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Mozilla Software Technology

Mozilla Lightning Calendar Nears 1.0 69

Posted by timothy
from the tailspin-seems-a-bit-harsh-eh? dept.
darthcamaro writes with this news from InternetNews: "Mozilla's Calendar effort has been in a tailspin for years as Firefox and more recently Thunderbird, have been actively pushed forward. Mozilla Lighting which is a calendar add-on for Thunderbird is finally hitting home with a 1.0 release as soon as September 27th. '"We're going to bite the bullet and call either our next release or the one after 1.0," Mozilla developer Philipp Kewisch blogged. "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."'"
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Mozilla Lightning Calendar Nears 1.0

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  • From the title I thought it was a wall calendar with cool lightning photos.

  • Until it can do basic repeating intervals [mozilla.org] I can't recommend it.

    • Until it can slice bread and brew coffe, I can't recomend it.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      The only use I have for lightning is keeping up with the lousy Outlook things that management sends.
      For real calendar management, I use google calendar, which integrates into Lightning very well.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I don't mind that it can't, but purely because I primarily use it to view an online schedule. In cases where I need to set up repetition, I do add the entry online. But, for a calendar, that's awfully elementary functionality to be missing.

    • by Ark42 (522144)

      You can repeat monthly and select [The Last] [Day of the month] in the custom options. Don't just select every 31st, because obvious some months don't have a 31st day!
      You can also repeat monthly and select Recur on day(s) and click 1 and 15.
      Don't see any issue here.

      • by OverlordQ (264228)

        Yes, but you'd have to do two events. You can't have the same event trigger on two custom options.

  • I absolutely love this plugin. Combined with DavMail to take care of the Exchange calendar syncing, this eliminates the need for Outlook for me.

    • by melikamp (631205)
      I love Lighting and use it as my only calendar + planner. My number one feature request is actually for Thunderbird as a whole: give us a Web interface already. I am tired of tunneling this monster.
  • Only 1.0? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shoe Puppet (1557239) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @10:32AM (#37456448)

    What a horribly obsolete piece of software. I'll wait till they have at least reached 10.

  • Why is the "calendar" feature of Mozilla named "lighting"?

    I swear, this is one of the most obviously vexing aspects of open source, and the one that keeps it off the desktop for most people.

    To use open source, everyone needs to learn a new language. A codebook is required to do something. If I install this on my dad's computer, he'll never use it because he won't be able to remember the name.

    It's not as if there aren't words in the language which are related to calendar, from which to make a descriptive pro

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Something to do with trademark law. Microsoft can call their product Windows and throw money at protecting the name. Open Source doesn't have that option unless blessed by Google.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      No one needs calendar that isnt integrated with their email client. Yes, I'm sure there are edge cases, but for the most part, this whole project is odd. It should just be rolled up into Thunderbird and cancelled. Instead its a stand-alone with a thunderbird plugin.

      • modularity is a good thing. I wish they'd do that *more* with thunderbird, not less. For example, I do not have any use for spam filtering on a mail client, as I handle that where it is most effective, on the server. Same for mail filtering rules, but those should probably be part of core functionality.

      • No one needs calendar that isnt integrated with their email client.

        Well, Grasshopper, it just so happens that I do have a use case for a standalone calendar, thank you very much.

        Which is why I'm still using Sunbird 1.0b and will likely continue doing so until it quits working and I can no longer compile a new one.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      Why is the "calendar" feature of Mozilla named "lighting"?

      Mozilla actually had a specialized calendar program named Sunbird (doesn't fix your issue with non-descriptive names). Lightning actually makes sense since it is a Thunderbird extention. http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/ [mozilla.org]

      Conpare: InternetExplorer, PaintShopPro, MediaPlayer Compare to: Mozilla, Gimp, VLC

      I'll bite
      IE self identifies as Mozilla, PSP isn't a professional program
      GNUImageManipulationProgram, VideoLanClient

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        What the fuck does it mean that PSP isn't a professional program? First of all, how is it not professional? What does that mean? And second, why the fuck does that matter for PSP, but not for Mozilla, VLC or the GIMP?

