Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why i switched back to Firefox from SeaMonkey

as you probably already know, the Mozilla Corporation is the new home for Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, and the original Mozilla suite is more-or-less gone, and is the base for the community project called SeaMonkey. SeaMonkey is really the successor to the Mozilla suite, containing the works - browser, HTML composer, email client, IRC client - with some other things to make the power user pretty happy.

anyhow, i started using SeaMonkey because of some things i'd heard about it: it consumes less resources than Firefox and Thunderbird separately, since with it, it's all the same one application; it has a quickstarter on Windows to allow it start up faster; the Firefox artwork is not open-source, as is the rest of Firefox, which is problematic for users wanting to bundle Firefox with opensourced (notably GPL-licensed software/operating systems. there's been some hullabaloo about it all.

so i installed SeaMonkey, started it up…was almost immediately disappointed. i had the following problems with it:

  • the simple keyboard shortcut for the search bar from Firefox was missing. combining the address and search bars is cool, but i'm just not used to it, and searching when trying to open an address is annoying.
  • the easy choice of search engines in Firefox (two clicks or keyboard buttons once you're in the search bar) is really cool. Google isn't the only useful search engine out there!
  • i can't and/or don't use some of the other features that come with SeaMonkey, such as email/IRC chat. the additional 7MB for the download isn't worth it.
  • address completion shortcuts are soooo missing in SeaMonkey.
  • as at when i use SeaMonkey, only the default themes seemed to be available for use. i love eye candy less than the next guy (i use the Windows classic theme, FYI), but i do appreciate it once in a while. in my opinion, the only SeaMonkey theme worth using is the Modern theme, and even that gets boring after some time.

basically, i've more easily got used to Firefox than SeaMonkey, and making the switch was (to my thinking) unnecessarily hard, since they both use the same codebase. SeaMonkey doesn't need to be a Firefox clone, but there are some really cool things in Firefox that can be adopted in SeaMonkey.

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