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SEAMONKEY (nee "The Mozilla Suite") LIVES!!!

(Aside from the links section immediately below, this page is in reverse chronological order. Newest at top, oldest at bottom.)

Key SeaMonkey Links


NEWS - December 31, 2007

AOL Discontinues Support for Netscape

As this article indicates AOL is dropping support for the Netscape 9 series of products. Previously, AOL had stopped development of the Netscape 7 series of the integrated Suite product, opened up the code as Open Source, and given a cash infusion to the Mozilla Foundation so it could continue development of the Suite Product. Development of the Mozilla Suite was eventually dropped by the Foundation in favor of the separate apps Firefox (browser) and Thunderbird (mail/news). SeaMonkey was initiated as a "Mozilla project" by a team of interested developers and continues to be the current incarnation of the Suite concept. It is in active development and is the logical platform to which Netscape and Mozilla Suite users should migrate.

NEWS - January 31, 2006

SeaMonkey 1.0 released January 31, 2006! Working good so far. Way to go folks!!!

NEWS - December 19, 2005

SeaMonkey 1.0 Beta released December 19! Indeed a nice present!

If you have a working Netscape 7.x or Mozilla 1.7.x, the SeaMonkey installer will detect those profile(s) and launch the Profile Manager once the installation is complete. If you don't want to trust your current profile to SM you can create a new one. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, just use your existing profile. It's working fine for me.


And, as always, your input is welcome. Seems very stable and much faster than the Suite 1.7.12. Download it and try it out.

Commentary 14 - December 15, 2005

The good news is that SeaMonkey 1.0 Beta may be released in time for Christmas. That would be a nice present!

Commentary 13 - September 21, 2005

Not to much to say except that I continue to use the current release of the Mozilla Suite as my default browser, mail, and news software. I do have Firefox and Thunderbird installed but there is just no joy in them for me. The SeaMonkey project continues to advance, albeit only partially under the Mozilla.Org banner. Oh well.

By the way, judging by activity and effort at IBM, corporations are putting substantial support behind Firefox. Customized installs of FF have been produced as well as numerous corporate-specific extensions. It's nice to see. Now, given that IBM owns and has largely standardized on Lotus Notes for email etc., it's not surprising that the Suite and Tbird don't hold much potential for them. But Firefox is gaining a lot of interest and use among employees.

Commentary 12 - September 17, 2005

Remember my carping about the broken Sidebar functionality in Firefox? Still there. And the two most-accessed pages on this Web site for several months running are:

Combine and Decode

Mozilla Sidebars

Commentary 11 - September 17, 2005

Well, FF and TB continue to get a bit better. and SeaMonkey is alive and kicking with the first alpha release just recently posted. I've tried it but it's pretty much like all alpha software I've tested: too buggy to use for anything other than testing. But the good news is that this is great progress! I'll keep testing until there's a Release Candidate (the stage just prior to a bona-fide release version). The RCs have been, in my experience, the earliest I have been willing to use for every-day software. But things are looking up for The Suite.

Commentary 10 - July 16, 2005

Thunderbird vs. SeaMonkey - In the folder pane there has traditionally been an indicator of unread messages in each folder shown in parentheses just to the right of the folder name. Not in Thunderbird. You could also enable three columns (Unread, Total, Size) by a simple click on the icon immediately above the "scroll up" arrow on the scroll bar in the Suite. Not in TB, the icon is now missing by default. You can, however, turn on the icon by going to Tools - Options - Advanced and checking the "Show expanded columns in the folder pane" box. Umm. Lemme get this straight. Firefox and Thunderbird are "for the masses," right? So the design philosophy has been to simplify the User Interface (UI). And now they take out a valuable and reasonable function but add in a UI preference selection? This is more simple? Huh?

Commentary 9 - July 2, 2005

In case you missed it in the "Key SeaMonkey Links" section above, check out the SeaMonkey News Page. Oh, and apparently the spelling is now properly "SeaMonkey" - one word with two caps.

