Calendar Project at a critical juncture
The Calendar project, which for several years has been working on the Lightning add-on to Thunderbird and the standalone Sunbird project, is at a critical juncture. We feel it's important to communicate this to our users and contributor community, as your input will determine how the project continues.
Recently, several contributors who were working on the project full-time have left the project or have shifted to free-time contributor status due to other obligations. This means their contributions will be limited to their spare time, which is quite sparse given a full-time job and family. This is a significant change from recent years, and if no new contributors come on board, it means that the rate of change will decrease dramatically. Our releases will necessarily have to become less frequent, and the amount of bug fixes and new features per release will decrease.
As a result of this, we have to take stock, and figure out how we're going to go forward.
First, as much as it pains us, we have decided to step back from Sunbird maintenance. Our next release will include Sunbird, but subsequent releases won't unless new contributors take on the work. Trying to support both takes too much time, so we had to make a painful prioritization decision.
Second, our next major goal is to have a version of Lightning that will work well with Thunderbird 3. Lightning won't be built-in to Thunderbird 3 for a variety of reasons (see this post by David Ascher for more on the topic), but we're still on track to have a release that gives users of Thunderbird 2 & Lightning a migration path. That version will be a significant upgrade from Lightning 0.9, including notable performance and usability improvements.
This is really a tremendous opportunity for anyone who is interested and willing to help make a difference here for the project and its hundreds of thousands of users -- get involved!
I hope to hear more from you soon!
Philipp Kewisch (Calendar Project - lead developer)