As mentioned on the Calendar Versions page, we need to follow the release cycle of Thunderbird. Users will (and have, in the past) massively complain if a new version of Thunderbird is released without a corresponding Lightning version. Although there is no final plan yet when Thunderbird 3.3 will be released, the ballpark figure is some time in April. This would mean we have something between 3 and 7 weeks to complete our next release.
If we continue our previous plan and release Lightning 1.0b3, which would work on Thunderbird 3.1 and 3.2, we would have just enough time to complete that release and would need a near to equal amount of time to prepare for a Thunderbird 3.3 compatible release. As you can imagine, this is not feasible.
Therefore we have decided to leave out 1.0b3 and concentrate on releasing 1.0b4, which will be compatible with Thunderbird 3.3.
For localizers, this means they will have to make sure l10n-central is correctly translated. Resulting l10n builds can be found here. Pike is working hard to make sure the l10n dashboard can keep up with our branch switching. As soon as he is done, we can officially announce string freeze and accept sign-offs. This of course doesn’t mean you need to wait. We have checked in all bugs that require string changes, so go ahead and translate!
For Seamonkey, this means that Lightning 1.0b4 will support Seamonkey 2.1, which is currently in its beta phase.
In turn, we no longer have a need for 1.0b3pre nightly builds. This might be unfortunate for Thunderbird 3.1 users that want to stay up to date with the latest Lightning features. On the other hand, the list of bugs to be fixed for the next beta doesn’t contain any more new features. We will concentrate on fixing bugs and regressions to make sure Lightning 1.0b4 doesn’t cause any surprises for your daily work.