Plans for the next release
Its about time to give you an update on what is planned for the next release. As you may have noticed, we have had a lot of trouble calling our releases “beta”. For one thing, some users and especially corporate users are cautious when they read beta and don’t see that it has the same quality as all our other releases. Aside from that we also had trouble with uploading releases to addons.mozilla.org (they are automatically marked beta and require admin intervention to make them public for everyone) and we are constantly in need of new sub-version numbers. For example, if we want to release a matching build for Thunderbird 7.0b2, what do we call it? Lightning 1.0 beta 7 beta 1? Thats too much, do you agree?
To relieve that issue we’re going to bite the bullet and call either our next release or the one after 1.0. Afterwards we can newly decide on version numbers and I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not going to go into the version number trap again. If at some point the next available version number is 2.0, then that’s the way it is.
What this means for Localizers?
We have taken great care to avoid patches with string changes for the next release. Therefore as it is right now, if you have all strings translated for Lightning 1.0b5, then you are good to go for the next release.
According to the l10n dashboard, there are 13 locales with missing strings. This information is quite old so a lot may have changed in between, but it would be splendid if all of the remaining locales could have their strings translated. I will be contacting the localizers personally to make sure things progress
Update: Likely the l10n builds are not working yet. I’ll also post here and in mozilla.dev.l10n when that is fixed!
What this means for you?
For you? Yes, for you! We need help testing Lightning to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises in the next two weeks. Now you’ll surely want to know where to get a build compatible with Thunderbird 7.0 Betas. Unfortunately I must admit, this is not quite ready yet. Our goal is to automate the release process a bit more, otherwise at least a day of my time is taken just for producing a full set of release (candidate) builds. It may easily happen that a detail is forgotten, which will only make the process more painful.
So what to do in the meantime? Well you have two options. First of all you could test Thunderbird 8 Prerelease with Lightning 1.0b8pre. This may be a different Thunderbird version, but the Lightning code is the same between those versions.
Then we have the first set of test builds for Thunderbird 7 beta and Lightning 1.0b7. These builds might have their quirks since not all parts of release automation went well. Please stay tuned, I’ll be posting an update when its advisable to move from testing with Thunderbird 8 to Thunderbird 7.
We need you now more than ever to make sure Lightning 1.0 is a success. This version will likely get more PR than the previous versions so it would be a pity if it weren’t in good shape or needs to be skipped for an urgent fix. I’m counting on you!