Seamonkey

Reading time: 2 mins

I mentioned the SeaMonkey project last week. It’s a package from Mozilla which includes “a state-of-the-art web browser and powerful email client, as well as a WYSIWYG web page composer and a feature-rich IRC chat client”. Having downloaded it, installed it, and tried to break it for the last few days I can unreservedly state that you shouldn’t bother with it. Well, most of you shouldn’t bother with it, it may appeal to some.

The clue, that I missed, is right there on the Mozilla page. It states that:

“The SeaMonkey project is a community effort to deliver production-quality releases of code derived from the application formerly known as “Mozilla Application Suite”.

To a lot of people these days, Mozilla means Firefox. Back in the day (when Polos were only 7p a pack) Mozilla meant Netscape so imagine my horror, and the swift checking of my calendar when, lo and behold, the browser that opened was Netscape. Well, technically, it wasn’t but it sure looked that way.

There is nothing startlingly clever about any of the applications included in the package, this is both it’s downfall and it’s selling point. If you are web savvy I’d suggest you steer clear as you undoubtedly already have applications that meet your needs, I know I do and none of the applications on offer here better, or come close to bettering, what I already have.

If you are new to the web, then give it a go. It does exactly what it says on the tin and is a good way to get up to speed quickly, using a fairly stable, if somewhat pedestrian, set of products. Bear in mind, however, that for every application in the SeaMonkey package there is a better alternative, usually free as well.

SeaMonkey is a good idea, in theory, however I don’t know why it doesn’t use the “new” Mozilla products… maybe it will in the future. For now it’s either further ahead of its time than I can predict, or has already (possibly even in the time it’s taken you to read this post) lost some more ground to the sleeker standalone products offered by the other side of the Mozilla organisation.