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Mozilla Sunbird's First Official Release 266

jcraveiro writes "MozillaZine announced yesterday that Sunbird, Mozilla's standalone cross-platform calendar project, has reached its first official relase: version 0.2, for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X." This is good news for all of us waiting for decent free calendaring software.
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Mozilla Sunbird's First Official Release

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:21PM (#11583785)
    This is good news for all of us waiting for decent free calendaring software. Are you going to download Sunbird and put a reminder in it to "continue waiting for decent free calendaring software"? ;-D
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I know a couple people who continue using their Palm Desktop long after their handheld device died. And another person that uses his Palm device just for backups. They all love the Palm Desktop which is downloadable.


      I hope Palm doesn't screw it up by changing it. Like they screwed up PDAs by making them too large. The Palm V and Vx were perfect in terms of size and I'd buy one today for $400+ if it could do email in that form-factor. Until then, I'm sticking with my Palm Vx because if the PDA is to
    • Re:Waiting, eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolic ( 11752 )
      I guess porting it to XUL is an interesting change, but I still see a very narrow mindset with respect to what an "event" is. Not all "events" have a start time and a stop time. With some, you just want to note the date and time they occurred (past tense), and are completely uninterested in anything related to duration. I hope that someone will take an innovative step in the design of this (or other OS calendaring software) that will allow users to define events however they want.
  • by TheWanderingHermit ( 513872 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:32PM (#11583859)
    Okay, so the Lizard is split into Firefox, Thunderbird, and Sunbird. With XUL, you can write applications that run on Mozilla. It does about everything but play games and work as an office suite. So when are we going to see Mozilla integrated in with OpenOffice and the two together turned into MOS (Mozilla OS)?
  • The System Tray (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:40PM (#11583923) Journal
    Like Thunderbird, Sunbird is hampered by the fact that it will not minimize to the system tray in Windows XP. I don't want to leave it on all the time because it takes up a lot of space on the task bar. And what use is a calendar program that isn't on all the time?

    There are third party fixes to this, and for all I know extensions that do the same thing, but it would be really nice to have system tray minimization as default behavior.
    • Re:The System Tray (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Refrozen ( 833543 )
      Yeah, that is a problem, but Thunderbird has a lot of other problems as far as I've seen (making me choose Refrozen []-WebMail as my client of choice, no you can't use it, for my personal use only :-))

      With Thunderbird, if you save a letter to send later, you have no way (that I can find) to send it, you have to restart the program for it to send it self, (in other words, there is no send button, just a recieve button)... Maybe I am wrong, or have the concept mixed up, but, that's how I see it.
      • Re:The System Tray (Score:4, Informative)

        by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:57PM (#11584051) Homepage Journal
        Maybe I'm missing your point, but I believe what you do is double click on the message in your drafts folder to open it, then click the send button that is the leftmost item on the toolbar.
      • Re:The System Tray (Score:3, Informative)

        by chill ( 34294 )
        With Thunderbird, if you save a letter to send later, you have no way (that I can find) to send it, you have to restart the program for it to send it self, (in other words, there is no send button, just a recieve button)... Maybe I am wrong, or have the concept mixed up, but, that's how I see it.

        File Menu --> Send Unsent Messages
    • Re:The System Tray (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zugok ( 17194 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:05PM (#11584115)
      Try Suntray [] . It's not part of the Sunbird package but minimises it into the tray nicely and I am very happy with it.
    • Re:The System Tray (Score:5, Informative)

      by don'tyellatme ( 837496 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:07PM (#11584127)
      wow. that's not a problem with any mozilla software. that's what extensions are for. []
    • I didn't find that a problem because there are several utilities that will do this for you on Windows.

      My problem is that it won't minimize the "system tray" (or equivalent) in either KDE or GNOME. It boggles my mind as to why they can't just add that relatively simple feature. Ugh, come on people! This is 2005, not 1995.

      I've been using Evolution for ages because of just that one missing feature. I don't care for Evolution because the S/MIME support limited (no PKCS#11 support) or broken.
    • You can get WindowsPowerPro to minimize the window you want to the system tray. I've been using to get some stuff out of the way. It's free and has plenty of other functionality
    • You have a point; any "always open" app like email/calendar should not take up space on the task bar. Personally I have lots of apps like this (that I want to leave open all day w/o them taking up taskbar space). Is that seriously a show-stopper for people, though?

