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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How To Make SeaMonkey as Good as Firefox...if Not Better
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mulrah

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu 03 Dec 2009, 01:57    Post subject:  How To Make SeaMonkey as Good as Firefox...if Not Better
Subject description: This post walks through how I have optimized SeaMonkey and have come to prefer it to Firefox.
 

SeaMonkey is a lightweight browser built on the Mozilla engine that will work in any other operating system as well. Firing it up will immediately take you back to the days of Netscape Navigator, but don't let the appearance fool you. SeaMonkey is every bit as capable as a modern browser and even has a few unique tricks of its own.

Advantages: In addition to total stability with Flash and Java, SeaMonkey also has some nice additional features Firefox lacks.

  • Toolbar Minimization: You can minimize all of the toolbars, including the menu bar, thereby maximizing the space for browsing on my screen. Unlike Firefox, these come back with just one click without having to navigate through a menu, though add-ons like Hide Menubar can bring this feature to Firefox. Monkey Menus extends these capabilities even more.
  • Tab Previews: SeaMonkey also provides a thumbnail preview of each tab, though I'm pretty sure there's an extension for that in Firefox.
  • Built-In Configurability: Using the "About Config" item under the Help menu, you can configure SeaMonkey in ways that require an additional add-on in Firefox. For example, you can basically set the configuration file to speed up SeaMonkey in the same way that Fasterfox does behind the scenes.
  • Memory Footprint: SeaMonkey's memory footprint is smaller than Firefox's, making browsing a more efficient use of system resources and in keeping with the overall philosophy of lightweight operating systems.
  • An Application Suite: Although I lean on GMail and Bloglines for most of these services, it's nice to have an email client, a news reader, web page editor, and address book all in one suite.


Bridging the Gap: The features above come at the cost of some built-in features of Firefox as well as Firefox's endless extensibility through add-ons and themes, but the SeaMonkey community has done a good job editing a lot of Firefox extensions so they will work with SeaMonkey. The steps I've had to take to reclaim Firefox features and add-ons are as follows.

  • Basic Extensibility: Before anything else, users will want to install xSidebar, which enable more Firefox extensions to be installed.
  • Tab Options like saving sessions and reopening closed tabs can be gained with MultiZilla. Note that MultiZilla did not work for me until switched to the Modern theme, which was not labeled in my View Menu. MultiZilla also includes some functions of the TabMixPlus add-on for Firefox.
  • Extension Management: Though not as slick as Firefox's Add-on Manager, Mnenhy actually provides more specific control over extensions. In addition to extension control under "Chrome Manager," Mnenhy also fulfills its original purpose of adding functionality to mail and news in SeaMonkey.
  • Find: Although the "find" dialog in SeaMonkey is fine, Firefox's "Find Bar" is nicer. Instructions here show how to get it, but they do require editing core files of SeaMonkey. If that's intimidating, then you might want to stick with the regular find dialog and add Context Search.
  • Specific Extensions: For a more exhaustive list of available extensions, check out mozdev.org. These are just the ones that I use. AdBlock is one of the few extensions from Mozilla's site that actually installed properly. ForecastFox is on Mozilla's site but will not install properly, so you have to get it from mozdev.org. Twitter was easy to update with TwitterBar in Firefox and is almost as easy to update with Twitlet, which you can use in almost any browser. Diigo Toolbar must be replaced with a Diigolet, but it has most of the same functionality. You could also use the delicious Toolbar, but you lose Diigo's superior features, and the delicious Toolbar extension did not install correctly on my computer. Although FEBE was convenient, it's more powerful and better to just back up all of my preferences and files at once.

