Lightning 2.5+ Localization Issues

Hello Folks,

As you may have noticed if you are using the beta versions, there have been a few localization problems in the past. This is not the localizers fault, but rather a problem with our build infrastructure.

I have been working on moving the Lightning builds from their own build machines to building together with Thunderbird. This doesn’t mean that Lightning will be pre-installed with Thunderbird, it just saves time while building since I don’t have to maintain a separate set of build machines.

Unfortunately, since Lightning is just piggybacking the Thunderbird build targets, this causes a dilemma for the localized builds. Before the localization process begins, the language files are downloaded from the mercurial server and updated to the specific version which was signed-off by a Thunderbird localizer. As Lightning can only hook into the build process itself, there is no previous step to update the language files to the version which was signed-off by the Lightning localizers. Adding this step is non-trivial.

In some cases it will magically work, if the Thunderbird localizer signed off a later version than the Lightning localizer, because the Lightning changes will then be contained too. Right now I don’t have a good solution other than to ask localizers to sign off on the Thunderbird dashboard. I’m trying to figure out some alternatives, in the worst case I will have to do the language repackaging manually for Thunderbird 24 / Lightning 2.6.

If you have some experience with Mozilla’s release engineering and have an idea how to solve this, I’m happy to hear it!


  1. Hi,

    Are you thinking to developer further Sunbird or this project is just abandoned?

    Thank you.

    • Philipp Kewisch

      Hi Raül,

      sorry, there are no current plans to invest resources in Sunbird development. There is a long term vision to be able to modify Thunderbird in a way that only calendar features are visible if there are no mail accounts, but given all the other things needing to be done and the size of the team, I doubt this will actually happen any time soon.

  2. Why did you remove the option to use Google calendar? I’m starting over on a new computer after a crash, and when I go to start a new calendar, the option to choose Google calendar is gone. Are you planning on bringing this back?

    • Philipp Kewisch

      This option is provided by the “Provider for Google Calendar” extension. Please make sure it is installed and enabled.

  3. Is there a way to connect Thunderbird/Lightning to an iPhone 4s? My wife and I are trying to sync our calendars so we have a rough idea where each other might be.

    I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking for something that might work. For example, the is “Birdiesync” on the Apple iTunes store, but it said that it requires “Birdiesync” on the pc side too. I’ve found it, but it is 20eu and doesn’t appear to be done by you guys.

    • Philipp Kewisch

      Hi Russ. If you are ok with synchronizing your calendar over the Internet, you can use any CalDAV compliant server. This includes Google Calendar, Yahoo, Owncloud and with some extra effort you can possibly also set up your account for synchronization in Lightning.

      There is no local solution I know of, I haven’t tested birdiesync and last I checked (quite some time ago) believe it is for pay too.

  4. Hi
    I can’t make lighning work on thunderbird 24.0.1
    I Upgrade thunderbird from 24.0 to 24.0.1(form the tar.bz2 on debian wheezy) And all menus in the agenda was disable and no more events in calendar (I’ve got 4 agendas). I dowgrade to 24.0 (I only change the link to thunderbird) and it works. I Go back to 24.0.1 and don’t work again.
    I tried 2 things after:
    disable/enable lightning –>NOK
    There’s no success
    So I must stay on 24.0 of thunderbird actually
    Thanks a lot
    Sorry for my english

  5. It’s me too I think I’m on the wrong article
    my previous comment was abour lightning 2.6 on thunderbird 24.0.1


  6. i hop you develop Sunbird too.

  7. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?
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