Web Browsing and a Little More

very good
key review info
application features
  • Tabbed Web browser
  • (3 more, see all...)

Today, we're going to discuss about SeaMonkey. Sea-Monkey is the brand name of a hybrid of Artemia salina, a species of brine shrimp. The term Sea-Monkeys is a trademark used to sell them as a novelty gift... but doesn't this sound a bit strange? What's the link with the computer world, after all?

SeaMonkey is the code name of the web applications suite formerly known as Mozilla Application Suite, and today we're going to check its 1.0.6 version for the Mac. Are you ready? Let's get to work, then!

First of all, I have to tell you that the story for the Mac OS version of this application suite is exactly the same as that of the Windows version, since we're talking about a port to Macs, and not a native application. The applications suite for Mac, called SeaMonkey includes a web browser, an email and news client, an IRC client and an HTML editor, just like its Windows version.

The package you have to download in order to get SeaMonkey 1.0.6 up and running on your Mac has 22.2MB in size, and comes as a Universal Binary file compatible with both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs, requiring Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run. Just like I expected, there's only one cost implied by the use of this program, that being your time, because SeaMonkey is completely free, otherwise.

After starting the main application, you will be taken to the project's page using the web browser of the suite, and there's no surprise for me to see the Netscape Communicator-like interface's Classic layout. Despite the fact that SeaMonkey is a skinnable application, it only comes with two built in layouts, Classic and Modern, and both of them will remind you of Netscape Communicator, the older versions and the last one, depending on the skin you are going to use.

On the features side, there's not much to say, but you could easily write a book about this applications suite. How's that? It's really easy - just think about everything that you need for your common web browsing tasks and you got it. Tabs? Sure, as many as you need, no problem! Speed? Hehe...I must say that SeaMonkey is fast, and there's nothing more to add, just check it for yourselves!

Need management? Cookie, image, popup, form and password managers are available to help you at any time, and they are only a few mouse clicks away. Do you need to translate web pages? No need for additional programs, SeaMonkey's browser can translate them for you! Just look into the Tools menu and you'll find your translator...

If you're a web developer or tester using the Mac platform, then I am sure you will appreciate the Java/JavaScript Console, the DOM Inspector and JavaScript Debugger.

Are you a Mac newbie and still looking for an IRC client? ChatZilla is one of the most well known plugins for Firefox, and a quick way to enter any IRC channel you need, and you will find it here included to serve as the IRC client application.

The Composer is a tool that web developers will enjoy using, and its layout reminds me of NVU, although they don't share the same features, but you can use SeaMonkey's composer to create simple web pages in no time!

If you are sharing the computer with anyone else, than you can create and save user profiles for SeaMonkey easily, and if you're wondering about what's below the hood...just check the Preferences area! There's no need to tell you stories about what you'll find here, just take my word for it - if this program doesn't have enough configuration options, then... I just don't know what I'll do. (I guess you know that the reviewer is always right, don't you? ;))

These being said, the time has come to move on to the conclusions, but let's not forget about the screenshots! Let's take them down one by one now, shall we?

The Good

SeaMonkey is an easy to use and well featured web applications suite, and it didn't torture my iMac like other programs do. Its interface is well designed, additional skins are available on the Internet, and if you want to surf the web, check your email, create web pages or chat with your friends...no need for anything else, SeaMonkey can help you!

The Bad

Just like it happens with Firefox on my Mac, SeaMonkey crashed unexpectedly a few times during testing, and despite its fast page rendering speed, the program seems to crawl from time to time, despite the fact that my system wasn't rendering any new Pixar movie in the meantime...

The Truth

If you are a new Mac user missing the old Mozilla Application Suite, then SeaMonkey is "a must have", but if you want a native Mac browser that's 100% reliable, then I advise you to try Camino or Shiira.

Check out the screenshots here:

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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 3
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
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