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ED MULLEN'S MOZILLA PAGES - SeaMonkey, Firefox, Thunderbird, Netscape 7, The Basics

Ok, so what's the deal with these programs? How are they different? How do I figure out which I should use? This is a very simplified look at the situation. It's not meant to be a comprehensive technical description! For background information on the topic read the great overview at Chris Ilias' site.

The Mozilla Application Suite, SeaMonkey, Netscape 7.x, Firefox (FF), and Thunderbird (TB) all share the same underlying rendering engine: the Gecko Rendering Engine (GRE). That's at the core of them all. Then, each program departs from there with a different set of features and tweaks to the User Interface (UI).

The suite-style programs include: browser, mail/news, HTML composer, IRC chat client, etc. in one program. Firefox and Thunderbird separate the core functions (browser and mail/news) of the Suite into individual programs. Netscape 7.x takes the Mozilla code base and Suite bundling approach then adds proprietary features. For instance, it integrates AOL Instant Messenger and provides access to Netscape Web Mail in the Mail client. NS7.x is most like SeaMonkey.

One major consideration is that the Mozilla Application Suite and Netscape 7.x are no longer being actively developed and are behind the times on features and updates. Mozilla will probably stop developing even security fixes in the second half of 2006. NS 7.x hasn't seen an upgrade in so long I can't remember. All of the development of the suite-product is now focused on the SeaMonkey project. The first release (1.0) came in January 2006.

If you DO want the proprietary NS 7 features you can still use SeaMonkey. Just install the stand-alone version of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

If all you want is an alternative browser to Internet Explorer IE) you need only install FF. If you only want to replace a mail/news program like Outlook Express (OE), you only need to get TB. If you want to replace your IE AND OE, you have one of two options:

This simple table gives a quick comparison of the applications.

Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey yes yes yes yes
Mozilla Firefox yes
Mozilla Thunderbird yes
Netscape yes yes yes yes

Compare the apps in terms of memory use, disk use, and speed. If you actually worry about such stuff, here ya go!


See the Menu Toolbar up there at the top of the program window? The one that looks like this?

File  Edit  View  Go  Bookmarks ... Help

Well, for heaven's sake, spend some time clicking and exploring what's up there (especially Edit - Preferences and Help)! That's where you can change most options and configuration parameters for the program. You'll answer most of your own questions just by spending some time poking around.

Also, look around the program's window(s). If you see a button or widget and wonder what it does try hovering your mouse cursor over it. You'll usually get a pop-up tooltip that describes what the little thingie does.

And you might also want to spend some time getting the FAQs ...


Looking for the Mozilla Help sidebar? HERE IT IS!



Please read the Junk Mail Controls Background Info

One of the most mis-understood functions in the Mozilla programs is Junk Mail Controls. Please take the time to read this information in detail before trying to use the JMC filter and before posting questions in the support groups. If you're still confused or need more help after reviewing the background info, by all means post a question on the Mozilla User Support Newsgroups

ED'S MOZILLA PAGES - All the "stuff" that I thought, at one time or another, was important to save or that someone else might find useful.

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