        • by Culture20 (968837)

          What the fuck does it mean that PSP isn't a professional program? First of all, how is it not professional? What does that mean? And second, why the fuck does that matter for PSP, but not for Mozilla, VLC or the GIMP?

          paintshopPRO. You'd think if you were buying something that said PRO it would be exactly like or better than Adobe Photoshop. I was pointing out that even PSP has an unusual name for what it is.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're dumb.

      Lemme go run lotus notes for my email, while i start up safari to brows the web, or perhaps chrome, on my apple. Time to open excel to sync against quicken. We're migrating to outlook? Damn.

    • by ptaff (165113)

      It's not as if there aren't words in the language which are related to calendar, from which to make a descriptive product name. How about "Mozailla Calendar"?

      Yeah, much better in the proprietary world. As if Acrobat, Distiller, Excel, Skype, DreamWeaver, Outlook, Cubase, Visio, Shazam, Symphony were so out-of-this-world that they could not find any english words related to their functionality to name them.

      People know that a Honda Civic is a car (and not toothpaste nor cooking oil nor guitar amplifier) even

      • People know that a Honda Civic is a car (and not toothpaste nor cooking oil nor guitar amplifier) even though the name has no relationship whatsoever with transportation.

        They know because enormous sums are spent on marketing the product.

        Lighting gets a passsing mention on Slashdot. The car, James Bond and the Super Bowl.

    • Why is the "calendar" feature of Mozilla named "lighting"?

      It's not a feature of Mozilla. It's a feature of Thunderbird, an e-mail reader application. Thunderbird ... Lightning ... You don't see the connection?

      If I install this on my dad's computer, he'll never use it because he won't be able to remember the name.

      He doesn't need to remember the name. It come up in the Thuderbird window next to his mail. The tab says "Calendar."

      If you don't want to remember the name while installing it for him, you could also open the add-ons window, type "calendar" into the search line, and read a one-paragraph explanation of the options available before selecting the most popular

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Thunderbird and Lightning don't sound like they go together? Interesting.

      • The article header says "light_ing", and the linked article states "light_ing", not "light_ning" as you state.

        Perhaps it's a typo, I was only reading [both] the articles.

        Would you agree that "Thunderbird and light_ing" doesn't sound so good together?

    • Yeah everything should revolve around old people who can barely remember their own name let alone anything else. Secondly it's not just open source. A lot of the most common words have been trademarked under numerous computer categories so you can't just call it calendar if you want to trademark it.

      Do you think the average old person knows what the following are? Probably not but it doesn't matter. If they need to know they'll find out.
      ActiveX
      Aero
      Zune
      Azure
      Bonjour
      Aqua
    • by alexo (9335)

      Conpare: InternetExplorer, PaintShopPro, MediaPlayer
      Compare to: Mozilla, Gimp, VLC

      OK, let's "conpare" [sic].

      InternetExplorer vs. Mozilla - IE is a product, Mozilla is a corporation. Not "conparable".

      PaintShopPro vs. Gnu Image Manipulation Program. The open source product name is more descriptive.

      MediaPlayer vs. VideoLAN Client. I'd call it a tie.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @10:41AM (#37456564) Homepage
    the semantics of version and start building a viable alternative to the microsoft office calendar. actual collaborative calendaring on the level of Lotus Notes or Exchange has been missing from linux for decades.
    • Right, here's what I want to know: What groupware server software does Lightning have the ability to sync with? If they have Exchange support, they may have something here. If it's all local, then it's practically useless for business environments.
      • by brusk (135896)

        What groupware server software does Lightning have the ability to sync with?

        Last time I checked, ics, CalDAV, WCAP.

      • Works fantastic with my Kerio mail server.
      • We use scalix.. but I don't recommend it.. last update was 2 years ago.. nothing in the forums in the last 6 months except an announcement that the company was sold... (you know its bad when nobody bothers to remove image hosting for spammers from the wiki) No ability to store contacts on the server.. If we were to go again, we would look at Zimbra, but the purchase of it by VMWare means it will get much more expensive real soon.

        I wish there was an actual, decent open (not half the features in the 'communi

        • Probably SoGo is the closest.

          LDAP doesn't need to be part of the groupware stack, but Red Hat does need to get serious about its directory server competing with Active Directory.
      • by mindriot (96208)
        The Provider for Microsoft Exchange [mozilla.org] works well for me.
    • by sootman (158191)

      > actual collaborative calendaring on the level
      > of Lotus Notes or Exchange has been missing
      > from linux for decades

      Technically correct, I guess, since Linux just recently became exactly two decades old. [slashdot.org] Odd complaint, though, since Notes is only 2 years older and Exchange was developed in the mid-1990s.

