Lightning, Lightbird, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird...

Discuss various technical topics not related to Mozilla.
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Joined: September 18th, 2021, 8:57 am

Post Posted September 22nd, 2021, 5:33 am

(After haunting and reading this board for probably 15 years or more I have finally registered and am making my first post!)


[The message below was written on Saturday, 9-18-21 but somehow my account was inactivated before I could post it. Now that that has been fixed, below is the message that I wrote then. However now it appears that you have succeeded with another option. But I will still contribute this post just for the record.]

I have never used Sunbird so I cannot help you with it at all. However since everyone has said that Sunbird is the same as Lightning then perhaps what I have to say will help.

I am currently using 64 bit SeaMonkey 2.53.9 on Windows 10 and 7, and still have a 32 bit - 2.49.5 on Windows XP. All versions are using the Lightning 5.8.9 extension. By itself this extension supposedly allows you to launch the SeaMonkey browser, then hunt down the calendar via the Mail & Newsgroups link in the Windows part of the menu bar. I have never used Lightning by itself so I cannot tell you if it works that way, but maybe it does.

In my case I have always used both Lightning 5.8.9 and Lightbird 0.7.1 together. What Lightbird does is to put a "Calendar" link under the Windows part of the menu bar so that you can directly access the calendar without going through Mail & Newsgroups. It also installs a calendar icon down in the component bar on bottom left part of the browser screen that allows you to click and access the calendar directly from there. But in both of these cases you still have to launch the browser in order to access the calendar.

However Lightbird also gives you the ability to operate the calendar separately from the browser. I personally have not seen that it automatically sets this up when you install the extension. Instead it seems to require a couple of tweaks which I eventually figured out. So first hunt down and install the Lightbird extension (available here: " ... lightbird/ "). [Lightning should already be pre-installed in SeaMonkey.] This will modify Lightning slightly and set up the ability to operate the calendar separate from the browser. But then the additional tweaks are necessary. Essentially these two tweaks are one and first: to get a calendar link on your desktop, and two and second to set the calendar link so that it starts with Windows (if that is what you want it to do; if you would rather to just manually start the calendar from your desktop every time then you may omit the second tweak/step---listed below as the second optional step).

The tweaks:

1. go to the program folder for SeaMonkey and find the ".exe" file -- (on my Win 10 computer it is at " C:\Program Files\SeaMonkey\seamonkey.exe ". Right click and then click "Send to" and choose "Desktop". This will put a short cut for the SeaMonkey browser on your desktop.

2. Right click on this desktop icon and choose "Properties" at the bottom. A screen will pop up and under the Shortcut tab the "Target" line should be highlighted. Immediately hit your right arrow key to remove the highlight and then add one space by hitting your space bar once. Then type "-calendar". (After this your Target line should look like this -- "C:\Program Files\SeaMonkey\seamonkey.exe" -calendar). After this you may click either Apply, then OK, or just OK---either will do. Now you have set up a calendar shortcut link that will open the calendar alone by itself, without opening the browser.

(Optional steps if you wish to change the shortcut icon to the calendar icon {hopefully you have Irfanview or a similar image viewer/editor installed}: -- Go to " ". From that page click on "icon.png". On the next page click "Download". On the next page from your browser get to "Save As" and save this page (it should save as a ".png" file). Now open Irfanview (or a similar program), and in that program go to and open the just saved ".png" file. From the Irfanview menu bar click File and choose "Save as". Give the file whatever name you wish, and then click the right side drop-down arrow on the "Save as type" line and choose ".ico" and then click "Save" -- this will convert the ".png" file to an ".ico" file. Now right click on your SeaMonkey calendar shortcut again and click properties. From there click "Change Icon" and then browse to find the icon that you just created, double-click it and click "OK", and then "OK" again. Now the shortcut should have the calendar icon. You may also rename the shortcut as desired.)

(Optional steps if you want your calendar to automatically start with Windows: -- Open two Windows "File Explorer" windows (one will do but two makes it easier to see what you are doing). In the first Explorer window go to whichever profile that you are using for your current desktop and find the desktop folder (in my case the location is as follows: "C:\Users\[profile name]\Desktop"; find and copy your SeaMonkey calendar shortcut link that you just created (right-click on it and choose copy). Next you will need to decide whether you wish the calendar to start for all users or just for specific profiles. If you choose all users then in the second Explorer window go to: " C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp " and paste your copied shortcut into this folder. If instead you wish for only specific profiles to have the calendar program to automatically start with Windows then you will need to go to each specific profile like the following: " C:\Users\[profile name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup " and paste the copied shortcut into each profile folder. By following these steps the Calendar program will automatically start with Windows. Of course you can close the program at any point and reopen it at another or later time from your desktop shortcut if desired.) (I have alarms and reminders set in my calendar, so I want to these to automatically alert me when Windows starts.)

