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Mozilla Sunbird 0.5 Released 135

Posted by kdawson
from the hot-date dept.
linux pickle writes "Mozilla has released version 0.5 of Sunbird, its calendar app. New features in this release include numerous stability and usage improvements, Google Calendar synchronization support, and much improved printing support. Check out the release notes or grab a copy."
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Mozilla Sunbird 0.5 Released

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  • Stop the presses holy hell! *head a-splodes*
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Umm, I don't know who modded the parent troll, but let's be honest, when the story's went for nearly five minutes with nothing but this post, he might actually be right. Just sayin'.
  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:02PM (#19677825)
    Lightning, which is the Sunbird plugin for the Thunderbird email client, was also released.

    Update as usual: Tools > Add-ons > Find Updates

    Great work, guys!
    • I'm looking for a way to give my Exchange server a toss (because I hate Exchange *and* because I'm stuck with running it on Windows SBS 2003). How close is Thunderbird/Sunbird to the point where I can go to my manager and make the pitch?
      • I'm Sorry (Score:5, Informative)

        by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:09PM (#19677945)
        I'm sorry to report that Thunderbird/Sunbird is nowhere near ready to replace Exchange. Depending on your needs, it might be a good fit though.

        I'd say download it and try it out. If it's too basic for your needs, and it probably is, then look at some of the open source groupware packages.

        There's some neat open source groupware out there.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          And nearly all of it will never replace Exchange because most of the packages are too difficult to install and configure, are based on technologies that don't scale very well (like PHP), or don't synchronize well or at all with Outlook.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by flydpnkrtn (114575)
            PHP doesn't scale well? Wha?

            "The PHP Scalability Myth"
            http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2003/10/15/php_ scalability.html [onjava.com]
            • by julesh (229690)
              That article is interesting, but by concentrating on either very large sites or very small sites, it misses one point where Java does excel: fitting large numbers of concurrent connections on a single server. A Java servlet architecture allows session or application scope objects that remain in-memory for long periods of time. This is useful for information cacheing (thus reducing the number of database queries the application will need to perform) and for maintaining user session information. Techniques
              • Because I'm interested in web server architectures that scale I have to Google everything you mentioned in your post :-)

                If I could I'd mod you up man... that's a lot of info on Java servlets you crammed into one post.

        • The big thing my organization needs Exchange for is shared calendaring and event management. I find Exchange's address books hokey, and am going to be setting up an LDAP server to manage that anyways. Basic isn't bad, in my opinion.
          • by cawpin (875453)
            Lightning/Sunbird has shared calendar support already. If that's all you're looking for go for it.
            • Nope, tried it at mine. Lightning (a must if you are going to be using Thunderbird in the work place) missing decent native shared calendaring support. This is big stopper. But if you have users that do not require it, go for it. I've rolled it out for our laptop users, i.e users not connected to the exchange server..
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Zonk (troll) (1026140)

                Nope, tried it at mine. Lightning (a must if you are going to be using Thunderbird in the work place) missing decent native shared calendaring support. This is big stopper. But if you have users that do not require it, go for it. I've rolled it out for our laptop users, i.e users not connected to the exchange server..

                Lightning/Sunbird do support shared calendaring. Use either WebDAV or FTP to host it and install it on the client as a remote calendar (whatever it's called). Writing is supported.

                If you want to dump exchange, though, go with Scalix. The Community Edition is free for 25 users, though when you get above that it's not cheap. Still, it does everything Exchange does, runs on Linux, provides an excellent web client, full integration with Outlook via a plug-in, and full integration with Evolution via a plug-

                • by khanyisa (595216)

                  If you want to dump exchange, though, go with Scalix. The Community Edition is free for 25 users, though when you get above that it's not cheap. Still, it does everything Exchange does, runs on Linux, provides an excellent web client, full integration with Outlook via a plug-in, and full integration with Evolution via a plug-in.

                  Or rather go with Zimbra. The Community Edition is free for any number of users - it's real free software. And all the rest is true of it as well... Plus it seems you can use lightning to access your shared calendars in Zimbra

          • Migrating your corporate address book to LDAP is a great start, but I still don't think that Lightning is going to do what you need it to do.