      My bigger concern is Lightning's fate after it hits 1.0. Lightning's predecessor, Sunbird, was killed at 1.0, after seven years of development. [wikipedia.org]

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I guess we could argue about why it still doesn't work with read only calendars or the inability to change the URI for a calendar without having to add a new calendar. Or how about the lack of periodic scheduling.

      I think it's a good start, but it's barely usable in its current form, unless of course you do all your scheduling on it, for those that like to have a copy on their cell phone, the program is a real headache.

      • by data2 (1382587)

        Where exactly does periodic scheduling not work? I am using it all the time with Lightning.

    • You should try Lotus Notes for Linux [ibm.com]. Its a hog, but does what you want!

    • by Tepic++ (221291)

      Yes, I get the feeling that many OS calendering programs miss the point. The real value in a calender 'solution' is that they help you synchronise with other people - and as such the fact they help you arrange your day is of very little marginal value over a dead tree calender. Any calender project that doesn't get that synchronisation bit right is also going to be marginal at best.

      To be fair, I never understood this until I started working in a corporate environment.

  • by LS (57954) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @11:37AM (#37457204) Homepage

    It still doesn't have google task API integration. People have been whining and bitching for years to get Google to release a Tasks API, and several months ago they finally did it. Still waiting for it in Lighting. Thunderbird will be everything I want once this happens.

    LS

    • by gid (5195)

      My biggest gripe is Google calendar integration in general is it's buggy as heck. Alarms you can't make go away, permission denied errors when updating a calendar entry, etc. Caldav which is built into Lightning when used with Google wasn't even usable for me. Provider for Google Calendar plugin for lightning is better, but still far from perfect. Reminder alarms can be dismissed reliably with Provider for Google Calendar, but I still get the occasional modification failed... and I *only* use Thunderbir

  • by theCoder (23772)

    The best calendaring program I've used in recent times was probably written decades ago: dtcm. It came with Solaris (the dt), and had some quirks, but it was pretty easy to use, printed really nice calendars, and had a killer feature for repeating appointments. When you modified a appointment that repeated, it would ask you if you wanted to modify all of them, just the single one, or from that point forward. The "forward" option is what seems to be missing from other calendar tools (probably because they

    • Google Calender has that "forward" feature as well.

      As far as reminders go, Google Calendar syncs naively with my Blackberry through BIS and if you just "pin" a tab with google calendar in it, then as long as you have your browser open it will notify you. You can also set it up so it'll send email/text alerts to remind you as well.

  • I used to use Thunderbird with Lightning....waaayyyyy back. Honestly I think the non-Microsoft collaborative calendaring and email solution is going to be won by web technologies like Google Apps, not by something like Thunderbird. But way back I remember using something called Chandler (http://chandlerproject.org/) which I thought had a much better task and calendaring solution than Lightning. I wondered why no one had tried merging Thunderbird and Chandler into a single Outlook competitor.

  • thanks for an awesome cross-platform alternative. i have been using lightning/sunbird for over 5 year and have watched it mature. lots of good bug fixing on the dev team end. thanks!

  • If they'd concentrated more on this than pointless Mozilla version # "upgrades", then we'd be in Lightning Calendar v2.0 already.
  • Sounds like they're just tired of updating beta version numbers. "We've been working on it so long, let's just call it finished, we might get to a 2.0 version, don't know if that means anything or not..." Sunbird/Lightning with CALDAV had a lot of potential as a free alternative for exchange server for sharing calendars for small business. We set it up at several clients and they liked it pretty well, but had occasional problems with calendar files getting corrupted between computers, or getting too large
  • I like lightning, except for one thing: it seems to periodically sync and during this time the entire thunderbird application becomes unusable. You're writing an email and then... everything stops for 15 seconds (which is horribly long). Fix this and I'll be happy.

    Mark.

    • by asvravi (1236558)
      Syncs in background for me, I dont have this issue. If it happens only when you are writing an email, then you probably configured your drafts to be saved to a (slow) IMAP folder?

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