Miscellaneous Cool Things

  • The Mozilla Calendar project released version 0.7 of Sunbird and Lightning. Sunbird is a standalone calendar app kinda like Apple’s iCal, and Lightning is the same functionality as an extension for Thunderbird. This version is miles ahead of where the last (0.5) version was. It’s not finished yet, but it’s definitely usable, and I’ve had the privilege of hanging out in IRC channels and phone calls with some of the people involved, and every time I ask about a specific feature or point out an issue, they come back with a bug # and a place on their roadmap. That project is going really well.

    I believe that Lightning is going to be fundamentally important for Thunderbird’s future. There are at least millions, probably tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people for whom calendaring support in an email client is a sine qua non, and by combining the capabilities of Thunderbird today, Lightning 1.0, and some additional special sauce, I think we’re going to rock.

    I’ll definitely write more about calendaring and collaboration software soon, as I’ve been learning a lot about calendaring, scheduling, and the like, and I’d like to encourage others to join the party.

    Important note to current users of Lightning 0.5: after an upgrade to 0.7 you may need to re-enable the calendars you want to see. Also, if you want access to Google Calendars, you need the 0.3 build of the “Google Provider”.

  • The Mozilla marketing team has come up with a messaging document for Firefox (that’s a standard marketing term, by the way), which identifies three major points: Security, Customization, and my favorite, 100% Organic Software. I’m curious to see how the public at large responds to the notion of organic software. I love creative, gutsy marketing like that. I haven’t thought much about what Thunderbird’s messaging should look like yet — we’ll get to that later.

  • Mozilla Labs launched Prism, which is the new name for the cool “take a web app and make a web app” work Mark Finkle’s been doing. It’s going to be fascinating to see that evolve. I’m keen to see if MailCo can push from the desktop “out” just like Prism is pushing from the webapp “in”. In some ways, that’s what IMAP, CalDAV, CardDAV, LDAP etc. are all about.


  1. I’m quite curious about what exactly is in this “special sauce” (this assuming, of course, that it’s not simply a rebranded version of Thousand Island dressing).

    If we could find Thunderbird/Lightning on par feature-wise with Outlook (is Exchange support possible!?) I think I would mess myself. Also the world would break out in world peace and all the little children’s bellies would be full.


  2. If I said what it was, it wouldn’t be secret, now would it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I don’t know yet is the plain truth. I think some garlic might come in handy, as well as cream (can never have enough cream). And hot sauce can do magic when applied with moderation.


  3. Thanks for your kind words regarding the 0.7 update, David. We’re definitely looking forward to a much closer cooperation between Thunderbird and the Calendar Project in the future.


  4. Thanks for the note on the messaging we’re working on for Firefox. I’ll be posting shortly with more background on how we came to this direction, as it will influence heavily the marketing for Firefox 3.


  5. Hi David,
    I have been keenly watching your transition from Komodo to Thunderbird It is interesting to see that you move from one species to another ๐Ÿ™‚
    Two takeaways from your post here. First, I am awaiting for the day when I can use Thunderbird to do exactly what I do with Outlook + Exhcange. Secondly, and more importantly, I am interested in Thunderbird’s Prism like experiment. Awaiting MailCo’s revolution.
    All the best.


  6. Personally, I don’t see the link between mailing and calendaring functions. For me it’s two different applications.
    However it’s not the opinion of my users. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    There is a big problem to manage Lightning in enterprise: extensions are not administratively manageable. How an administrator does to deploy an extension, to configure it, to upgrade it and to suppress it ? Autoconfig system doesn’t do that.
    Today, admin must do that manually user per user. It’s not a way to do that, the cost is too heavy.
    Moreover Thunderbird’s UI is too narrow to nest Calendar’s UI. It would be a good thing to implement a tab bar which will allow to switch easily between embedded applications.


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