Lightning is the working project name for an extension to tightly integrate calendar functionality (scheduling, tasks, etc.) into Thunderbird.
Other Lightning Pages
- latest Lightning Releases and Download can be found here
- Calendar:Lightning:Invitations and inbox
- Calendar:Lightning:Calendar views
- Calendar:Lightning:Event view
- Calendar:Lightning:Task management
- Calendar:Lightning:Developer Notes
(some of these don't exist yet!)
Lightning Q & A
A quick question and answer, to get us started:
Q. Will this be Mozilla Lightning™? Is this an official Mozilla Foundation product?
A. "Lightning" is simply a project code name to keep from having to type or say "Thunderbird extension for tightly-integrated calendar functionality" all the time. The Mozilla Foundation has not yet announced any plans to add Lightning to its set of supported products under any name; indeed, such an announcement would be premature, as the exact composition of Lightning is still very much under discussion.
Q. So what about the existing Mozilla Calendar extension for Thunderbird? Does Lightning replace that?
A. The Mozilla Calendar extension for Thunderbird is a separate project and codebase, though all Mozilla Calendar projects (the extensions, Sunbird, Lightning) will share the core calendar components and protocols. While the Mozilla Calendar extension for Thunderbird acts essentially as an alternate launcher for the Sunbird application window, Lightning is designed to integrate into the main Thunderbird UI and user interaction model as tightly as possible.
Q. Is Lightning meant as a competitor to Outlook?
A. With Lightning, Mozilla Thunderbird will have a set of user features that is much more competitive with Outlook, especially in enterprise usage. The primary goal of Lightning is to provide a pleasant and productive user experience for both email and calendaring tasks, largely independent of specific competitors' product plans. If the result of the Lightning project is an acceleration of users' migration from Outlook to Thunderbird, though, very few tears will be shed.
Q. Seriously, though, if you're not aiming at Outlook users, what are you doing?
A. Given Outlook's immense share of the email and calendaring market, it would be foolish to ignore its capabilities and characteristics, from both user and administrator perspectives. While Lightning will certainly incorporate concepts from Outlook — as from other email/calendar applications, such as Evolution, Remail and Chandler — it is not designed to be simply an "Outlook knock-off". Just as Thunderbird improved the email experience beyond what is provided by Outlook and Outlook Express, Lightning is designed to improve the calendaring experience for Outlook converts and newcomers to calendaring applications alike.
Q. Will Lightning have support for <whatever> servers?
A. Lightning will support the full range of calendar mechanisms and protocols supported by the Mozilla Calendar infrastructure, just as with modern (post-0.2) Sunbird. More information on protocol support can be found on the Calendar:Protocol/Storage Providers page.
Q. With what devices will Lightning be able to sync?
A. As with protocol/server support, Lightning will inherit all its sync support from the Mozilla Calendar core. More information on the state and goals of the sync support in Mozilla Calendar can be found on the Calendar:Device Sync and Mozilla2:Device Sync pages.
Q. Will Lightning have re-mappable shortcut keys/drag-and-drop UI configuration/other app-level features?
A. Lightning strives to be as well-integrated into the Thunderbird application as is possible. This means supporting the same levels of configuration and user interaction as its host Thunderbird, so the answer to these questions is usually "please ask the Thunderbird guys".
Q. Where can I learn more? (Or: I have a Great Idea!)
A. This wiki section will collect more documents about Lightning. Also, the mozilla.calendar newsgroup is a good place to read about Lightning, and ask questions. Please use the discussion tab above (or in another Lightning-related entry!) to add comments and additional questions. I'll come back through here as frequently as time permits and incorporate them appropriately.