SeaMonkey 1.1.1 Review

Old-school Netscape users will remember that the browser was once part of whole suite of tools. When Netscape went open source, launching mozilla.org to administrate the development of new code, the entire suite went open source. Famous offshoots Firefox and Thunderbird are based, respectively, on Mozilla browser and mail client code. The less well known SeaMonkey 1.1.1 uses the same browsing and mail engines in a bundle of integrated clients.

The Navigator browser is every bit as good as Firefox. It should be, as it has the exact same rendering engine. Similarly, SeaMonkey’s mail client performs as well as you might expect from a tool that shares common heritage with Thunderbird. The stand-out feature of this collection though is Composer, a free web authoring tool that’s an advanced version of the code that was used to drive Netscape’s free HTML cruncher.

Composer features dynamic image and table resizing, full CSS support, including block element positioning and raw coding tools to boot. It uses the same standards-compliant Gecko browser engine as Firefox and Navigator, the suite’s bundled browser. You can switch between browser and authoring tool with the click of a button.

OUR VERDICT

Why switch to a suite of tools like this when your Mac comes with browser and mail programs preinstalled? Composer’s as good an argument as any – but the real selling point here is interoperability. It’s a suite of tools that’s meant to work together.

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