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Seamonkey beta improves on Mozilla legacy

First Looks Windows works, Linux doesn't
Sat Dec 31 2005, 16:10
THE GRASSROOTS community of users, programmers and advocates who refuse to embrace Firefox and instead prefer the old approach of an integrated "suite" comprised of e-mail client, html editor and web browser -a combination still more powerful to some of us, released last week the first beta version of "SeaMonkey".

SeaMonkey, unless you've been living in a glass jar -wink-, is the successor of the Mozilla Suite, described as "a community effort to deliver production-quality releases of code derived from the application formerly known as "Mozilla Application Suite". And it's finally got a brand new logo, one that supposedly represents a SeaMonkey but actually ended up looking like a blue bird, at least to my untrained eye.

SeaMonkey 1.0 beta showing the splash screen and new logo

This first beta continues improving on the direction showed by the early alpha which was released late September. Having SVG graphics support enabled by default is a huge pleasure... now someone please tell the webmasters around the world to start adding SVG graphics to the interweb (no, I'm not being ironic, I'm just sad to see things have taken so darn long).

I've been running SeaMonkey 1.0 beta since it was released, and I'm happy to report it works great -on Windows. All my attempts to install it on linux failed miserably, so it's my guess that there's more work to be done on the linux installer front.

Among the new features arriving in the beta are "tab re-ordering", which means that browser tabs can now be rearranged just by dragging and dropping them, and Autoscroll support - middle clicking an empty part of a page allows for scrolling by moving the mouse. Other noteworthy additions are Tools->switch profile, and a new and very nicely done tool dubbed "Report Broken Web Site", which is self explanatory and is accessible from the Help menu, which allows users to report web sites that for some reason or another don't display right or don't work as intended with the Mozilla browser engine.

SVG vector graphics support included

On the Mail component front, the new features worth noting are the program's ability to connect securely to incoming servers that support TLS, and the ability to auto-save draft messages. The feature dubbed "Global Inbox" which allows to have all mail received into all accounts merged in a single inbox folder -this is optional, and something which has been present for ages on the stand-alone Thunderbird email client -.

"Report a Broken Web Site" wizard

You'll see from the screen shots here that I always end up using the Modern theme, but someone has already released a new theme for SeaMonkey, and dubbed it "SeaFox". According to the author it's described as an attempt "to make seamonkey look more like Firefox with transparent PNG images and modern icons. I created seafox borrowing some of the Firefox icons and changed the CSS code in seamonkey so the menus and bookmark menu look like Firefox. This should make seamonkey look better in Windows XP and on GTK linux". Find it over here.

SeaMonkey's integrated e-mail client, showing a "Global Inbox" folder

In short: it's good to see the SeaMonkey browser suite evolving and which such an active community behind it. I suggest that if you are sticking to the Mozilla Suite -which is restricted to "maintenance mode" by the Mozzarella Foundation-, you should give SeaMonkey 1.0 beta a try

See Also
Mozilla Suite 'Born-Again', despite the "Firefox Foundation"


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