[Project_owners] MS Office and Seamonkey

Stephen Clavering mozilla at clav.me.uk
Sun Sep 14 18:13:03 EDT 2003

John Dobbins wrote:

> Most of your complaints could be addressed by making using the 
> Firebird UI the browser in Seamonkey, something I wouldn't have a 
> problem with.

Glad to head that.

When people talk about the "tight integration" in Seamonkey that implies 
(to me at least) the UI, which sucks.  If you're referring only to the 
clearly ridiculous situation of each app bundling its own GRE, then yes, 
I agree that it's stupid.  The plan appears to be to make them share in 
the future though, and in the mean time i'd sooner use the seperate apps 
in any case, because they're just better

Waste of system resources, while annoying, is not something that I see 
as a problem in practice, since it should only be for temporary.  Even 
my aging 350mhz K6 seems to have no great trouble running Thundebird and 
Firebird at the same time.  Downloading is the same kind of issue: yes, 
it's annoying having to download a few extra megs (though I think the 
comparision is more favourable on Windows than the Linux figures given 
by pete), but in practice it doesn't matter, because I only update 
thunderbird once on month or so, so overall I'm downloading less.

> The Mozilla Platform files (whatever they will be named) should load 
> at system startup or the first time a Mozilla based ap is called. Then 
> the Mozilla based ap sould load it's specfic files when that ap is 
> called, be it one of the birds, Seamonkey, or a Mozdev project.


> The Platform files should be availbe as a seperate download so they 
> can be bundled with a Mozilla platform application that has nothing to 
> do with the birds so that if one us wrote an application it could be 
> bundled with the base platform files and run on systems that have 
> never had Seamonkey or a bird installed on them.

Something like 
then, but available for other platforms too : )

And then mozilla.org could really do to publish a "How to write a 
GRE-based app" document, though I suspect it will never turn up : (

> There is a reason there aren't more themes availble for Seamonkey, 
> they have a lifespan of about 6 months max before they have to be 
> rewritten, and there is no reason to expect that this won't also be 
> true for Firebird themes.

They also are much more complex than Firebird themes.  Most Firebird 
themes only have significant changes in the browser/ folder, which has 
about 8 css files total.  Some also change global/, but this is still 
much easier than hunting through communicator/ and navigator/.

> People get tired of rewritting the same theme over and over, so they 
> get abbandoned and the theme author moves on to other things. Right 
> now the structure of themes in Firebird is a hack to get things going, 
> and if that mess is ever straightened out it will break everything. If 
> there are any plans to straighten it out no one has bothered to inform 
> the community, and if Mozilla acts in thier typical fashion, then one 
> day there will be a surprise, and all the themes will cease working on 
> a nightly build, and will be worthless for the next release. 

They've broken several times in the last few weeks.  The change to 
skinVersion=1.5, the change from bindings/ to widgets/ as the home for 
all xbl bindings, the creation of mozapps/, the change to 
skinVersion=fb0.7 and the change back.  Those themes which have been 
abandoned by the original author often seem to get taken up by someone else.

Announcements of changes in Fb seem to be mostly doen through the 
Mozillazine Forums, which is not ideal.

Pete Collins wrote:

> Steve, I just have to comment on the "points" you raise. Everything 
> you site is UI related.

That's because I was responding to "Is there a compelling reason why I 
would want to use Firebird/Thunderbird?", and all the reasons *are* UI 
related : )

Seperate apps with their own GREs is silly.  Developing apps using moz's 
ever-changing APIs and toolkit is clearly a problem.  But those are 
seperate issues from your question.

Nice to hear about Aphrodite.  I've never looked at it very much, 
because by the time I first got interested in MAD (at about the time of 
Moz1.0rc) the project already appeared to be dead  : (

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