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Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 Release Notes

On the 11th of May 2006, the Sunbird/Calendar project released Sunbird 0.3 alpha2. This marks the second official release Sunbird since the lengthy task of rewriting the backend code was undertaken. Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 marks the second milestone on the roadmap towards a final Sunbird 0.3. These release notes are intended to provide a clear picture of what users should and should not expect in this version.

Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 can be downloaded on the Sunbird download page.

Goals of the 0.3 alpha2 Release

Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 is not intended to be a production-quality release. (See Limitations and Known Bugs) Instead, it is being released largely in order to showcase/test the advanced new view code. This includes:

  • Inline editing of event titles
  • Restoration of drag and drop editing in the day/week views

In addition to showcasing and testing the new views, Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 aims to fix many bugs identified in Sunbird 0.3 alpha1. Some highlights are:

  • Ability to modify individual elements of a recurring event
  • Fewer import/export errors
  • Better error reporting
  • Improved alarm functionality
  • A new, more intuitive New Event dialog
  • Better Mac support
  • Many other minor bug fixes

Limitations and Known Bugs

Before using Sunbird 0.3 alpha2, it is strongly encouraged that you read the following limitations that apply to this release:

  • Because of architectural changes in the Mozilla core code, Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 will not work on Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME
  • Dataloss may occur if you attempt to use Sunbird with calendar files created by other calendaring programs
  • CalDAV support remains extremely basic
  • Shutting down Sunbird immediately after a change has been made (within 5 seconds) may result in the change not being recorded
  • Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 does not work for dates before 1970 or after 2031
  • Snooze functionality is not currently present
  • Alarms for recurring events may not be reliable
  • Sunbird 0.3 alpha1 profiles are upgraded automatically to Sunbird 0.3 alpha2, but are then no longer compatible with Sunbird 0.3 alpha1 due to updates to the internal SQLite database
  • Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 will not automatically migrate your old calendar files from Sunbird 0.2. You will have to manually import them from your profile folder or resubscribe to your remote calendar files

Additionally, many of the Surprising Behaviors of Lightning also apply to Sunbird 0.3 alpha2.

Regressions from Sunbird 0.3 alpha2

As development is ongoing, a few items remain in a worse state than they were in the Sunbird 0.3 alpha1 release:

  • If you have conflicting events at one time in the calendar, other, non-conflicting events on the same day appear too narrow
  • Location/Description information is no longer shown in the day/week views
  • All day events simply appear with no time, rather than having a star icon
  • It is not possible to select multiple events in the views. It still remains possible to select multiple events in the unifinder
  • Similarly, 'Select All' in the 'Edit' menu does not work
  • Sunbird 0.3 alpha2 reports many 'Failed to load XPCOM component' errors in the JavaScript console upon startup, however no functionality is lost

The Next Step

The current roadmap for Sunbird development lists this release as the last alpha release on the way to Sunbird 0.3. The next planned release of Sunbird is planned to be Sunbird 0.3 beta, which only has the goal of fixing bugs identified in this release, in an effort towards creating a final, production quality release. While new features are not directly planned for Sunbird 0.3 beta, ongoing parallel development of Lightning may result in additional features being implemented in this next release as well.

Users wishing to follow the progress towards this beta release should feel free to download nightly builds. As always, testing and good bug reports are always greatly appreciated.