Nov 11

Localization Schedule for Lightning 1.1 and beyond

Now that Lightning 1.0 has been released, we can move forward and adapt to the rapid release schedule that Thunderbird and Firefox are using. In terms of development we will do this gradually but for localization we will do so right away. From now on, if you are already used to the Firefox/Thunderbird localizations you can think the same for Calendar.

Here is an overview of where to get the sources and see the translation progress

en-US source locale source dashboard current version until merge
comm-beta l10n/mozilla-beta cal_beta Lighting 1.1 / Thunderbird 9
comm-aurora l10n/mozilla-aurora cal_aurora Lighting 1.2 / Thunderbird 10
comm-central l10n-central cal_central Lighting 1.3 / Thunderbird 11

Specifically for Lightning 1.1, we have managed to open a milestone for Lightning 1.1. I’d like to encourage you to sign off on this milestone until December 5th so we can be ready in time for the release on December 20th.

Nov 11

Help Lightning understand email, in your language!

As a Lightning user I often wish that all events would arrive at my Inbox as invitations in the iCalendar format. This way I could just click the accept button and it would be added to my calendar. But they don’t. Often people just write you a text-based email when they want to invite you somewhere. So you right-click the email, choose convert to event and a new event dialog opens with start date set to next full hour. Not quite correct unless you’re really lucky.

This is why I’m working on an extension to Lightning which would fill in dates and times automatically from email content. The basic idea is that localizers can define most common ways dates and times are referred to in their language similarly to how they localize Lightning itself. Using these patterns event dialog can be much smarter about setting start and end times and in most cases you wouldn’t need to correct them at all.

Since Lightning is localized into 38 languages and language variants I need your help. If you fluently speak a language other than English and would be willing to spend some time to localize the patterns and test this prototype on your emails then please leave a comment below. Be sure to include your email and language of choice so I can send you a customized pattern file and prototype. Do so even if you speak only English as you can still help with testing. Feedback on when it guesses correctly and when not is crucial to improving the extension. What works great in English may not work well in your language and of course everyone’s email is different too. With your feedback I can improve my extension so that this functionality can be included into Lightning later on (the curious can follow bug 403222 where more technical information will be posted).

Merike Sell, Mozilla Calendar Team

Nov 11

Update on Lightning usage numbers

It’s been over a year since we last posted about the current state of Lightning usage. Since that day Thunderbird 5, 6, 7 and 8 have been released with their Lightning counterparts 1.0 beta4, 1.0 beta 5, 1.0 beta7 and finally Lightning 1.0.

Now it’s time to look at things again and I’m happy to report, that Lightning is more popular as ever before with nearly 30% more daily users than one year before. Right now we average nearly 1,400,000 users each day during the workweek and about 775,000 users on the weekends, which brings to more than 1,200,000 users on average over the course of a week.

Most of our users (64.2%) are now on Thunderbird 8. Most of the rest still uses Thunderbird 3.1 (15.0%) and Thunderbird 7 (13.4%). The remainder (7.4%) is mostly distributed to Thunderbird 2 (still at 2.3%), Thunderbird 6 (2.6%), Thunderbird 5 (1.0%) and other installations (other Thunderbird releases, SeaMonkey and Firefox) at 1.5%.

Nov 11

Lightning 1.0 is here!

So, this is it! My early birthday present, Lightning 1.0, has finally been released. For quite some time now we have had so-called “beta” releases, that were in no way different to our other releases. With Lightning 1.0 we can finally say good bye to the betas and hello to exciting new releases!

When planning for this release, we mainly focused on rounding off any sharp edges you may find in Lightning. Just as an example, you can now press Escape to cancel creating an event via dragging. Sounds like a simple, intuitive feature that should have been there all along? You bet! There is one exception though, Lightning now supports full offline editing using the cache feature you can find in the calendar properties. This great big feature has been in the works during the past Google Summer of Code and has now finally made it into the release.

As always, you can get the latest release from addons.mozilla.org. If you are using the Provider for Google Calendar, make sure to upgrade too. Please note that Lightning 1.0 is compatible to Thunderbird 8, which is also being released today.

So, whats happening next? I will be gathering some ideas during the upcoming EU MozCamp 2011 and will present you my plans shortly after. If you have any suggestions, please do use the newsgroups to get in touch.

Nov 11

Lightning 1.0 Testing Week

Hello Lightning users and testers,

With the forthcoming release of Lightning 1.0, we would like to organize a community driven testing event in order improve subsequent versions of Lightning, making sure that it isn’t regressing in any major way. This event will take place during the week starting on November the 13th. If you use Lightning regularly, it should be quite easy to participate.

What do I need to do to participate ?

  • You will need to sign up by sending an email to ludovic@mozilla.com who will coordinate the testing effort. Mention “Lightning testing” in the subject.(1)
  • You will need some free time on that week to perform some tests.
  • You will need an account on litmus.mozilla.org – this is the tool that we will use to track testing and you might need an account on bugzilla.mozilla.org to report defects.

How would my involvement participation would look like ?

  • You read this – send the email and create the accounts that you might need.
  • On the day we start the event you’ll get an email with detailed instructions on what needs to be tested and links to getting started.
  • You follow the links and select some test in litmus.
  • Test
  • Report if the test is ok, or borked
  • If borked you file a bug.

It’s that simple !!!

And while this test will be happening – we will also test Thunderbird 10. If you also want to help just let us know when you signup

(1) signing up ensures that the test workload can be distributed amongst the participants – if we don’t do that install get’s tested 4 times and alarms might end up not being tested.