More on the Sunbird/Lightning decision
Our announcement that we're very short on actual developers has already raised quite a stir. I want to give some feedback to some of the questions that were already raised and also elaborate a little more on the situation that we're in. First the feedback part:
- Cantalou asked: In your opinion, did you get so far enough support from Mozilla Messaging?
- Various users suggested that we should dump Lightning in favor of Sunbird
That would be worse than what we're doing right now. Looking at the download numbers, Lightning is about twice as popular than Sunbird nowadays, so dumping Lightning would probably turn away many more people than dumping Sunbird. In addition Lightning, due to its integrated nature, has many features that Sunbird currently lacks, which would need to be re-implemented in Sunbird to make it a viable option (e.g. addressbook integration, LDAP integration, ability to send and receive mails).
- jakyra asked: Could you make the next version of Lightning work on Ubuntu?
Lightning already works fine on Ubuntu. The problem is that Lightning needs some system libraries that aren't installed by default on Ubuntu. Our system requirements page lists the necessary requirements. If you make sure everything is in place *before* installing Lightning, everything should work fine.
- neandr asked: Can Lightning 1.x be installed ontop of Firefox/Thunderbird/XULrunner?
It would certainly be possible to develop Lightning in such a way, that it would be easily installable into Firefox, Thunderbird or every other XULrunner-based application. However, we do not think that this would be an effective use of our development time. That being said, if you (neandr) or someone else is interested in making this happen, you're more than welcome to do this!
Various users were forthcoming with ideas about feature additions. To answer this let me use a quote from Philipp's blog post yesterday:
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!
The bottom line is: With no full-time developers on board and only a handful of part-time contributors, there's no way that we're going to implement stuff like Exchange support, improved task management, device synchronization, far-reaching performance improvements, etc. in the foreseeable future.
This can only happen, if you make it happen. New features do not materialize out of thin air, they appear because someone is willing and committed enough to invest time and effort to make something happen. Or to use a famous (and slightly adjusted) quote from JFK: "Ask not what the Calendar project can do for you, ask what you can do for the Calendar project!"
So get in touch, either on IRC (#calendar channel on irc.mozilla.org), our developer newsgroup (mozilla.dev.apps.calendar) or via an e-mail to Philipp or me (our mail addresses can be found on our team page).I hope to hear from you soon Simon