            Again, try it out. Hopefully it will meet your needs. But as far a I know, there is no way to automatically schedule meetings based on others' calendars. Most organizations use that ability of Exchange quite heavily.
            • I use notes at work, and love the ability to peek at others' calendars and find free time. I'd love that feature at home.
            • by defaria (741527)
              Active Directory IS LDAP! I create LDAP Directories in TB's addressbook all the time. Granted you need to get through the front line help desk people to the LDAP people who know the appropriate LDAP magic words but it is indeed doable...
          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            So use Zimbra or Open-Xchange. There's a *ton* of great groupware out there. I don't get the whole "Exchange is my god!!" thing.

            GOOGLE PEOPLE!!
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by QuantumRiff (120817)
              I've actually tested Zimbra in my environment.. Currently we use Eudora for Pop3 and Oracle Calendar. The biggest problem I have with much of the "open source" groupware is that it is Browser only. (zimbra has an offline client that is a resource PIG). For my traveling users, they are not always connected to a network. They still need to be able to lookup when/where their next appointment is. I am planning on moving everyone to Thunderbird/IMAP for email, and would absolutely love to use an opensource
              • by charlesnw (843045)
                You mean like the open source Funambol (formerly called sync4j)? http://www.funambol.com/ [funambol.com]
                • Interesting.. Off to do some reading... thanks!
                  • by mp3phish (747341)
                    Unfortunately, you won't find much to read there.

                    The documentation is horrible and there is literally nothing on that website that explains how the system works, only the feature set. But absolutely NONE of the featureset is explained in detail.

                    Short of setting up your own server with the software and spending a ton of time, you probably will not get any answers on what works with that system. Also, after lots of research, the synCML plugin for lightning is no longer supported because the mozilla calendar a
          • by hairyfeet (841228)
            Take a look at Xandros server which has Scalix groupware and an Active Directory to LDAP migration wizard.It also brags (although I haven't personally tried it yet) that it connects seemlessly to Outlook clients.If you are wanting to replace your Windows server,it would be the way I'd go.Also has Xen built-in and the license allows for unlimited virtual machines on the server.

            Although I've only recently started using their server,so far it seems as rock solid as their business and home desktop OS products

        • Re:I'm Sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DrXym (126579) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:34PM (#19679081)
          I'm sorry to report that Thunderbird/Sunbird is nowhere near ready to replace Exchange. Depending on your needs, it might be a good fit though.

          They would be far closer to replacing exchange if they supported Exchange. The Evolution Exchange plugin has been open sourced for ages now, porting it the cross platform Thunderbird and Sunbird would make the suite hugely more attractive to enterprises locked into MS Office for their client software.

          • They would be far closer to replacing exchange if they supported Exchange. The Evolution Exchange plugin has been open sourced for ages now, porting it the cross platform Thunderbird and Sunbird would make the suite hugely more attractive to enterprises locked into MS Office for their client software.

            I imagine it would also make it an attractive target for Microsoft patent lawyers.

            • by PCM2 (4486)

              I imagine it would also make it an attractive target for Microsoft patent lawyers.

              I see. So tell me, what open source projects have been the target of Microsoft patent lawsuits to date? And exactly which patents are you talking about? Microsoft doesn't seem to want to disclose this information, so if you have any insight I'm sure we'd be all ears.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Exchange is a messaging/calendaring/groupware server. Thunderbird/Sunbird are email and calendar client apps.

          They're entirely differnt types of software and incapable of replacing one another.

          What you're thinking of is Outlook. I knew what you meant, but maybe you could act like the words in our language actually have some kind of meaning.
        • Given that Exchange is a service on a server and Sunbird is a calendar client, I would say your right. Sunbird will never replace Exchange. But it could replace outlook ;)
          • I'm sorry, but you are both pedantic and wrong. I am well aware of the difference between Outlook and Exchange, and Sunbird cannot replace Outlook.

            Unless something has changed, Sunbird cannot perform the killer use case of Outlook+Exchange. Not even with CalDAV. And without that use case, Sunbird is useless as a groupware client.