      My current solution is PowerMenu []; it's tiny, freeware, and gives you a "minimize to tray" option for all windows. I also use it to reorganize things on my taskbar (e.g., comparing old output with new, I can have the older document on the left.
  • I've been using this program, for months now. It's rather clunky though, and crashes sometimes in my Windows XP.
  • Nice (Score:5, Informative)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:58PM (#11584057) Homepage
    I've used Sunbird for Linux for a while now and I must say it's fairly good. There are a lot of bugs of course but it's usable and I like it. But that's also because I didn't try anything else. Because I have a Mac, Xp, and Linux I love all Mozilla stuff because it runs on all those platforms almost exactly the same.
    • Re:Nice (Score:4, Informative)

      by Epistax ( 544591 ) <> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:23PM (#11584301) Journal
      I'd really like to use it but as a linux user who isn't an expert, I can't install this software. The readme mentions two different ways to install Sunbird, of course both mention scripts which don't actually exist (mozilla-installer and mozilla). All I'm left with is a bunch of .so's and executables.

      I know this isn't the place to ask for tech support so I'm not asking for any. I'm just saying they didn't make it obvious to me how to install Sunbird.
    • I've used Mozilla calendar for a while, until I've moved to linux on amd64... and all of a sudden, among a number of packages, Mozilla Calendar (well, Sunbird) stopped working. It just crashes outright.

      I had to move over to Evolution (that has e-mail and calendar). So far so good. I'll definitely try this latest Sunbird release to see if it works on amd64 linux.
  • I gave up using calendars. What I can't keep in my head or on post-its doesn't get done. It's not that I don't like the idea, caledars are great, both the page and software version, but I can't remember to add stuff to them. Result: My calendars are always blank and therefor of no use.

    What I need is a calendar which will add tasks automaticly.
    • I've never needed the use of a wall callendar, let alone an app that runs on my PC. I'll stick to writing everything down on my arm, thanks.
    • Same here.

      I have yahoo calendar. A desk calendar ( you know, the one you doodle on --well, not you, me). I also have a calendar in my cell phone, and one at work in my ARRGGHHH!!! lotus notes.

      In the last year, I have entered 2 items in the calendar. And never looked back.

      I do my tasks in a wiki, as ascii text. Much easier, much faster. not stuck to one pc. (i use 10 machines on a regular basis (home - 2, office - 3, other office - 2 , other office 3, not counting all the "friends" I support when food is
  • I know this is setting me up for a'Floggin', but does it integrate with MS Exchange? The only thing keeping me in Windows on my work PC is the need for a calendar system that works with the company's Exchange system.

    I've looked at the site, but can't see any mention of it.

    • I know this is setting me up for a'Floggin', but does it integrate with MS Exchange?

      Nope. Right now the Mozilla Calendar Project and, hence, the standalone Mozilla Sunbird, only support open calendering protocols (CalDAV and ICS). While there is demand for Exchange support, noone has stepped up to offer it. I'd guess, as Sunbird and the Lightning Project [] mature (and if enough demand builds up), someone may release a pay component that handles Exchange connectivity first... followed by an open source on
    • 1- Evolution + plugin for exchange.
      2- Kmail (or Kontacto) + plugin for exchange.
      3- Microsoft Exchange web access.

      The days of "I stay with windows becouse of outlook+exchange are over"
      Come on, you don't need Windows ;)
      • "The days of 'I stay with windows because of outlook+exchange are over'"

        I'm a UNIX SysAdmin, I've been using Linux on the Desktop (not exclusively)
        for many years. None of the solutions you mention works well... Believe me,
        I have tried them all. They aren't anywhere near as easy to use as a mail/calendar interface as OUTLOOK+Exchange on a native Windows system.
        Nor are they as good as using Outlook2000 with CodeWeavers CrossOver office on a Linux box.

        Maybe you are right about "don't need", but I would say
  • PocketPC sync (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rxmd ( 205533 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:14PM (#11584208) Homepage
    As long as it doesn't synchronise with a PocketPC, it's pointless for me as an iPaq owner.

