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Mozilla SeaMonkey 1 Review

I’ve downloaded Mozilla SeaMonkey 1.0 and I’m using it right now.  I was all excited as I thought SeaMonkey would be Firefox+Thunderbird+Nvu all rolled into one.  Not Quite.

First off, SeaMonkey has an identity crisis on it’s hands.  I started it up and it felt like 1997 with Netscape 4.7.  Seriously people, either make a default theme or make the ‘Modern’ theme default.  People do judge on look and the Netscape 4.7 look is not good.

Second, some of the features I’ve come to know and love from Mozilla products are missing.

  • Toolbar is not customizable.
  • Toolbar icons can’t be small.
  • No RSS support
  • No themes (well not many)
  • No extensions (that I can find)

It just feels like old days, except with tabbed browsing.

The email is a little better as it does have inline spell checking, but it does need to have an image makeover and some toolbar button customization.

Now I know that the workers of SeaMonkey are doing their best and know about all the issues and I hope they keep working at it.  I think their is still a area for the all-in-one browser/email/chat application and Mozilla SeaMonkey could be it.

All in all I think SeaMonkey is ok but not great.  If you want to keep your email and web browsing together, this may work well for you.  If you like themes and extensions, then hold off until developers create some.

17 Responses

  1. richwise says:

    Agree – the UI options are circa 97. Very little theme and extension support – including iPox!

  2. Thomas says:

    iPox for SeaMonkey? Maybe. I’ll have to see what I can do without hours of extra work. But, I did find this nice theme: 100x better than the default.

  3. Taran says:

    Umm. In other words, you’re not used to it. No problem. But where SeaMonkey wins is that it’s integrated. Firefox and Thunderbird add up to a schizophrenic SeaMonkey, in my book. I like having the HTML editor, the IRC client, and everything at the lower left. Most people don’t need additional functionality, but it seems unfair to post a review on something and griping about what you consider the bad stuff.

    By the way, when people click your little GoogleAd for FireFox, they get an old version and have to upgrade again to use the latest plugins. Hey… that didn’t affect your ‘review’, did it?

  4. Thomas says:

    1) The Firefox ad is Google controlled. Not my issue. But I’ll look into it.
    2) I thought Mozilla was built on the idea of customizing. It used to be sidebars, then themes and extensions. It could be great, but I don’t feel it’s got Firefox built in as you say. SeaMonkey just seems very unpolished yet, but then again, that is where Mozilla left off. I do look forward to future releases though.

  5. D Ryan says:

    Almost completely wrong. The toolbars are customizable, just go into the “View” options. I managed to customize Seamonkey more than Firefox. I have plenty of themes, all you have to do be bothered to look for theme, and plenty of extensions as well, including adblock and mouse gestures,

    Now when you talk about an internet suite having an “Identity crises”, that’s just silly. If you like a theme or not is upto you, but when you say “it felt like 1997..” you are reviewing the theme, not the suite. Maybe the Seamonkey monkey folks got update the “Get New Themes” link to include other sources, but honestly I think they had more important things to worry about. The users of the suite are the type that know how to use Google and get the themes, if just make one.

    It probably could do with rss support, although I can actually get my feeds through a website that is my Seamonkey homepage.

  6. Thomas says:

    D Ryan- I don’t appreciate you attacking my opinions. What I said is how I felt after trying Seamonkey for a few days. I did do a lot of searching for themes at the time and there weren’t that many. The toolbar wasn’t customizable like Firefox or else it’s harder to do. I’m sorry you think I”m completely wrong, but my opinions are just that, my opinions. Seamonkey can be great, but people will judge it by it’s default appearance and how easy it is to modify things like the toolbar.

  7. Scott says:

    I was never that keen on the original “Mozilla”. It just seemed like Netscape with different branding and a few different features.

    I was impressed when Firefox came along.

    Back in the late 90’s when Netscape ruled the Internets™ I was one of the few who (then) preferred Internet Explorer. It was just more lightweight, less buggy and rendered pages better.

    I was never fond of the integrated browser/mail/news concept. I prefer one app that does one thing and does it well. I don’t need all that integration. As long as all my apps integrate well with the OS, then I’m cool.