Commentary 8 - April 22, 2005

On netscape.mozilla.user.general today someone said "... the Mozilla Foundation don't care about the Suite any more ..." Which generated a reply that this was not at all true. I agreed, but posted the following:

Welllll ... ok, I'll go with the notion that MOFO /does/ still have some interest in the Suite. But, I think the current state of affairs is more fairly/completely akin to the mother who says to her baby: "Honey, I really do love you, honest. But I just can't afford to keep you anymore. So I'm putting you up for adoption."

Commentary 7 - April 17, 2005 - From one of my postings on netscape.public.mozilla.general

I know that the developers' objective was not to amuse us. Still, it is kinda funny how this is turning out. But writing the spec after the fact is kinda interesting.
A product of a small size with limited functionality. By design.
Actively encourage third parties to design add-ons to bring the functionality up to what was available in the parent application.
Make a product whose viability depends on having third-party add-ons developed but have no central repository of them nor have any formal review of them.
State that a core principle of the reason for this product's existence is to server the average end user.
Place the burden of management of add-ons (and, hence, the usability of the core product) on the end-user.
Create a system where the developers of the core product have zero control over the third-party add-ons.
Have no central distribution point for those third-party extensions.
Have no way of monitoring and/or ensuring those add-ons' compatibility with subsequent releases of the core product.
But! As compared to previous efforts, ensure that, without these unmanaged add-ons, the core product is lacking many functions of its parent and is going to confuse and befuddle the average user.
I have never expected it to be perfect but the Firefox/Thunderbird effort still looks to me to be an unconscious effort to aim at its foot and pull the trigger. Oh yes, nice job of marketing for market share's sake. Now what are ya gonna do? Read the rest of the assigned text of Marketing 101. You can attain share but you'd damned well better have a superior mouse trap if you want to maintain it.
Long live SeaMonkey.

Commentary 6 - March 22, 2005

Just in case, let me make it clear now and for all time. I am not opposed to the separate apps: Firefox, Thunderbird, et al. I just don't like them as much as I do the Mozilla Application Suite. I've noted specifics above and no one has yet come forward to challenge me on those assertions.

What I do think is that it is an ill-advised move on the part of the Mozilla Foundation to abandon the Suite to the vagaries of an independent "project."

First, it makes it more difficult to garner organizational users, corporations and organizations, if there is no formal body standing behind the Suite. In the old days the phrase was "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." Well, guess what? If you're the IT person in any organization are you gonna go out on a limb for a product that has no formal support?

Look. I praise the efforts and the people behind the Suite project (and FF and TB too). God bless them. But if my job depends on it? "Boss! Honest, let's put our entire enterprise on this software. Really. There is a bunch of loosely connected aficionados out there working on this!" Or: "Boss! Look. The Mozilla Foundation was created by AOL and has programmers supplied by IBM, Sun, etc. And it's free!!!"

Commentary 5 - March 16, 2005

I'm becoming much more hopeful. Exchanges on the newsgroups indicate that the SeaMonkey Project (as it's now being referred to) is gathering some steam. That's excellent!

Also, Asa and Brendan have been spending a significant amount of time on the ngs answering questions, clarifying details, and correcting many misconceptions. It's going a long way toward allaying some people's concerns and explaining the reasons behind the MoFo's actions. Bravo!

Commentary 4 - March 12, 2005

I was perusing (Mozilla Foundation President) Mitchell Baker's blog. The message of March 10, 2005 is interesting reading. Read it for yourself but, essentially, here's what she says:

While I am heartened by the fact that MoFo will provide the support indicated, it saddens me that it is divorcing itself from future development, enhancement, and branding of the Suite. As I've said, I think this is a mistake.

