The Downfall of Seamonkey

Album Cover: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

"Time will turn us into statues, eventually."
Foo Fighters / Statues

Posted on September 23, 2004 3:10 PM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

A change that was promised by Mozilla over a year ago (and one that I've alluded to here in the past) looks like it might finally be underway. In a recent post at Bart Decrem's blog, he writes the following:

I believe that featuring Mozilla 1.7 on our homepage as we get to the 1.0 milestone for Firefox and Thunderbird is counter-productive, for the simple reason that it is almost impossible to explain to people that Mozilla 1.7 is not the same as Firefox + Thunderbird. Believe me, I've tried explaining this. Just a few days ago, Chris and I spent 20 minutes explaining this to an influential reporter who was quite familiar with Mozilla. He got confused. Even if we were able to succinctly communicate the difference between the suite and Firefox/Thunderbird, it would still be counter-productive to expose users to two competing choices on our homepage. In sum, I believe that we need to continue to maintain and update Seamonkey, but the homepage of mozilla.org is not the best place to promote it.

Removing references to Seamonkey (AKA the Mozilla Suite) from the Mozilla home page is a huge step in the direction of shifting focus from that particular browser (and its complementary pieces) to the lighter/faster Firefox/Thunderbird combo, and a necessary one if only for the reasons Bart pointed out.

It's good to see that the early waves of this change may officially be underway (as if they weren't already with all the press Firefox has been getting lately). I'm sure there are plenty Mozilla Suite devotees out there who will be disappointed in this move, but those of us who clearly see the future of the Gecko rendering engine doubtless understand how important this shift is.

Before I go, there are some other Mozilla-related tidbits I'd like to cover. For one, Spread Firefox currently shows that Firefox downloads are rapidly approaching 2 million. Asa Dotzler pointed out that there are some snazzy new Firefox t-shirts available from the Mozilla Store. And last but not least, Arcanius has ventured down the familiar territory of arguably unnecessary but undeniably exciting Thunderbird upgrades that I am so familiar with. Fortunately for him, he was able to solve his problem – I have a different one I'm wrestling with at the moment, and I'll be posting more about that here when I have a little more time.

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