We may live in the golden age of internet browsers with many free, fast and capable browsers, but the early days of the public internet was a war. After Mosaic and MacWeb, along came many competitors, including the historic Netscape Navigator. A few years later Netscape Communicator hit the internet and became the first web browser that went beyond mere browsing to combine email, address book, HTML editor, and even a news client.
Guess what? Netscape Communicator lives!
Well, almost. Mozilla’s open source SeaMonkey combines much of the functionality of Netscape Communicator on top of a Mozilla Firefox core to bring Mac and Windows users a different browsing experience. Alright, to be fair, the browsing experience is about the same as any modern browser. It’s all the bolted on extras that make the free SeaMonkey a worthy addition to your Mac.
As a browser, SeaMonkey looks and works much like Firefox.
SeaMonkey even runs extensions and other add-ons developed for Safari. Browsing is tabbed, and bookmarks can be synchronized between SeaMonkey versions on different devices.
The claim to fame here is a different set of add-ons. Email is built-in, uses tabs, comes with junk mail controls, and even handles multiple email accounts. The Composer is a basic HTML editor that handles tables and CSS.
There’s even more under the SeaMonkey hood, but some of it is decidedly last century. IRC Chat, or ChatZilla, is included. So are the Personas (browser themes).
SeaMonkey doesn’t blaze any new trails, though. It’s a modernized version of a relic from the past. Think of it as the 21st century’s New Beetle. It’s still not good looking, but it gets you there.