Mozilla Reborn: SeaMonkey 1.0 Is Released

Firefox and Thunderbird may have the headlines, but the all-in-one Web browser/e-mail package lives on in the Mozilla Foundation's brand-new SeaMonkey.

While Firefox and Thunderbird are the poster children of open-source Internet application success, the program suite they sprang from, Mozilla, was reborn Jan. 30 under a new name: SeaMonkey.

Like the now obsolete Mozilla Application Suite, SeaMonkey 1.0 includes a Web browser and e-mail client, as well as a WYSIWYG Web page composer and a feature-rich IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client. For Web developers, it also includes Mozilla.orgs DOM (document object model) inspector and JavaScript debugger tools.

The Mozilla Foundation decided in March of last year that it would no longer develop major updates to its original application suite. Instead, the group decided to devote its attention to Firefox and Thunderbird.

However, while the foundation closed the door on Mozilla efforts, it kept the door open for developers in the Mozilla community to continue working on a Mozilla successor: SeaMonkey.

While not an official Mozilla Foundation project, the foundation provided open-source developers with access to Mozillas hosted development process, such as its Bugzilla bug-reporting system and online development tools.

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SeaMonkey has finally arrived—with same look and feel that its users know from its predecessors, the Mozilla Application Suite and Netscape Communicator packages. It also includes new features such as drag-and-drop reordering of tabs, phishing e-mail detection, support for a single shared in-box when using multiple accounts, and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) support.

The developers claim that SeaMonkey is both faster and more stable than its ancestors. The Internet suite also comes with an optional tool for reporting Web sites that arent working in SeaMonkey.

In addition, the new Mozilla IM (instant messaging) client, ChatZilla, is included in SeaMonkey.

Official builds of the new Internet suite are available for Windows, Mac OS X (as a self-mounting disk image) and x86 Linux. In addition, there is a contributed build available for x86-64 bit Linuxes. The source code, which is under the Mozilla open-source license, is also available at the site.

Unlike many modern browsers and some e-mail clients, SeaMonkey will run on older hardware and operating systems. For Windows, for example, SeaMonkey will run on Windows 98SE and NT 4 on 233MHz Pentium systems with only 64MB of RAM. On the Mac, SeaMonkey does require Mac OS X, (10.1 or later preferred), but it can run on Macs with 266MHz PPC chips and 64MB of RAM.

Finally, with Linux, it will run on most Linux versions with at least Kernel 2.2.14. This means, for instance, it can run on such obsolete Linux versions as Red Hat Linux 7.0 or later; Debian 3.0 or later; or SUSE 7.2 or later.

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