Remember Netscape? Me, too. In fact, I cut my computer teeth on Netscape Communicator back in the 1990s. What made the app so popular were a stack of features you don’t find in most modern browsers, including Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, or even Mozilla’s Firefox.
Netscape Communicator, actually Netscape 4.x, packed in a long list of functionality to make it attractive to enterprise users. That didn’t work and the Communicator version ended in 2002, though the Netscape browser continued as a part of AOL until 2008. Guess what? Netscape Communicator lives!
Wait. My bad. That’s not quite correct. Netscape Communicator’s basic functionality remains in the Mozilla SeaMonkey project which features a web browser, mail and newsgroups, an HTML editor, the ChatZilla IRC app, and a few other tools. For the basic browsing functions, SeaMonkey is Firefox.
As browsers go in 2017, SeaMonkey doesn’t blaze any new trails as much as it pulls together various but useful components from yesteryear.
Despite any modernity other than affiliation to Firefox, SeaMonkey does have a long list of useful features which are decidedly 21st century.
Sync allows you to keep your browsing history, passwords, bookmarks, preferences and tabs in sync across different devices (computers) in a secure way
Tabbed Browsing gives you a better way to surf the net. You no longer have to open one page at a time. With tabbed browsing, open several pages at once with one click. Plus, your homepage can be multiple pages, in tabs. And if you mistakenly close a tab or window, functionality to Undo Closed Tab or Window helps you bring it back to continue working with it.
Session Restore brings back all your open windows and tabs after the rare occasion that SeaMonkey crashes—and if you wish even when you close and reopen the browser or restart your computer. However, crashes should be rare nowadays because crashing plug-ins will no longer take the whole application down.
Add-ons Management provides almost infinite possibilities to extend your Internet experience both through installing additional functionality created by others and even freely developing your own extensions and providing them to the rest of the SeaMonkey community.
Data Manager serves as a central management interface for all kinds of site-specific data, including cookies, permissions (e.g. image blocking), preferences, passwords and form data.
Themes (Personas) let you give your SeaMonkey a personal touch through simple theming. You can choose from thousands of Themes!
Feed Detection notifies you when web pages offer RSS or Atom feeds, and feed preview lets you view their contents and choose a reader with which to subscribe to those—including an internal reader in the Mail & Newsgroups component of SeaMonkey.
Smart Location Bar enables you to search your visited web pages as you type into the browser’s location bar and find what you want to re-visit as quickly as possible by learning which pages you visit frequently.
Popup Blocker lets you surf the web without interruption from annoying ads.
I remember using Netscape Navigator for both email and newsgroups and you get much the same thing in SeaMonkey with similar controls, including a junk mail filter, tabs, and option for multiple accounts.
The built-in Composer HTML editor is decidedly old school but understands tables and CSS. The last time I used IRC Chat must have been in the last century, but it’s alive and well on SeaMonkey.
That SeaMonkey is still around to pay homage to the Netscape era is remarkable, but these days we have separate applications for everything so to have an all-in-one that still works is amazing.