    OK, you can blame MS on not opening the ActiveSync protocol, but it should be possible to synchronize Sunbird or Thunderbird with a small client application running on the PocketPC, similar to how IntelliSync works.
    • PalmOS sync (Score:3, Informative)

      by aussie_a ( 778472 )
      This is the dream app for me as a college student (I hate using PalmOS's default calender app). But whilever it doesn't install and syn on PalmOS (Tungsten E), it's useless to me as well.
    • Likewise, except my sync target is Symbian Series 60. But all of us would-be synch'ers should keep an eye on Sunbird, as all these platforms are mentioned in the Requirements page.

      Thunderbird synch with Symbian would be nice, too - without it, I'm still not really using the T-bird address book as a real contact manager.
  • Good job (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snap E Tom ( 128447 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:14PM (#11584209)
    Way to be oblivious to the big picture, Slashdotters!!!

    The sooner that Exchange is emulated in OSS, the sooner there will be no reason to run Microsoft products on the backend for small and medium sized offices.

    * IIS? Gone with Apache.
    * File/Print? Gone with Samba.
    * Email? Not so fast. We like the groupware functionality of Exchange.

    And of course, consultants who don't know any better see that there's no OSS to fulfil the groupware need, and therefore, there's no reason to learn/pitch Apache/Samba. Why bother with those when you can have the "nice integration" of MS products? Once Sunbird/OpenGroupware, et al reaches the ability of invitations, seeing busy/free on other user's calendars, and inviting resources, then Redmond will run real scared.

    Good job, Sunbird. You're the missing link and you're looking good.
    • In some news clippings, Sun has talked about releasing their Java Enterprise System as open source. It includes messaging and calendar as well as a number of other enterprise applications. If it's open sourced and available free it would be cool. There's already a plug in for Evolution.

      For small shops, less than 100 employees, i think it may still be free. Otherwise you can get some peices of it for $50/employee/year.

    • There are two cash-cows that Microsoft will defend vigorously. Office, and Exchange. Outlook as a mailer is no big deal. But email/calendaring integration are what make it so attractive to businesses. Interoperating w/ exchange will be the way to kill it and I'm not sure if that M$ will ever sit still long enough for that to happen.

      I think it would be better if Sunbird and the OSS community designed a good calendaring/email (Sunbird/T-Bird) solution that worked well stand-alone because it would be easi
    • Re:Good job (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Micah ( 278 )
      I think there are already reasonable alternatives to Exchange on Linux, though they are not necessarily free.

      My organization will in a month or two migrate from our #^$#@% Exchange 5.5 server to Bynari Insight Server []. It uses open source components (Postfix, OpenLDAP, etc) and some proprietary components to put together a pretty good set of features. Our IT director did a TCO study, and Bynari (along with all the other Linux options) costs a small fraction of what Exchange would cost. And we think it wi
    • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @06:09PM (#11585511) Homepage
      There's an even larger picture being missed here;

      When iCalendar [] support is built into everything, it'll be very easy for public groups to see each other's meetings, and for individuals to participate.

      I easily lose track of when the Seattle XP programmers, Seattle Perl programmers, Seattle Python programmers, Seattle Robotics Society, Seattle Cosmic, Seattle Wireless, Seattle Java, Seattle C++, Seattle Wikipedia, Seattle FreeBSD Users group, Greater Seattle Linux Users Group, Seattle Bloggers, East side Bloggers, Seattle Futurists, etc., etc., etc., ...I easily lose track of what's going on when. With automatic calendaring, when we can subscribe to calendars as simply as we subscribe to RSS feeds- we're going to see a surge in awareness of what groups are meeting when, and how to meet up with them.

      Right now, I can only track 1 group at a time. "Is Seattle Python meeting this weekend?" "No?" "Guess there's nobody to see this weekend."

      But, as you can see from my short list above (compared to how much activity is actually going on,) there's actually a whole lot going on that I might be interested in visiting.

      As Automatic Calendaring picks up, the public will recognize the power of its ability to communicate and organize.

      Previously, this is something that only people who could afford secretaries could experience.
    • The problem we've been failing to solve for way too long is that there's no standard access protocol for open source groupware clients to talk to open source groupware servers. Fortunately, this is about to change.