When the Calendar screen comes up you can operate the calendar in any way that you wish -- from what the others have said this calendar should look and work exactly the same as Sunbird. If you have data saved in Sunbird my guess is that you can save or "Export" it in a ".csv" format. Then in the new Lightning/Lightbird calendar that you have just set up click File on the menu bar and choose "Import". At the bottom to the right of the file name change the type to ".csv" and browse to and find your saved or exported ".csv" file; highlight the file and then click "Open". This should import all of your previous data. It may need a little tweaking after that, depending on how and what you have set up.

[This took more work than I was expecting!!!}

Two additional free stand-alone calendar possibilities that you might wish to consider would be Efficient PIM at " " and EssentialPIM at " " (main page) [choose the free edition] or direct download link " ". Both of these programs allow you to import ".csv" data. I use all of these in addition to another stand-alone calendar program called VueMinder Lite. However the free version of VueMinder does not allow the import of ".csv" files. (An optional workaround could be that you could export your data from Sunbird (or Lightning/Lightbird) as a ".ics" file and then import that into VueMinder. If you wish to try VueMinder it can be found at " " or " ".

For my money the SeaMonkey Lightning/Lightbird calendar works just as well or better than the other mentioned options, at least for my limited purposes. But the others do have a few more features, and also some paid features.

As I was about to post this I remembered that Windows 10 also has a built in Calendar app. I do not use it so I cannot vouch for it (I can vouch for the previous four programs mentioned above because I use them all). In any case you can get to it in several ways: by clicking the date in the bottom right hand corner of the Windows taskbar; or typing "Calendar" in the Windows search box next to the start button on the left side of the taskbar and then clicking "Calendar"; or by clicking the start button and scrolling down until you find "Calendar" and then clicking on it. It appears that you can add events and reminders but I do not immediately see any means of importing previous data or of exporting data. If you are interested perhaps you can fool around with it a bit to see how it works.

Okay, that is all that I've got!


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Joined: April 21st, 2008, 7:52 pm

Post Posted September 22nd, 2021, 11:44 am

Wow thanks very much v_v for all this information!
I'm sure it will help many people.
Thanks for going above and beyond the call of duty. :)

Posts: 24
Joined: September 18th, 2021, 8:57 am

Post Posted September 23rd, 2021, 9:30 am


One additional set of comments, you mentioned in your other related Sunbird thread (" viewtopic.php?f=46&t=3078880 ") that Sunbird was discontinued. By that same token I am not sure what the status is of the SeaMonkey-Lightning-Lightbird combo. The combo works for my calendar and reminder purposes "as is" so I have not been concerned about whether it is still being developed or maintained. Perhaps somebody can tell us whether there is any ongoing maintenance and development, such as perhaps, "is the ongoing development of Thunderbird being imported into the corresponding aspects of SeaMonkey?"

In contrast the reason that I do run the other programs that I mentioned is because EfficientPIM, EssentialPIM, and VueMinder Lite are all still being developed and maintained, even though EfficientPIM has not had an update since 6-23-2020. Thus my current setup is such as to provide me with the security of knowing that I should be able to export and import my data to other programs if it should ever become necessary in the future.



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Joined: December 7th, 2002, 9:53 am

Post Posted September 24th, 2021, 7:12 am


Interesting post. Have used essentialpim over the years, but over time, SeaMonkey's calendar has worked for me and so too Google calendar where I export from SeaMonkey and import into Google. Not synced, just manual, but it works well enough. Sunbird works, but as it is just a dupe of Lightning, it is not a necessary app for my tastes.

I use 32 bit SeaMonkey, never bothered to move to the 64 bit version... just lazy. Lightbird has some flaws with newer SeaMonkey versions, so I installed it, but disable it most of the time. Just use the Calendar text ion in the mail module.The Lightbird icon is placed on the bottom next to composer and chatzilla, so that is an extra if you so wish.

Never felt the need to run the calendar as a standalone app via a desktop icon, but that is a nice find if you are so inclined.

I try to avoid having too many aps in my auto startups. I do gang up SeaMonkey, KeePass and PStart (a small menu program) with a variation on a batch file. Works nicely.

I've written elsewhere about the need to have other browsers available with icons on the SeaMonkey toolbar for those times when SeaMonkey fails on some websites.

-N- Quis custodiet ipsos custodes
SeaMonkey(32bit), FrameWork, Windows 10 Pro (X64- 21H1), WinPatrol, Malwarebytes & PandaDome

Posts: 413
Joined: April 21st, 2008, 7:52 pm

Post Posted September 24th, 2021, 2:06 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Check what time zone it is using.

I am absolutely convinced now that the Time Zone/Event listing
is a bug due to careless programming.

The programmers were not careful with their coding.

When you change a Time Zone, the event time showing in the Calendar
adjusts accordingly, BUT the actual event time itself (when you go in to look at it)
does not change!!!

I have replicated this now more than half a dozen times.

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