Thank You Mozilla!! a thick client for Sun Calendar Server!!

Finally.. I'm excited about a cross platform Calendar application for Sun Communications Suite.  Lightning is a project from the place that brought us to the widely successful Firebird and Thunderbird applications.

The thing I really appreciate from this product is that it already has user base.  Unlike the other Mozilla stand-alone application project called Sunbird, every Thunderbird user could install Lightening as an extension to their Email client.  This gives you a one-stop location for both Email and Calendar activities.

The enabling feature of Lightening is that it is a pure WCAP client.  WCAP is the Web Calendar Access Protocol used by the Sun Client Server. This protocol has already been widely used by both the Sun Connector for Outlook and the version of Evolution shipped with Sun Desktop.

Sun Calendar Server users can set this up rather easily.  Just download the Thunderbird extension from the Lightning website below.  Make sure you are downloading the WCAP version!   Then add this extension to your Thunderbird.

Removal is fairly simple.  Just open the “extensions” options in Thunderbird and click “uninstall.”

The Linux and Windows users who I have spoke to tell me that it works. (Maybe not yet 100% flawlessly. ) I’m a Mac user, and honestly, I had a few problems.  I contacted the development team, and they sent me a build that fixes the Mac problem.  This fix should be in a build after the Oct 10th build

Subscribing to your calendar on Sun Calendar Server is very straightforward.  Just click new calendar off the “calendar tab.”  The other method is to go to the “file -> New -> calendar” on the main menu.  Then select “network-based calendar.”  If you are using the WCAP version, you should see a “Sun Calendar Server” option. 

The Calendar Server URL is a bit tricky.  I’m sure most users will confuse this URL with the one that they use for Communications Express.  This is a totally different WCAP URL that goes directly to the Calendar Server (or a Front-end Calendar).

It is still a early release, so please don’t be too picky yet!  I’m sure after they smooth out the bugs, you will be pleased to find this.


Mozilla Projects Web Site
Ligtening for Thunderbird Project Page

Comments:

Is there a Solaris port? Thanks

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on October 26, 2006 at 12:55 PM PDT #

Sounds pretty good, though as a Mac user, I need to wait until the next build before I can use it. Until then, there are other solutions that may meet the needs of Mac users better - for example, JSCalendarSync, which keeps Apple's iCal synchronized with your Sun WCAP calendar. There's also JCalendarCopy to simply copy your iCal calendar to the Sun calendar server. I've recently contributed some code to it since I wanted to be able to upload some of my iCal calendars to the Sun calendar server while keeping the details confidential ("time and date only").

Posted by Kate Morris on October 26, 2006 at 02:31 PM PDT #

If Sun was smart, they would officially back this client. The interface kind of sucks compared to the connector/Outlook combo, so it would be a hard sell in the corporate environment without some investment. The main thing Sun is lacking these days is a fully enterprise compatible email client(full user proxy support etc), and while they're close, it's still close, but no cigar.

Posted by Jeff on October 27, 2006 at 12:31 AM PDT #

Sun actually is in fact officially backing this client. We are funding engineers to specifically work on portions of this client. The more obvious part is the WCAP. This is still a Mozilla Community effort, so there are some non-Sun folks who are actually driving and priortizing the features and design of this product. My suggestion is to get involved with the Lightning Mozilla community.

Posted by Jonathan Hawkins on October 27, 2006 at 03:36 AM PDT #

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