Unfortunately, there are a few extensions that I could neither find nor workaround in SeaMonkey, but they were ones I rarely used in the first place. Google Gears is probably the most powerful of all of them, but I used it maybe once in the last six months. FoxyTunes is popular, but I use Pandora most of the time these days, easily accessible within the browser already. With toolbars and menus minimized, Themes make little difference, so missing out on them is not a big deal. I'm still looking forward seeing SeaMonkey 2, which should have all the advantages while also addressing the challenges of the current release.[/list]
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DaveS


Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 3726
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu 03 Dec 2009, 02:31    Post subject:  

Flashblock is good, no problems with stability/installation, and dramatically speeds browsing while leaving Flash content one click away http://flashblock.mozdev.org/
Newsfox adds a super RSS feedreader for news/podcasts/etc http://newsfox.mozdev.org/
Pinball is a great theme with reduced size menus to maximise browsing area http://mozilla-themes.schellen.net/

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sikpuppy


Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 433

PostPosted: Thu 03 Dec 2009, 03:37    Post subject:  

Since Seamonkey 2.x uses the same engine as Firefox 3.x there should be few issues with porting over any plugins.

To be honest, I have been using Seamonkey 2.0 for a while now, and I have yet to find any reason to roll back to the old 1.x variety. Even with the reported stability issues (which I am yet to encounter, but I don't use the sites which can be problematic) I prefer the speed and similar functionality to Firefox that this new version provides.

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mulrah

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri 04 Dec 2009, 16:29    Post subject:  

Yes, this post will have little relevance if SeaMonkey 2 becomes the default in Puppy. This post was originally written about a year ago on my blog, but I thought it would be more useful here.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 01:16    Post subject:  

And one HUGE advantage, seldom mentioned:

In Seamonkey, open a webpage then hit File>Edit Page

A WYSIWYG HTML authoring tool. Very Happy

You can compose pages or rewrite existing pages to cut out the ads and sidebars for archiving.

Yes there are add-ins for Firefox, and separate authoring tools for Linux. But most aren't as good as what you get already bundled in Seamonkey.

That's not only a memory savings, it's a big worthwhile app in itself.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10730
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 01:48    Post subject:  

The thing about Seamonkey 2, is that it won't support other browser frontends like Pbrowser, Skipstone etc. Same with FF3.
ttuuxxx

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6378
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 01:58    Post subject:  

Unless we go to Opera or Iron we'll have to upgrade some time, since some sites just don't work on the old version.
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DaveS


Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 3726
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 02:05    Post subject:  

I have been using both 1.1.18 and 2 since this thread started and I have to say I find myself using 2 more and more. One very simple reason....... it generally renders fonts a little better, oddly, especially in the email section. Prefs etc are set the same for both browsers.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 05:08    Post subject:  

This is proper screen font rendering Smile The screenshot is of Openoffice, but of course I have it the same in my browsers, although I let it smooth the fonts once they become thicker than a couple of pixels.
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=337642&search_id=108434047#337642
I hope when I upgrade to SM2 or FF 3.x I can get it this good... otherwise I guess I won't upgrade Smile

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DaveS


Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 07:38    Post subject:  

Maybe like Zis........................
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6378
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 15:24    Post subject:  

Nah, blurry Cleartype fonts like that make my eyes scream Smile
But of course it's all good if your eyes like it.

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1456

PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec 2009, 16:52    Post subject:  

I've had a couple of crashes recently with Seamonkey 1.1.18 in Puppy 4.31, so maybe it's better to move over to Seamonkey 2 in later versions of Pup.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec 2009, 02:25    Post subject:  

I'd be very surprised if a newer major release of any browser is more stable than the previous version (which has gone through a large number of minor releases) Smile
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 7217

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec 2009, 12:15    Post subject:  

fonts........
1.puppy only has sans in ttf...no serif or monospace.
2. bitmap fonts are often chosen over true type
3.match yer dpi.

Sort the above then they are sweet and smooth with or without antialiasing...just like puppy 2

mike
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dalderton

Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec 2009, 03:12    Post subject:  

The one thing I would like that firefox has is Speed Dial. Has anyone tried to get it to work on 2.0 . It only seems like a small download on Firefox.
Regards Dennis
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