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2006.11.14

Seamonkey Logo

Seamonkey is the official name of the latest Mozilla internet suite. While many have moved to the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox browser, many such users miss the simplicity and elegance of Mozilla which was previously used as the foundation of Netscape navigator, mail and composer. According to the latest statistics at W3Schools, 28.8% of Internet users now use a version of Firefox.

This is a great stride for Firefox. While both Firefox and Seamonkey are modern browsers supporting open web-standards, extensions and even propriatary plugins, there are differences in their usability. First, Seamonkey in an integrated suite. Unline Firefox, Seamonkey comes with an email client and an HTML composer. This avoid integration problems where Firefox has to rely on Thunderbird which does not fully work accross different versions. Second, the interface is different. Firefox has a toy-like and more graphical interface which uses relatively more screen space by default. Seamonkey, however, provides a lean and simple interface which is more efficient.

One difference is that Firefox uses 2 text-fields, one for locations and one for search. Seamonkey can do both these actions but with only a single bar. It is not so bad, with Firefox you can get rid of the search text-field and use short-cuts in the location text-field. There is also a Firefox extension to resize the search bar, which is too small to begin with. Then again, why bother? In Seamonkey, you can do both from the start, either with the 2 graphic button or buy using the down-arrow to activate the search feature before pressing enter.

Those who installed Firefox and stopped using it because of its interfance or lack of an email client and composer, should defintely try Seamonkey. If you have not tried these web-browsers, why not try them both and decide for yourself? Compatibility is not such a big problem anymore with sites being designed for all sorts of devices now. Many sites, like Neocamera, are tested with dozens of browsers to provide the most uniform look possible. Too bad we could not get all our dynamic content to work with Opera.

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