    But I digress. I’d not looked at anything resembling Mozilla/Seamonkey in several years. I thought I’d give it a look now. I’m very unimpressed (I’m using it as I wrote this).

    Little has changed. Firefox, Thunderbird and Nvu are much better than Seamonkey, preriod.

    I’m baffeled as to why anyone bothered with the Seamonkey project (after the Mozilla suite was officially killed off), it’s soo 1990’s.

    Oh well, people seem to like WinAMP/XMMS, so who knows…

  8. km says:

    Scott: IE and Outlook Express are a web-browser and mail/news program both built on the same platform. They’re just as “integrated” as Seamonkey is, the links are just in a separate place.

    Also, you must not know much about software. Thunderbird is a great program, and I hope the Seamonkey guys backport it into the suite. However, I have a slow laptop, and with Seamonkey, I don’t have to load statically-compiled libraries more than once. I can run a mail client, an IRC client, and a web browser, all with the same shared back-end. It’s a tremendous performance boost for free.

    With Seamonkey 1.01, the autoscroll feature is finally there, and once you install the Seafox theme, linked above, you have perfect native-widget integration.

    I couldn’t be happier with Seamonkey.

  9. mark bokil says:

    I wrote an extension for Seamonkey called MonkeyMenu that allows you to customize the Seamonkey UI by collapsing any toolbar, adding buttons to the toolbar from a library of 28 buttons, add a search box to Seamonkey. Besides the SeaFox theme I am working on the SeaGnome theme which makes Seamonkey blend in perfectly with a Linux Gnome system and it also looks rather nice on Windows.

  10. Casper says:

    while nearly everyone on this site is bagging Seamonkey I think it’s time we get over the over rated Firefox, I admit I was all excited about Firefox 2 & even though there are lots of extensions and themes I have been a little disappointed with the browser being slow and system hungry. I conducted speed test using Firefox 2 I tried every tweak and extension I could think of to see if I could get it too work just as fast as Seamonkey but without success, Sure Seamonkey may look old school but in terms of speed and performance Seamonkey beats Firefox hands down. Seamonkey was released in April this year and there are heaps of themes and extension out there all you have too do is just take a little time to look for them.

  11. Thomas says:

    Casper – It’s been a while since I last checked out Seamonkey. It may be time to check into it again. 🙂

  12. Casper says:

    Thomas check it out it’s getting better with every release, Most People who have posted here have knocked the browser before even giving it a chance to develop.

  13. Frankly, I think you are a bit engrossed in themes and appearances. To me simplicity is the best and hardest to achieve in most fields. Obvious examples are physics equations, art, etc. What I particularly enjoy with SeaMonkey is its clarity, i.e. functional layout design, which makes it quick to identify the things you want to use, as well as its processing speed, which surpasses even Firefox. Now, there are sites that are too much focused on IE users, that will work poorly or practically not at all with SeaMonkey, unfortunately, but that is another subject.

  14. martin fennell says:

    Because of problem with FireFox, I found out about Seamonkey.
    I’m not too concerned about themes.
    The main I like about it so far is the sidebar, particularly for search results.
    Although someone will tell probably tell me that was in firefox too. Well I do know it had a sidebar, but did it have one for search results?
    Is it really faster than Firefox. I was surprised that someone said it was.

  15. Thomas says:

    Seamonkey and Firefox have the same rendering engine so one shouldn’t be faster than the other. As far as the sidebar search resutls, there probably is one but I’m not sure.

    What I really like abut Seamonnkey is the ability to have the Google search right in the address bar. But Firefox offers so much more in the form of themes, extensions and customization for me.

  16. Al says:

    Wow, I just discovered that SeaMonkey works with Google maps and with Zillow, which none of the other MacOS-X browsers I’ve been using do. (Firefox, Safari, IE5.2) I had understood it was something about Apple’s implementation of Java – but here it is working! So what if the style is a bit funky – function is for me! … Al

  17. Thomas says:

    Al – That’s interesting. I have no issues with Firefox or Safari with Google Maps or Zillow. Glad you found something that works for you though.

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