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The Flavors of Gecko Technology

geckoThe number of different applications that use Gecko are ever increasing. What’s Gecko? It’s the rendering engine that powers such programs as Firefox, Thunderbird and many more.

I guess it all starts with Netscape back in 1998 and possibly even before that when Netscape decided to make a technology to power their browser. It’s come a long way and here are a few applications taking advantage of this open source technology.

  1. Firefox* – The most popular and most wildly used Gecko application. It’s the little web browser that’s trying to change the world. With hundreds of extensions and themes, customizing it to fit your needs is one thing that makes it so popular.
  2. Thunderbird* – Much like Firefox, Thunderbird is a very popular email client that’s trying to get into office places and computers everywhere. With hundreds of extensions and themes, customizing it to fit your needs is one thing that makes it so popular too.
  3. Flock* – The social media browser that is really looking good. It a clone of Firefox that is integrated into services like Flickr and del.icio.us, has a built in blog editor, nice feed reader and works with most Firefox extensions. Really a cool up-and-coming browser.
  4. Netscape* – Yep, Netscape is the latest Firefox clone. Seriously, it is. It’s got a different theme, a few Netscape services built in but other than that, it’s exactly the same. Great to see it still alive and kicking though.
  5. Camino – Mac only browser that was built to be lightweight and look more like a Mac native application. It may not be a direct spinoff of Firefox, but it’s close. No extension support though which is a major downfall but the small application size and great graphics help make up for that loss.
  6. K-Meleon – Windows only web browser. From the sounds of it, it’s like Camino for Windows maybe?
  7. SeaMonkey* – The all in one browser/email client/web editor. Formally known as Mozilla. The browser functionality is pretty much the same as Firefox and email just like Thunderbird. It’s just in a bigger, and not as nice, package. Extensions are hit and miss when it comes to compatibility.
  8. Correo – Mac email client that aims to bring the power and speed of Thunderbird in a more Mac like package. Think of it as Camino only for Email.
  9. Eudora/Penelope (soon) – The popular email application is going to switch over to use Gecko in the next major version. Not sure if it’s going to be a Thunderbird spinoff, but it’s a great step forward.
  10. Nvu* – HTML editor (like Frontpage or Dreamweaver) that was stripped out of Mozilla (SeaMonkey) long ago as a stand alone application. It has a lot of potential but the development has slowed to a crawl. I guess KompoZer would be a better download as it’s the development version of Nvu.
  11. Epiphany – Web browser for the GNOME desktop environment.
  12. Liaison* – Novelle Groupwise client.
  13. SongBird* – Media player that’s kind of like iTunes with a built in web browser.
  14. SunBird* – Desktop calendar application much like iCal. Works with Google Calendar too.
  15. Minimo – A small, simple, powerful, innovative, web browser for mobile devices
  16. FireFTP* – Not a stand alone application, but a Firefox extension that integrates an FTP client. Very impressive.
  17. Extensions* – And then there are the extensions. All the little programs and scripts that really make Firefox and Thunderbird stand out. Need to block ads, investigate HTML issues or get the weather? These are just a few of the many many items extensions can provide.

Most, if not all, applications above are completely free to use. No strings attached. Those marked with a * should run on Windows, Mac and Linux. Talk about cross platform love.

I’m sure there are probably more applications that I’m missing, but those listed above are a great example of what the open source community is all about. It’s also a good indicator that the Gecko technology is going to be around for a long long time.

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