      GroupDAV [] is a subset of DAV designed to handle this task. The draft version of the spec is available already, and unlike most new protocols, its primary goal is to be simple enough for widespread implementation. GroupDAV uses the vCalendar/iCalendar and vCard standard data formats, and a simp
  • Palm? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rscrawford ( 311046 ) <(ude.sivadnu) (ta) (drofwarcsr)> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:15PM (#11584217) Homepage Journal
    I know that the major thing keeping my wife tied to Outlook on Windows is that her Palm won't sync with Thunderbird or Sunbird.
    • I've successfully gotten Eudora for Palm (free) to sync with Thunderbird without too much hassle.

      It requires a little bit of legwork, but it's quite doable. Had I a longer commute, I might start doing it again.
      • I've suggested that to my wife, but she wants both address book and calendar integration. The Palm Desktop is great for calendaring, but I've never been able to make it talk to an e-mail client, so the address book is almost pointless. I'm hoping that with Sunbird/Thunderbird, though, at some point in the future, we can move my wife away from Outlook.

        For the record, I have my wife behind three firewalls: the firewall hardwired into our Linksys router, the firewall that came with WindowsXP SP2, and the Zo
  • by MarkSwanson ( 648947 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:17PM (#11584248) Homepage
    ScheduleWorld is free, works on Linux, Mac OS/X, Windows, Solaris. It is by far more standards compliant and interoperates really well with Exchange/Outlook and Notes. Check it out and see for yourself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:23PM (#11584298)
    From the above linked Sunbird page;

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2005: The Sunbird team is proud to announce its first official release: Sunbird 0.2 for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You can find builds for the different platforms on our download page.

    Maybe the day-of-the-week problem will be fixed in 0.3;-)

  • by ribo-bailey ( 724061 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:33PM (#11584395) Homepage
    Tuesday, February 4th, 2005:

    You'd think a site for a calendar app would be able to get it's own release date correct...

    otherwise, it's a neat app
  • Too heavy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ecio ( 824876 )
    i've found sunbird too heavy for my needs: Thunderbird is already eatin 50MB of my memory and i dont want Sunbird to do the same so I'm currently using EssentialPIM [] a small (1MB) and free PIM for Windows and it's quite ok for small todos and appointments. I think that Evolution could be the right solution on Linux, but i've not tried it too much...
    • Yes, it's quite heavy here in XP:
      sunbird.exe 2256 Console 0 25'152 K
      It's actually second, right after Firefox which eats 50 MB at the moment.
  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:40PM (#11584442) Journal
    I'm loving the fact that there are so many new alternatives to IE (I mainly use Safari and Firefox), Outlook (I use OS X's Mail and am still dabbling with Thunderbird) and now calendar (I use iCal and am now testing Sunbird) apps. It's driving me batty though...I get used to using one particular app and then new, better ones come out. Not one to be stuck using the old stuff, I gotta try the new releases. The only problem...there's a small learning curve and I have to redo the way I used to do them before.

    I'm an early adopter and I admit it. It's one of the things I have to deal with. My concern however is, just how many people in the everyday world are willing to stop using Outlook to learn an entirely new way of doing things. Some apps, such as browsers, don't matter as much. A browser is a browser, with a few features here and there, but the underlying concept is the same. Type in a URL and go. Other things though...aye...
    • But isn't it nice to tackle each new one quicker than the last? And the frustrations of a previous program or even a previous version (w00t! I just printed a calendar in Sunbird and it didn't crash!) can turn into the joy of seeing it fixed.

      I'd better wrap this up before I start talking about fuzzy-assed bunnies or something.

  • After launching Sunbird for the first time on Mac OS X (, it quit (like Firefox often does on a first run) and informed me that any old extensions I had would be deleted. Fine, as I don't have any Sunbird extensions. Then it relaunched automatically (again, like Firefox) but then "unexpectedly quit". I tried relaunching it only to have the icon appear momentarily in my Dock and then disappear. Again. And again. I've tried ejecting the disk image, but it can't because it's "in use".

    Repeated tr
    • You're supposed to copy the Sunbird executable out of the disk image first. This infinite restart loop is a known bug IF you run it from the disk image.
    • I came to OSX from a linux background, so I am pre-disposed to try all the new open-source things. The Mozilla family is central in my tests, since it is halfway reasonable on Linux.

      Unfortunately, I have yet to see an open-source offering that is competitive with the Apple software. They tend to be buggy, they tend to be slow, and they tend to be awkward to use.

