Mozilla Sunbird
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Mozilla just launched Lightning and Sunbird 0.5 for the calendar users out there. This new version comes a long time after 0.3 was released, and I was almost questioning whether the project was still alive. The full list of changes is actually quite long, so here is an abbreviated version:

  • A polished user interface in the calendar view. Actually that is an understatement…the interface looks a lot better than it did before. They do things like adjust the font color based upon the background color of the calendar. This can be seen in the screenshot above, wehre I have a dark green background so a white font is used, but when the light orange background is applied the font is black. This increases the readability quite a bit.
  • Event invitations can be sent and received via iMIP/iTIP (Lightning only)
  • Working hours are back
  • Automatic migration of data in Sunbird 0.2, iCal.app, and Evolution
  • Much improved printing functionality
  • Better integration of Lightning into Mozilla Thunderbird (Printing, Undo/redo, Copy/paste)
  • Support for Google Calendar (we have some instructions on how to do this). This doesn’t support every feature in Google Calendar, but it will be good enough for most people. One of the biggest drawbacks is that you can’t sync recurring events.

So how do you know whether it is Sunbird or Lightning that you need? Sunbird is a standalone program while Lightning is an extension to Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client. Here’s some advice that should point you in the right direction:

You may prefer Mozilla Sunbird if…

  • you prefer your calendar to be separate from your email client
  • you don’t currently use Mozilla Thunderbird for your email
  • you don’t like adding add-ons (such as extensions or themes) to your applications

You may prefer Lightning if…

  • you send or receive meeting invitations via email
  • you already use Mozilla Thunderbird for email
  • you customize your applications with add-ons (such as extensions or themes)

In my testing of Sunbird, I have noticed that it can be quite a memory hog, although most of the calendar programs that I use are. It consumes anywhere from 60MB to 140MB of memory, which is what I expect from a Web browser…not a calendar.

Other than that it is a really nice application with a ton of settings that you can configure. One tip that might help you out while using the calendar is that you can collapse the sidebar or top bar by dragging it all the way to the edge of the screen. It will eventually reach the point where it snaps closed, and then it can be opened by dragging it back out from the edge.

Download Lightning or Sunbird
Source: Mozilla Calendar Weblog