SeaMonkey 2 final release: A Change (Mostly) for the Worst.

Almost a year back, I reviewed a pre-release version of SeaMonkey 2. In it, I described all the new features of SM2, which basically make it more “Firefox-ish”, including the newer rendering engine included with Firefox 3, and a newer add-on engine, just like Firefox 3. While I thought it was a decent browser overall, I found fault with it:

  • Older versions of Windows are no longer supported.
  • I hate the new default theme. I liked the older classic Netscape 4 theme better, but that can be rectified by simply installing a new theme.

Since Opera 10 no longer supports Windows 95, what modern, up to date web browsers are there for Windows 95? A web browser shouldn’t need all these fancy API’s, because after all, a web browser at its simplest form downloads and displays web pages.

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10 Responses to “SeaMonkey 2 final release: A Change (Mostly) for the Worst.”

  1. Andrew T. Says:

    I’m glad that SeaMonkey is being developed; although there’s only so much enthusiasm I can drum up for a version of a product I can’t use. Unfortunately, the SeaMonkey volunteers are at the mercy of the Mozilla/Firefox developers who write the Gecko code, and 9x/NT4 compatibility was broken at the trunk some time ago.

    I don’t really care about the new theme; as long as it respects system colors and conventions and the graphics are reasonably iconic in form. Personally, I find the old NS4 look depressing: It reminds me too much of the dark days of the browser “wars.”

    What gets me is that before SM 2.0 even came out, they rolled out a 1.1.18 update that broke compatibility with 95/NT4 on HTTPS sites. From what I read on Bugzilla, the developers switched to a new API under full understanding of its requirements, and had literally forgotten that 9x and NT4 were still supported by SM 1.1!

    Opera 10 still runs on Windows 95; regardless of whether or not the capability is advertised. I’d use it everyday if I found a way to fix the “dialog integer garbage” issues on my system.

  2. stoperror Says:

    Opera 10 still runs on Windows 95 >> It does? I never knew that. (Though I had never bothered to test it). I don’t get why web browsers need fancy new APIs to essentially download a page from a server, render it and display it.

  3. Andrew T. Says:

    Presto! (No pun intended…)

    The aforementioned “integer garbage” issues are instances where Opera will, for example, report dimensions of “%T܎ x ”%T܎ pixels” in the image properties dialogue, or a transferred file size of “ÿÿÿÿ bytes” in the downloads window. The last few versions have done that.

  4. stoperror Says:

    Yeah, when I ran Opera 9.2 on an old Windows 95 machine I had lying around, it did that. But it is nice to know that a modern web browser still runs on Windows 95 (even though it’s not “supported”).

  5. Jack Says:

    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1289735
    Someone here says Firefox 3.0 works with Win9x, and that “Seamonkey 2.0 alphas have been reported to run as well”.

    Is this not true?

  6. stoperror Says:

    From what I’ve heard it’s a workaround hack. The API’s that FF3/SM2 require are just not in Windows 9.x & Windows NT 4. The developers of the hacks work around it, but it’s just that, a hack. It may work for a while, but then crash at some unknown time.

    I don’t know. Try it. If it’s stable and doesn’t crash, go for it! But you should also know that the older SeaMonkey’s were much more efficient.

  7. Jack Says:

    I’ve wondered if older SeaMonkey’s were more efficient. What’s the newest version you would use? It’s on a Pentium 200 Win95 machine.

  8. stoperror Says:

    The older versions of SeaMonkey used an older version of Gecko (the rendering engine). On a machine that slow, I would either recommend an old version of SeaMonkey (I heard there were compatibility issues with the latest version of SM and Windows 95, they might be fixed by now) or K-Meleon. K-Meleon is designed to run on slower machines, so I think that may be your best bet.

  9. Jack Says:

    It’s been running 1.1.1.6 or 1.1.1.8, which works fine. But if there’s an older version that would run faster, I would be interested in trying it.

  10. Greg Says:

    I cannot understand why some are still using Windows 95 as their
    main OS. It’s very nearly 15 years old. Not so much obsolete, but
    in computer years, it’s the tech equivalent of an antique.

    Ok, so I can understand that some may not want to upgrade their
    install of Windows to XP, Vista or 7, for varying reasons, like not
    wanting to (or can’t afford to) buy a more powerful PC for the
    newer and chunkier versions of Windows.

    Windows 95 is all but dead now. No-one supports it anymore.

    As for versions of Mozilla based browsers like SeaMonkey or Firefox,
    instead of running with old versions that contain many unpatched
    security holes, or struggling to find ways of getting new versions
    to work on your rusty 15 year old OS, migrate to Linux.

    At least upgrading to something like Linux Mint 8, you can use the
    latest versions of the Mozilla based browsers, and not worry about
    all the malware and viruses your 15 year old can pick up.

    It doesn’t require a much more powerful PC as Windows Vista or 7
    would need. A fairly average P4 with 512MB RAM would suffice.

    So … do yourselves and your PC’s a favour. Drop the dead OS and
    migrate to Linux, or bite the bullet and upgrade to Windows XP.

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