      Given my linux background, I'll keep on trying the open-source things every few months. Surely they will at least become less buggy, although

  • by Eil ( 82413 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @03:45PM (#11584481) Homepage Journal

    Had to chuckle when reading this on the main page:

    At the moment the "Sunbird" name is a project name. It is not official and may change in the future.

    At least they got that out of the way from the get-go.
    • What's with this freaking obsession with car names? Firebird, then Thunderbird, now this. They should just call all 3 the SunFireBird Browser/Email/Calendar and get it over with.

      And *why* have they not been sued over Thunderbird yet??
      • The Ford Motor Company is not worried about FOSS making cars anytime soon.
      • ISTR you aren't necessarily infringing on the name if it's not the same kind of product. There's probably lots of legalese wrapped around this, but Ford's gonna go after someone who makes a vehicle named "Thunderbird" but there's damn little they can do if someone names a piece of software "Thunderbird."

        IIRC there was a "Mustang BBS" way back when, and Ford didn't pester Mustang Software overmuch about that either.
  • I'm having difficulty finding the changelog. My office has been running subird for about 6 months now. It works well for what we're doing. (Small office) but it would be nice to see it grow into something a little more directly in competition with outlook. That allowed multiple users to post to the same calendar but keep their records identified by their user.

    I really can't wait for a sync to palm button. It will make my palm pilot so much more useful.
  • Rainlendar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by katharsis83 ( 581371 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @05:07PM (#11585070)
    I just tried out Sunbird, and it's pretty nice. It's also a bit too complex/takes up too much screen estate. Not saying it's a bad program, but just that I don't need that much functionality in a day-to-day environment.

    I like to keep my to-do list on my desktop constantly along with a small calendar, and I think Rainlendar is the perfect tool for that. Takes very little memory and is Open Source. You can only run it in Windows though. Skinnable too so it looks pretty.

    Here's a link to the website: ojects&pro ject=rainlendar

    (I'm not affiliated with the author in any way...just like the product.

  • But will it be as slow as that other Mozilla program known as thunderbird. I'm using a P II 266 as I just graduated from university and was too poor to buy a new one while I was there for 5 years. I use evolution for email, because if I install Thunderbird, typing and email causes the display to fall behind my moderate typing speed of 30 wpm. It's unbearably slow. This is on linux though. I remember it being faster on windows last time I tried. BTW, speed of firefox is fine.
  • I like it's simple layout. Used some previous version before, which was an extension to Firefox or Thunderbird, but that stopped working after an upgrade.

    I could import my old calendar into this new Sunbird, which is nice. (The import was not difficult, but finding the files in the insane directory jungle all these Mozilla projects create was hard. Turned out to be buried in "C:\Documents and Settings\xxx\Application Data\Phoenix\Profiles\default\9gltk3bn.slt\Calend a r\". Why is it so hard to tell these p
  • by Asphixiat ( 451920 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:22PM (#11586655)

    this is what we are currently using. I is an awesome groupware calendar. exports in vcal/ical and allows you to view other users calendars overlayed with yours.

    Full administration through the web interface (JS), all you need is apache and php - all our users love it. This is the perfect small business opensource calendar. A few small things I'd like, but hey - I can hack it to do what I want too :)
  • by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:40PM (#11586745) Homepage Journal
    I'm a big Linux booster out here. A year ago, I convinced the "powers that be" to convert our shop to Linux desktops. They did, and we have some 40 desktops with about 10 (and shrinking) windows clients now.

    Sure, we have Firefox and Openoffice and Evolution. But here's the kicker, there is no Exchange alternative (Opengroupware ain't there yet) that can work with Evolution, or for that matter no non-browser based collab software that works with Gnome (and lets be brutally, this is where the corp Linux desktop is headed).

    Now the office really needs the functionality of Exchange as we live and die by meetings and tasks. I slapped myself hard in the head yesterday when I recommended that we install Exchange as a replacement for that really sweet Qmail/Vpopmail/IMAP setup that I installed two years ago. But I had no choice!!!

    So every mention of another standalone calendar client with everyone still forgetting about that missing server-side link just drives me crazy! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort, and the calendar client looks nice, but designing a front end without thought for collabaration on the ass end is a bit short sighted.

    This is the piece of the puzzle that is preventing shops like mine from completely moving from the dark side. Microsoft knows this and charges through the nose for Exchange CAL and server licenses.

    I can live without another story about Yet Another Standalone Calendar.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982