            The use case is: User creates a new event, User selects invitees, Invitees' availability is displayed to the user, User clicks "AutoPick Next", System selects the next available
        • by Pav (4298)
          It's much closer than you think.

          OpenGroupware (the nightly build) supports CalDAV. Sunbird 3.1 works fine, although apparently there is a bug with OpenGroupware preventing Sunbird 0.5 working flawlessly at the moment (after a reminder happens in Sunbird a duplicate calendar event gets created). With the Lightning plugin for Thunderbird you've got email and calendar in the one app, and there are extra plugins for free/busy information and shared address lists through GroupDAV from OpenGrou
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by packetmon (977047)
        You should consider SurgeMail. I did away with Exchange for 200+ users using it. To the users it was transparent. They weren't using some of the core functions of Exchange anyway so it was worthless to me. After showing them how things worked, give or take a month and a half of "teach the idjit/PEBKAC (l)users", all was well and it offered the same level of functionality of Exchange. Only a couple thousand dollars cheaper.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        What you probably need for an Exchange replacement is something that supports CalDAV. iCal in Leopard will, and it's on the Sunbird roadmap, but I don't think it's in this release. Novell's Hula also supports CalDAV, and might be an option.
        • by bvdbos (724595)
          Sunbird 0.5 / lightning 0.5 also support caldav-servers (have been for quite some time now)...
      • by 0racle (667029)
        Im thinking of replacing the toilet in my bathroom, how close is BMW to making a 325 that can fill that need? Exchange is a messaging and collaboration server, Thuderbird and Sunbird are user applications.
      • ...because it couldn't when I last used it in March.

        Seriously, I tried to organize my SXSW schedule using Sunbird.
        1. I added all playings of all movies at SXSW Film that I wanted to see into the SXSW online calendar.
        2. Then, I sync'd Sunbird to the online calendar.
        3. So that I could make local edits, I exported/reimported the calendar data as a local calendar.
        4. I looked at conflicts, etc., and determined which movies I could see on first showing versus catching reruns.
        5. When I had it about half done, I sa
    • I don't need Exchange support, but can I sync it with a regular ubuntu LDAP server? if so - any tutorials?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:02PM (#19677831)
    Is a combined / integrated application that incorporated Firefox, Thunderbird and this Sunbird... that each part could be run separately if you wished.

    It could save on the download because each part would share the UI code, networking code, etc, given that they're all built upon a custom platform layer, and each download replicates that.

    Ah well, I'm sure it will never happen.
  • by also-rr (980579) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:04PM (#19677859) Homepage
    If you are dedicated it's possible to pull your appointments from an exchange server, covert to iCal, and then import them into Sunbird.

    I still prefer KOrganiser, not least because it has an exchange plug in [kde.org]. Integration with the mail client is also better in my opinion.

    In fact Kontact is overall a fantastic piece of software. My only gripe is the fact that it's handling of IMAP mailboxes is horrific, but I believe that is slated for a total revamp in KDE4.
    • by forsetti (158019)
      If you are dedicated it's possible to pull your appointments from an exchange server, covert to iCal, and then import them into Sunbird.

      How do you pull your appointments from an exchange server?
    • by MajorBlunder (114448) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:00PM (#19678675)
      If you are dedicated it's possible to pull your appointments from an exchange server, covert to iCal, and then import them into Sunbird.

      Yes, but in order to be that dedicated you would first have to be committed... To a to a highly secure facility for the chronically insane

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WonderPhil (1121695)
      Re-posting under my login vs my first AC post:
      With this latest announcement of Google Calendar Sync ability this opens up the option of getting my Outlook at work to sync up with my Sunbird at home on my Mac OS X desktop via a couple of hops.

