Thunderbird Calendar aka the Lightning add-on - Quo vadis?

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi
Fri Aug 2 10:34:28 UTC 2019


As you know Philipp is already in process of updating the module page.

Many of the things mentioned should happen for Thunderbird 76, e.g. I 
want to finally put ical.js into shape and on by default for 76, 
dropping libical shortly after that but leaving it in as an option just 
in case there are any unforeseen major problems.

Migrating Gdata users to CalDAV could be interesting. Filed 
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1570933 - comment there if 
there is any obvious downsides.

  -Magnus

On 01-08-2019 01:19, Jörg Knobloch wrote:
> Hi lovers of Thunderbird and calendaring,
>
> have you ever asked yourself where one of the "productivity 
> components", the Thunderbird Calendar is going?
>
> Since TB 38 it's being shipped with Thunderbird on an "opt out" basis, 
> lately it even changed its version numbering scheme from (TB version + 
> 2) / 10 to just using the TB version[1].
>
> But what's happening otherwise?
>
> Long-standing bugs that have been astonishing the community like the 
> inability to process more than one invitation per message[2] or the 
> ability to double-click ICS attachments and process them[3] haven't 
> been addressed for more than a decade now.
>
> Most if not all volunteer Calendar contributors have left, unless 
> Thunderbird hired them[4].
>
> The Calendar blog[5] hasn't seen an update in two years.
>
> Bug triaging is lagging behind[6].
>
> The module page[7] is deserted. I've been on the project since 2015 
> and from the people listed on the page, I've only met Philipp, the 
> module owner.
>
> And there are administrative delays that affect Thunderbird as a 
> whole: Slow reviews of patches (including those of potential new 
> contributors), slow uplift/backport approvals of patches to beta and 
> ESR versions, slow Bugzilla administration, delay of many months to 
> provide the Lightning add-on at addons.thunderbird.net for those using 
> a distribution which doesn't package it[8][9].
>
> Apart from the long-standing issues mentioned above, there are also 
> questions reaching into the future:
>
> Why not integrate the calendar functionality completely into 
> Thunderbird and not ship it as add-on? That would solve endless 
> incompatibility and up/downgrade woes[10][11].
>
> The Calendar code is still using XUL overlays. What's the future of 
> that[12]?
>
> What about the "Provider for Google Calendar" add-on[13]? Can that be 
> retired in favour of CalDAV? The test to make sure it still works has 
> been switched off in August 2018[14].
>
> And finally: What's happening with ical.js, the JavaScript library 
> which is meant to replace the C++ library libical?
>
> I think the Thunderbird Calendar needs fresh wind and a more 
> pro-active leadership.
>
> Jörg (Thunderbird hacker).
>
> [1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1520365
> [2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=547754 from 2010, 
> patch reviewed after almost ONE YEAR(!)
> [3] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=357480 from 2006, 
> closed for public comment
> [4] https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Core_Team
> [5] https://blog.mozilla.org/calendar/
> [6] https://mzl.la/2JLwJqX - bugs of "major" importance
> [7] https://wiki.mozilla.org/Modules/Calendar
> [8] 
> https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/tb-planning/2018-December/006303.html
> [9] 
> https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/tb-planning/2019-January/006377.html
> [10] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1493008
> [11] 
> https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/calendar-updates-issues-thunderbird
> [12] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1508119
> [13] 
> https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-GB/thunderbird/addon/provider-for-google-calendar/
> [14] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1481180
>
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