Commentary 3 - March 12, 2005 (updated May 23, 2005 and July 7, 2005)

I do have Firefox and Thunderbird installed and have spent some time doing comparisons and testing. I also use them to help me answer questions in the newsgroups I frequent. With all of the great positive publicity the MoFo has garnered with Firefox, I really wanted to like it and Thunderbird. And I do: sort of. But there are also some things about them that I just can't stand. This is a list of differences, advantages, shortcomings, etc. between the stand-alone approach and the Suite approach to things.

That's all I've collected so far. Feel free to send me more and I'll post them.

Commentary 2 - March 11, 2005

I posted the following in response to an ongoing thread at snews://secnews.netscape.com:563/netscape.mozilla.user.general:

I, too, am rather upset at this turn of events, despite having seen the handwriting on the wall for quite some time now. However, a couple of points:

1. The Suite will be my choice for, I suspect, years to come even if it never progresses past the upcoming 1.7.6. It still works as well as it did yesterday and certainly works well enough for my use.

2. Let's not all get our dresses in a knot here, ok? The MoFo has very limited resources and needs to direct those where it sees the biggest return on the investment of those resources. While I disagree with its strategic decision in this case, it doesn't make me hate them or want to stop using Mozilla-based products in a fit of pique. Remember, too, development of the underlying technology (Gecko) done as a result of the Firefox/Thunderbird effort will benefit any new independent development of the Suite. No need to cut off our noses to spite our faces.

Commentary 1 - March 11, 2005

First, hell has not frozen over nor have I died and had the Mozilla Suite pried from my cold dead hands. Both of those events I have made reference to in the past but neither has yet come to pass. Having said that, I will reiterate my belief that abandoning the Mozilla Suite is a huge mistake.

I began using Netscape sometime about 1995. I tried Netscape 6 (for about 3 hours) when it came out and as quickly as most got rid of it and fell back on Netscape Communicator. I used that up until about mid-way through 2003 when I switched to the Mozilla Suite 1.x. I came to love the functionality, the several components, the common UI, and the tight integration of all the parts. I still love the Suite for all of those reasons.

I do not install all of the possible components of the Suite. For instance, I have little use for the chat client Chatzilla. And I don't use the Web page composer except very occasionally. My Web site is created and maintained using a plain-text editor (EditPad Pro). Still, I like that I have the choices and functionality there if I want it.

The Mozilla Foundation made it clear (sort of) that it wanted to pursue individual stand-alone apps (Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.) as replacements for the integrated Suite. Some of the key reasons I've read include:

Addressing those points:

Further, while an independent SeaMonkey is better than none, it would be much much better if it were officially under the Mozilla brand.

Background - March 11, 2005

The Mozilla Foundation (MoFo) has announced (or reiterated more strongly, depending on how you look at it) that the current plan is to not develop The Mozilla Application Suite ("the Suite") beyond the 1.7.x version. MoFo will not continue the 1.8x version to a release product. Mozilla 1.8 currently is available in beta form as 1.8b1. Future development work will be focused on individual stand-alone Mozilla-based products (Firefox, Thunderbird, Calendar, etc.) See the link to the statement below.

The MoFo statement (see link below) indicates that maintenance releases will be made. However, this approach precludes adding additional features and will likely be limited to security and minor bug fixes. A version 1.7.6 is already in the works that will address a few concerns including, at least, the IDN vulnerability.

With much of my site (and a good deal of time) spent on Mozilla, and with my very strong preference being for The Suite, I've created this page to deal with the issue of the continued viability of Mozilla as an integrated application.

There is a group of people who would like to take over the continued development of The Suite from MoFo. Please visit and read the SeaMonkey links below. Even if you cannot contribute code development, you may be able and willing to participate by performing user testing for the group. And even if you cannot do that, please keep visiting those pages (and here) to keep apprised of developments in the project.

Make sure you let the community know your opinions and get answers to your questions at the Mozilla User Support Newsgroups and other venues like the forums at Mozillazine.

This page last changed: Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 12:26 PM USA Eastern Time

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