[Project_owners] Clarification for a SeaMonkey User

Brian King brian at mozdev.org
Sat Sep 13 22:33:11 EDT 2003

Pete Collins wrote:

> So let me see if I have this correct:
> Firebird (still referred to as PHOENIX if you are compiling the sucker) 
> is a "stand alone" browser.
>   9.2M (tarball)
> Thunderbird is a "stand alone" mail client:
>   9.5M (tarball)
> So for a browser and mail client:
>   9.2M + 9.5M = 18.7 M download

The aim is to make these smaller.

> Is there a compelling reason why I would want to use Firebird/Thunderbird?

Maybe not you, but many many people didn't want the bloat. They didn't 
want Composer, Chatzilla ... and all the other extras.

> What is the future of the Mozilla/SeaMonkey suite?

Signs are that it is being phased out. See (though out of date):


"After the release of 1.4 we will be doing our primary development on 
the Firebird and Thunderbird projects.  When we do releases of that 
codebase we should be using self-descriptive brand identities for the 
public and the press."

> Why all the disparate shoot offs of the same Mozilla base libraries?
> Why not have the Mozilla browser be "the main browser". The Mozilla mail 
> client be "the main mail cleint" etc. Unify the effort to making these 
> be best they can possibly be? If Firebird and Thunderbird are the new 
> "defacto" effort, then call them "Mozilla". Then offer stand alone 
> distributions of each module for end users who don't want an entire suite.

Again in the branding document, Phoenix/Firebird is supposed to evolve 
into Mozilla Browser, and Thunderbird into Mozilla Mail. This naming 
policy has not happened, and there are no signs that it will.

> AFAIK, no one owns SeaMonkey anymore. Am I correct in presuming it is 
> essentially abandoned?

No, branches are still maintained (1.4, 1.5 ...). For whom I am not 
sure. Legacy reasons perhaps (netscape) ... third party developers?

> Or does Netscape still retain some kind of intellectual property 
> ownership of the old suite?

AOL you mean. Doubt it ... only the Netscape name. The code was handed 
off to the Mozilla Foundation.

> I personally prefer to run ./mozilla instead of ./MozillaFirebird.

I run mozilla -mail, and MozillaFirebird. The two can co-exist :) I will 
probably switch to Thunderbird around v0.4.

> Or is all of this just a "transitional" stage until "Gecko Runtime 
> Environment" (Mozilla base libraries)  is mature enough to use as an SDK 
> and Firebird and Thunderbird can eventually be released as xpi packages 
> that install on top of a base GRE install?

And Calendar, and Chatzilla, and <insert your favourite extension here>.

> I don't think Mozilla.org is doing a good job *clearly* articulating at 
> a higher level the direction the project is heading.

Agreed. A clearly defined plan, well publicised and executed .... is 
badly needed.

Brian King

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