Blog, Technology

Thunderbird & Lightning

I’ve been using Thunderbird for about 3 months since moving from Gmail to Fusemail and have been fairly happy with it. There are a few quirks that I could do without and/or would like to see changed but I’m working with/around them.

The one thing that Thunderbird is missing ‘out of the box’ is a calendar. Thankfully, the Lightning add-on takes care of that (and does a great job of it). Lightning lets you connect to any iCal and Google Calendar (using the Google Calendar Provider addon) and gives you the ability to create events and tasks (I don’t believe the tasks are replicated to Google Calendar though).

Even better….the latest Lightning update brings this addon to a level that makes it much easier to use and much more attractive. The latest version (ver 0.7) has the following new/updated features:

  • It is now much easier to switch between the mail and calendar parts of Thunderbird thanks to a user interface redesign
  • Redesigned event/task dialog has been enabled to gather feedback from the community.
  • It offers a much cleaner user interface and additional functionality including:
    • Events/Tasks can be created in different timezones
    • Attendees can be added from a local or corporate LDAP directory
    • Free-Busy information is available for users of the Sun Java Calendar Server
    • Integrated display of recurrence patterns, reminders and attendees
    • Custom recurrences and reminders
    • Clear separation between tasks and events
    • The new event summary dialog lists all the details of tasks and events for calendar which are read-only
  • The Today Pane gives a quick overview over your current tasks and upcoming events. The Today Pane can be enabled/disabled by a toolbar button
  • Colliding events (events in the same time slot) are shrunk so that they fit into the display of a day. This no longer affects other events on the same day
  • Localized releases of Lightning and Sunbird in Chinese (simplified), Georgian, Lithuanian, Portuguese (European), Spanish (Argentina) and Turkish

If you’re using Thunderbird, you should be using Lightning for your calendar and if using Lighting , definitely download this latest update. It’s much slicker and much easier to use.

NOTE: If you are using Lightning and make this update, make sure you reactivate your calendar. More info is in this thread.

[tags] Lightning, Thunderbird, Technology, Email Clients [/tags]

About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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