March 1, 2012

This blog has moved, please update your bookmarks

After a long history of using, the blog is now moving to The new location contains the same archive of posts available here so we don't have to worry about losing history.

Please update your bookmarks and feeds. If you are using to read this, you obviously don't have to do anything.

I'd like to thank everyone at for kindly providing the blog hosting over the years. Also I'd like to thank everyone who has subscribed and I hope to see you at the new location!

January 12, 2012

Lightning 1.2b2 is now available

Just a short note, the second beta of Lightning 1.2 is now available on the developer channel of It fixes a regression that keeps the user from saving events with attendees. If you were having trouble in the past, please do update!

Also, if you are a localizer, please note that we are nearing the final beta of Lightning 1.2. A total of 9 locales are green but have not signed off yet and 5 other locales are just missing one string for translation. I'd love to get some more locales in the Lightning 1.2 release, as right now its only 26 locales.

January 6, 2012

Lightning 1.2b1 is ready

In case you are using Thunderbird 10 or Seamonkey 2.7 betas, you will be happy to hear that after some Christmas delay we have released Lightning 1.2b1 to the beta channel.

To get it, please visit Lightning on and click on the Development Channel.

If you have previously installed Lightning 1.1 betas, you should automatically get updates by tomorrow.

Lightning 1.1.1 fixes a critical error on Windows XP

Due to a critical issue that some Windows XP users are experiencing, we have decided to release Lightning 1.1.1, an intermediate release compatible with Thunderbird 9/Seamonkey 2.6. We recommend all users to upgrade, especially those who cannot see their calendar data and are getting an error console message "Failed to load native module at path ...\calbasecomps.dll".

You can get the builds on, as always.

December 23, 2011

Lightning 1.1. released

I'm happy to announce that Lightning 1.1 has been released. If you were having trouble with alarms then you will want to upgrade to Thunderbird 9 (or Seamonkey 2.6) and Lightning 1.1.

If you are experiencing issues (Lightning not installing or the calendar not working at all), I'd suggest uninstalling Lightning and then doing a fresh install. Your calendar data will be kept intact, as it is contained in your profile.

You can get the builds on, as always.

November 24, 2011

Localization Schedule for Lightning 1.1 and beyond

Now that Lightning 1.0 has been released, we can move forward and adapt to the rapid release schedule that Thunderbird and Firefox are using. In terms of development we will do this gradually but for localization we will do so right away. From now on, if you are already used to the Firefox/Thunderbird localizations you can think the same for Calendar.

Here is an overview of where to get the sources and see the translation progress

en-US source locale source dashboard current version until merge
comm-beta l10n/mozilla-beta cal_beta Lighting 1.1 / Thunderbird 9
comm-aurora l10n/mozilla-aurora cal_aurora Lighting 1.2 / Thunderbird 10
comm-central l10n-central cal_central Lighting 1.3 / Thunderbird 11

Specifically for Lightning 1.1, we have managed to open a milestone for Lightning 1.1. I'd like to encourage you to sign off on this milestone until December 5th so we can be ready in time for the release on December 20th.

Help Lightning understand email, in your language!

As a Lightning user I often wish that all events would arrive at my Inbox as invitations in the iCalendar format. This way I could just click the accept button and it would be added to my calendar. But they don't. Often people just write you a text-based email when they want to invite you somewhere. So you right-click the email, choose convert to event and a new event dialog opens with start date set to next full hour. Not quite correct unless you're really lucky.

This is why I'm working on an extension to Lightning which would fill in dates and times automatically from email content. The basic idea is that localizers can define most common ways dates and times are referred to in their language similarly to how they localize Lightning itself. Using these patterns event dialog can be much smarter about setting start and end times and in most cases you wouldn't need to correct them at all.

Since Lightning is localized into 38 languages and language variants I need your help. If you fluently speak a language other than English and would be willing to spend some time to localize the patterns and test this prototype on your emails then please leave a comment below. Be sure to include your email and language of choice so I can send you a customized pattern file and prototype. Do so even if you speak only English as you can still help with testing. Feedback on when it guesses correctly and when not is crucial to improving the extension. What works great in English may not work well in your language and of course everyone's email is different too. With your feedback I can improve my extension so that this functionality can be included into Lightning later on (the curious can follow bug 403222 where more technical information will be posted).

Merike Sell, Mozilla Calendar Team