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

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at
Sat Aug 3 10:52:27 UTC 2019

I've still to look into the TbSync code in more detail, so sorry if 
parts of this is covered.

Last time I checked, it was difficult to find out where to reasonable 
put the UI for this, and how the UI should be described to the end user, 
since the functionality was not hooked up to anything. I think this is a 
fairly crucial step to including it in core. For exposing it's use to 
other add-ons, the way to move that further needs to be to create 
WebExtension APIs accessing the functionality.

For the google case, I'm not sure exactly how you intend to go about 
things, but I still think we need to investigate how much we can utilize 
the standard access versions (they have CardDAV and CalDAV access) 
instead of going through proprietary APIs. All time we spend fine 
turning proprietary things is time away from improving the general 
standard solution.


On 02-08-2019 23:39, John Bieling wrote:
> Since we are discussing the future of the gdata provider, I would like 
> to introduce another option, which is part of my own agenda/vision for 
> the future of Thunderbird involving TbSync. I have added a comment to 
> the bug created by Magnus 
> ( but as not 
> all subscribers of this thread follow that bug, this is what I want to do:
> Long story short: I would like to take over the gdata provider, remove 
> it from the thunderbird source and turn it into a google provider 
> AddOn for TbSync, merged with gContactSync to provide simple setup for 
> google contacts, tasks and events using the google API.
> As Magnus knows, Ryan asked me about a year ago to add TbSync to 
> Thunderbird core as a new central place to manage cloud accounts and I 
> have been working on that ever since. I have now a clean code base and 
> the provider API added by TbSync looks very good now as well. That 
> provider API allows other AddOns to hook into TbSync and add sync 
> capabilities. Currently there are Exchange Active Sync and 
> CalDav/CardDAV. The second one is actually only adding CardDAV support 
> and delegates caldav sync to lightning, but it is doing resource 
> discovery (so users do not have to add the individual urls, but only 
> need the base server address).
> The next logical step would be to add a google provider. I hope to get 
> the author of gContactSync onboard, but I haven't asked yet.
> I will try to get TbSync into TB76. The next step here would be to get 
> in touch with Alex, on how to integrate TbSync into the new UI. In 
> general TbSync will know wich Provider exists and can load them as 
> needed, so the user does not need to know, where to get the needed 
> provider addons.
> If you want to try out TbSync, to get a feeling for this vision, 
> please use Thunderbird 68, as that uses the cleaned up code base and 
> fixed lots of issues.
> What do you think ?
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