      1. Outlook PC at work to ScheduleWorld.com using a Funambol client to extract from Outlook.
      2. ScheduleWorld.com to Google Calendar via ScheduleWorld's Google sync ability. You can make step #2 automatic by enabling this in the preferences of your ScheduleWorld (fr
  • by Anonymous Coward
    0.5 to go.
  • by imag0 (605684) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:17PM (#19678071) Homepage
    I would *love* to use it- but without Exchange calendaring support, it will be effectively a non starter for me and for thousands of other geeks out there who would love to use Thunderbird as their primary mail client at work.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:09PM (#19678795) Homepage Journal
      Please use your influence as a Microsoft customer to get them to add CalDAV support to Exchange, in the spirit of cooperation and interoperability. Does anybody know if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is looking to standards for their calendering systems as well?
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by bl8n8r (649187)
      > I would *love* to use it- but without Exchange calendaring support, it will be effectively a non starter for me

      I guess you're using windows/IE/Outlook. Which problems *have* been starters for you then? Obviously they are working for you. The corrupt PST files? Or maybe the lack of address book export? Oh, maybe you're in love with not being able to function on Usenet, or maybe the vendor lock-in has you keyed in a masochistic way. Please tell us, thousands of geeks want to know.

  • I just installed this a few hours ago and I'm having problems with it crashing firefox. I tried a reinstall but it didn't change anything. Anyone else having these problems?
    • by Threni (635302)
      > Anyone else having these problems?

      My only problem is that I can't figure out why it's an app in the first place and not a website.
  • I already wedged it trying to install it on my Mac. I guess it doesn't like important my huge iCal database, the program is totally frozen.
    • It just took over 5 minutes to import my iCal database. no big deal, seems to work pretty nicely. So far I like it better than iCal.
  • by amper (33785) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:49PM (#19678497) Journal
    This should be the number one priority for the Sunbird team, if it's not already working (anyone have info on this?). Apple will have iCal 2 out with Mac OS X v10.5 in October, and the iCal Server with Mac OS X Server v10.5. Darwin Calendar Server is available for testing [calendarserver.org] on Mac OS X v10.4, and should also run on any UNIX-like system.
    • by trawg (308495)
      If they're serious about market share, surely they should be going after the #1 calendar application rather than smaller ones first?

      I would love to ditch Exchange for Sunbird + some other open solution. As soon as SOMEONE makes a replacement for Exchange that even has SOME of the functionality that Exchange offers plus a nice decent front end application, I'm sure zillions of people will switch. At the moment though Outlook+Exchange just kicks the ass of pretty much everything else.

      (I think this shouldn't j
  • I've been using Sunbird for a while now as my sole calendaring app for my tech. consulting business. It's been great, given a bug here and there (but who doesn't encounter bugs in OL/Exchange?). I've also installed it as a Webdav shared calendar for one of my clients, and they love it too. Never had a problem with it, save the timezone issue a while back (but who didn't have issues with that?)

    Now the events in Sunbird 0.5 are shadowed, looks much nicer. Thanks guys!!

    Oh, and if anyone wants to make an openso
    • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
      Bidirectional Pocket Pc Sync.

      I'd switch in an instant if it had support.
    • by Morel (67425)
      If you're serious about getting Palm sync to work, send me an email. I'm looking for people to support a project to do exactly that.

      Cheers,

      Morel
    • by schweini (607711)
      IIRC, Sunbird und Google Calendar support open standards, and CPAN is full of Palm-related modules, so i'd guess that that shouldn't really be that hard to do.
  • I do love this programme, it ties together all the nonsense that I have / am forced to use so that I know what I'm doing...

    * my own iBook, running iCal

    * iPod sync'ed off of iCal

    * Novell Groupwise at work, on both company Dell laptop and desktop

    * Windows Mobile 2003 PIM thing as my work mobile phone

    And what runs on everything? The open source stuff, running on many platforms and generating files to import for everything. No agenda as to 'doesn't import / export files for other platforms'. Cracking interfa
  • I was the first one to download Sunbird 0.0.1alpha and try it out, and even use its integration with iCal resources. But it was crashy, and the features it had were flaky. I'm sure they've improved matters since then.

    But I'm not gonna use it now, because I've found Google Calendar. SMS support alone is worth the switch. It also has contacts integration so I can invite people to meetings from my contact list, and it has an upsell story: You can run Google Apps for Domains and get the PIM/Groupware featur
    • Why not use both? I have my Sunbird (Lightning, actually) syncing back and forth with Google Calendar so I get a real desktop client at home, but still can see my schedule online from anywhere.

