SeaMonkey 2: a change for the worst?

I tested the SeaMonkey 2.0 developer releases for a pretty long time, since September 2007, as a matter of fact. And when i first ran the setup app, I could tell it would a change for the worst. When I first ran it, the familiar Netscape 4.x style buttons were long gone. And then I decided to check the release notes. The most controversial change (in my eyes anyway) was the dropping of Windows NT 3.51, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 (SE), and Windows ME (along with Mac OS X 10.3 on the Mac and requiring GTK 2.10 on Linux), and boosting the required RAM from 64 MB to 128 MB.

So why don’t we go check out what made the requirements go up? SeaMonkey is now much more “Firefox-ish”, with the new addition of an Add-on manager, and now uses a much more up to date version of Gecko, so it now passes the Acid-2 test, and almost passes the Acid-3 test. And, now SeaMonkey changed the icons so they “fit better with the look of modern desktop environments.”.

For now SeaMonkey 2 is still in alpha, so users running 3.51,95,NT 4,98(SE), and ME are safe, but as typical of Mozilla, SM1 will most likely become unsupported very fast. Users of the unsupported operating systems seeking an up to date browser that still supports them should look to Opera or K-Melon. The SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 release may be downloaded from the SeaMonkey project website,

And now… some screen captures

SM now uses the Firefox setup system.

SM now uses the Firefox setup system.

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 on startup

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 on startup

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 system requirements

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 system requirements

SeaMonkey 2 now uses an Add-ons system like Firefox

SeaMonkey 2 now uses an Add-ons system like Firefox

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 rendering the Acid 2 test

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 rendering the Acid 2 test

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 rendering the Acid 3 test

SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 1 rendering the Acid 3 test



4 Responses to “SeaMonkey 2: a change for the worst?”

  1. Don_HH2K Says:

    If you ask me, the change in system requirements from 64MB to 128MB of memory had been coming for awhile. SeaMonkey and earlier Mozillas have advertised the exact same system requirements since 2002 with the release of Mozilla 0.6. Seeing as everything past Mozilla 1.3-ish would barely run on my father’s old 98 machine with 64 megs of memory, I don’t even want to think about what running Seamonkey 1 on that thing would be like.

    The reason that Mozilla gave for dropping everything older than Windows 2000 is so that compositing could be introduced into the interface by means of Cairo’s glitz. But of course, correlation is not causation; I don’t know if Glitz doesn’t support Windows 9x/ME/NT<5, or Windows 9x/ME/NT<5 don’t support compositing inside non-accelerated apps to begin with. Either way, the changes have supposedly been made at the renderer level, which should cut out further releases of K-Meleon for those platforms unless somebody forks Mozilla’s codebase. Opera, of course, could go either way: find a niche market of 9x/ME/NT<5 users, or go with the rest and implement some later-Windows-specific thing that breaks compatibility with earlier operating systems.

  2. stoperror Says:

    I know that the boosting of the memory requirements was coming but I felt spoiled when I ran Opera 9.something last year at around this time on a crappy Packard Bell with only 32MB ram with a 33.6 modem and besides from internet speed issues it ran fine with multiple tabs open.

    Plus, using the Cairo lib makes me wonder if it’ll become as slow as Firefox. The “lightweight” suite replacement ran slower on even my newer computers compared to SeaMonkey. And then there’s the new icons. I know you’ll probably be able to theme it back, but I like the older icons. Other then that I have virtually no qualms about SM2. And now that I realize it, why the HELL would I want to run NT 3.51 today (or even in 1995)?

    Forgot to add that I feel not supporting OS X Panther sucks, but as I’m not a Mac fan, and that that’s Steve’s fault, I could care less.

  3. Don_HH2K Says:

    I think Seamonkey has been using the Cairo renderer for awhile now, as has the rest of the Gecko trunk… It’s glitz that’s new. But then again, I could be mistaken. In some cases I still use dial-up with realistic connection speeds of around 33.6kbps; I know how slow that can be, so I decided instead to run a VPN server on my router at home and enable MPPC (LZ77-ish) compression to squeeze a bit more bandwidth through.

    I’m not a fan of what’s been going on with various Mozilla apps icon-wise… When Firefox 2 came out, I used a Firefox 1.5 theme backport. Then when Firefox 3 came out, I used a Firefox 2 theme backport. Yet somehow, when I was still a Netscape 6/7 user, I used the Modern theme rather than the Classic 4.x-styled theme despite having used Netscape 4 for years before.

    I was running NT 3.51 on my 486 for awhile, but that now runs Debian 3. I was very interested to find that there was a standalone Navigator 4.8 for Linux, without the Communicator features like Mail/News/Composer/etc.

  4. Opera 10: Good so far. « STOP Error Says:

    […] 10: Good so far. By stoperror As I tested SeaMonkey 2 a few days ago, and that I found out that the Opera 10 Alpha was released, I decided to test Opera […]

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