Based on code from projects including Firefox, Thunderbird, Chatzilla and more, SeaMonkey is inspired by the all-in-one internet application suites popular early last decade. Think Opera, but open source and compatible with Firefox plugins.
These sorts of applications certainly aren’t for everyone, particularly as more and more people depend on web-based services like Gmail for their email needs. But if the idea of a single, go-to place with a consistent interface to turn to for all things web-related sounds good to you, you should check out SeaMonkey. It works on Linux, Mac and Windows.
The Seamonkey Browser
Start up Seamonkey and the first thing you’ll notice is the browser. Used Firefox before? You’ll feel right at home with this browser, then. Based on the world-famous Mozilla engine, the SeaMonkey browser is reliable and decently quick. You can even use most of the Firefox plugins with this browser; keep reading for more information on that.
Again, if you’re familiar with Thunderbird you’ll feel at home with SeaMonkey’s email client. I had to manually configure my Gmail in order for my mail to work, but once I did SeaMonkey provided me with a nice IMAP client. A series of buttons along the bottom of the browser gives me quick access to this and all of SeaMonkey’s additional features.
The email interface is, for the most part, comparable to older versions of Mozilla Thunderbird. You have access to POP and IMAP email accounts along with the usual features: email signatures, formatting and more.
Also included is a great WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor, perfect for making quick changes to HTML files. The tabbed interface gives you access to a preview mode, as well as to the raw HTML code that makes up any given page. If you’re looking for a quick way to tweak an existing page I highly recommend this tool, although I must admit I’m not sure I’d make use of it to build a website from scratch. If you disagree, though, I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re an IRC addict, you should know that SeaMonkey has this capability built in as well. IRC is probably in decline in our age of social networking gone mad, but it still has a number of core fans so this is a notable feature.
If all of this isn’t enough for you, don’t worry: like any Mozilla-based project there are a lot of plugins to be found. Mozilla hosts an official collection of SeaMonkey plugins which you can find here. Be sure to point out any particularly good ones in the comments below.
Do you like this suite of software, or do you prefer to keep your various applications separate? Let us know in the comments below, and also feel free to share your favorite SeaMonkey tips and tricks.