      It's mentioned in the release notes [mozilla.org], and you can get the extension here [mozilla.org].
      • Serious question.. what do you use the desktop client for that you can't do online?

        One argument I always hear when I ask that question is "So I can use it when I'm not online." But let's be serious, you're probably online almost all of the time when you have a computer handy. And now I have an additional argument.. my Google Calendar is probably more accessible than an offline laptop simply because it can SMS me alerts, and I can SMS events back to it.

        I just don't see any reason to do the calendaring thin
        • by swv3752 (187722)
          Automatically import email calendar invites? Send email calendar invites from your work account? Pop up reminders for meetings.

          For my private life, I use Gcal, but for work I need something a bit more.

          And yes, I use Thunderbird/Lightning in an Outlook/Exchange environment.
          • by xant (99438)
            You've got me on one of those three.. I can send calendar invites from my work account (which is forward to Gmail) but for some reason they don't seem to work for outlook users. The reverse direction does work, and I add items to my calendar that originated in outlook, all the time.

            I get reminders by SMS or, if I have calendar open, browser alert. (But usually it's SMS.)
        • As far as I can tell - sunbird only works with gcalendar and this new extension when you are online. which makes me ask, what is the point?
        • by ssstraub (581289)
          This is true to a point. The main difference is the latency of a click on a desktop app is (for all practical purposes) zero and is greater than zero for a browser app, often by quite a bit. When I'm in a clicking frenzy, I don't want to wait for the AJAX to load if I can avoicd it, and with a native app, I can. In time, this issue will go away. For most people, this probably isn't an issue even now--You have to click fast enough to notice.

          There is also the annoying issue that I have more than one go
  • by DTemp (1086779) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:12PM (#19680595)
    Syncing with google calendar is the most profound new feature to me. Having a calendar stored on one computer is no good to someone who moves between several computers. This is the same reason I use IMAP email, store my sent emails on the IMAP server so I can read even them from whereever I am, and why I DONT use gmail: because it doesnt support IMAP.

    Off topic: anyone hear any rumors about gmail supporting IMAP?
    • by DTemp (1086779)
      Oh right, and I also dont use gmail because I cant stand web-based email.
    • by Bardsley (946251)
      I agree that syncing to google is probably the most important feature but I was using the previous release of sunbird (0.2 I think) with all my google calendar data. This is still possible in 0.5 but it still doesn't seem possible to add an event to google via Sunbird. Does anyone know how to do this? Am I missing something?
    • by rvqbl (906692)
      Just a quick clarification. I don't know if it technically syncs with Google. You can subscribe to Google calendars and show it in Sunbird, you can create events in Sunbird that will write to Google calendar, but it does not keep the information in Sunbird if you are offline and any changes that are made offline are not later transferred to Google calender. It is still handy, but only if you are online. Peace...
  • ...of apps is making forward progress.

    Now all they need to do is to create a decent contact manager. And no, Thunderbird does not count as a contact manager, decent or otherwise.

  • If you're looking for an open source calendar server that works nicely with Sunbird, may I humbly recommend Citadel [citadel.org]. It syncs up nicely with Sunbird via the webcal (DAV) standard, and also hosts a wonderful array of groupware features such as email, address books, instant messaging, forums, etc. And everything is available via a slick AJAX-style web interface (including that same calendar you're maintaining in Sunbird). Give it a try.
  • How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: "You're still thinking procedurally! A properly designed light bulb object would inherit a change method from a generic light bulb class!"
  • only it uses more space on your hard disk...
  • - managing my dates and tasks locally on my PC
    - synchronize these with my smart phone
    - possibly access dates and tasks of my family members (LAN)
    - possibly access web calendars (e.g. Google calendar)

    Can SeaMonkey/Lightning full fill these rather simple requirements?

    O. Wyss
  • Google Calendar synchronization support with no offline possibility is quite useless I think, if I have to go online I'll use directly Google calendar..

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