Plans for the next release

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 (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 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!


  1. To encourage people to use nightlies, kill regressions faster (example: ).

  2. You likely mean right? I have it open right now and will upload a fix today.

  3. Hi, Philipp:
    Good news and looking forward to the guiding information. The SL version is green afaik, so we’ll just have to see how it playes with TB 7.

  4. Thanks for this informations.
    I’d also like to know is the support of RDFiCal format is planed. With the rise of RDFa, and events on web pages encoded in RDFiCal, this will become more and more usefull.

  5. Can I suggest someone have a read of ?

  6. Tried to install the windows beta (1.08bopre) for Thunderbird 8 and got an error message from Firefox saying the add-in is not compatible with Firefox 6.02.

  7. Would love to get a plain-language update on the status of the enhancements to offline. I have subscribed to the bug but unfortunately am not tech-y enough to understand what is happening over there.
    Thanks for the great product.

  8. May I first say that Lightning is very very good – however there are two points that I think really need to be addressed before going to a “1.0” release.
    Firstly, it is imperative that double-clicking on an ics file attched to an email should automatically open up an event in the calendar – at the moment (TBird 6.02 and Lightning 1.0b5) the user STILL has to save the attachment onto the HDD and then import it in Lightning.
    That I consider to be a major deficiency in an otherwise brilliant calendar.
    The second point is not so important – but it would be a very good idea if when creating a task or an event, a link could be inserted to a document that resides in a folder or directory outside of Thunderbird, that when clicked, would open the document in the relevant application. At the moment an Internet URL can be attached to a task, but not a link to any sort of document.
    If these two points could be implemented in the next release then whizzo! A truly fantastic calendar would be on offer, really rivalling that of Outlook.

  9. Keep up the good work, after using lightning for a year now I could never go back to Outlook.
    PS. What would be the best way for small company with little time on their hands to support the Lightning project. A donation somewhere?

  10. Will Lightning ever become a default integrated part of Thunderbird?

  11. Ken, that goal is not off our table, but there are a few requirements for that to happen, including more contributors and better test coverage.

  12. Nolan, I haven’t seen much RDFiCal on webpages, but maybe hCalendar is more interesting there (supported i.e by yahoo upcoming). We don’t integrate directly in the browser, so I don’t think this should currently be a priority.

  13. Hello Unlogic,
    I’m glad you enjoy Lightning. If you would like to make a donation, please check out:
    Aside from that, testing of nightly builds and release candidates is the greatest help for us.

  14. Hi: something I’m not understanding here. TB 7 is now in beta 3 but there is no Lightning version that can install on it. But there is a TB 8 alpha that does have Lightning version 8 betapre that will install on TB 8 as it currently exists. Do I have this correct? I have this from the main post above but it seems to be backwards from what one would expect. Perhaps I’ve missed something completely so maybe you could correct me if I have this wrong. All the best.

  15. Hello Nolan,
    Since we support the iCal standard which underlies RDFiCal, I think we are good here. While of course it would be nice to support this directly and it shouldn’t be too hard to do, its not very common that the user will have .rdf files on his computer that he wants to import. Therefore I see this more of a task of the developer creating the extension that allows adding to Lightning. Don’t you think it would also make sense for a such Firefox extension to allow saving the events as an .ics file? If this work is done, then its just a matter of importing the exported file to Lightning.
    Anyway, thank you very much for making me aware of RDFiCal, I’ll keep it in mind and might come back to it in the future. If you are interested in helping us out and would like to add native RDFiCal support to Lightning, please do let me know and I’ll walk you through the specifics.