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The future of Seamonkey?

Discussion of general topics about Seamonkey
alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 1st, 2018, 5:53 pm

therube wrote:2.53 should be fairly tight & stable.


frg wrote:I have around 390 patches in my 2.53 source tree now (fixes, backports and security) and it works well.


So, even an 'unofficial' SM 2.53 might be a better solution than 2.57 for someone who uses many XUL extensions (and only 32-bit versions)...

Are there any serious problems that stop its having an 'oficial release'', now?

How and where could I get a copy to see how my system reacts to it?

Peter Creasey

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Post Posted August 1st, 2018, 6:34 pm

Thanks, guys, for the good info. Even so, I'm still not clear on which version I should stick with without any updating.

I'm perplexed. How can SeaMonkey, even with its great capabilities, have a future if it is not viable for someone like me who operates with a fully updated Windows platform and without any extensions?
. . . . . . . . . . Pete

frg
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 12:33 am

> So, even an 'unofficial' SM 2.53 might be a better solution than 2.57 for someone who uses many XUL
> extensions (and only 32-bit versions)...

Yes but aside from missing security patches it will become unusable over time with the web standard of the day now. Popular sites will just upgrade their design and old browser stop working there.

> Are there any serious problems that stop its having an 'oficial release'', now?

Bookmark Manager Download Manager and a few other places overhauled and this means it needs new translations. So again aside from missing security patches it would appear not fully translated for non en-US builds. We may do a Beta later when the new infrastructure is up.

> How and where could I get a copy to see how my system reacts to it?

x64 see Bills page. x86 send me a pm.

frg
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 12:35 am

> Thanks, guys, for the good info. Even so, I'm still not clear on which version I should stick with without any updating.

For now 2.49.x

> I'm perplexed. How can SeaMonkey, even with its great capabilities, have a future if it is not viable for someone like me who operates with a fully updated Windows platform and without any extensions?

I wouldn't say it has a future under the current circumstances. Just a few more years left.

FRG

alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 12:42 pm

[quote="frg"]> Are there any serious problems that stop its having an 'oficial release'', now?

Bookmark Manager Download Manager and a few other places overhauled and this means it needs new translations. So again aside from missing security patches it would appear not fully translated for non en-US builds. We may do a Beta later when the new infrastructure is up.[/quote]

Since I only use the en-US version, that shouldn't be a problem at all for me!

And I suppose that the "missing security patches" are also 'missing' in 2.49.4, so that's not a new problem either!

[quote="frg"]I wouldn't say it has a future under the current circumstances. Just a few more years left.[/quote]

Well, "a few more years" (5 or so, by Frank Lion's estimate), in terms of computers, is a long time -- and, hopefully, during that time there won't be many new "web standards of the day" that SM won't be able to handle, even if not 100% (perhaps, something like the use of java and javascript, up to now)... And, hopefully, someone may even write an extension (or adapt one from another browser) to fix that in SM.

Maybe a question to be asked is "why use SM under those conditions, and not some other program set?".

My (personal) answer would be, on the main points:
- I like a an integrated email/news/browser suite very much;
- "There's an Extension for that" is so true that I'd miss having the current XUL extensions I've selected;
- The e-mail boolean search and baysean filters fit my needs exceptionally well;
- The breadth and ease of possible controls and parameter adjustments to the suite are rare, nowadays;
- Even though it's now a small-niche product, it's still compatible enough with one of the leaders (FF).

frg
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 1:25 pm

> And I suppose that the "missing security patches" are also 'missing' in 2.49.4, so that's not a new problem either!

No 2.49.4 is a current release and fully patched. 2.53 has backports but not for everything. If I find some time I will go thru the 2.49 2.57 patches and backport to 2.53.

The biggest problem will probably be some css and shadow dom. wasm and web workers too but whoever invented this will probably get a few bucks from the mob as a bonus. They will have a field day writing exploits :)

payments api and vr will probably go nowhere outside of some controlled environments anytime soon.

FRG

alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 1:38 pm

frg wrote:2.49.4 is a current release and fully patched. 2.53 has backports but not for everything. If I find some time I will go thru the 2.49 2.57 patches and backport to 2.53.


Well, since I imagine that you use this 2.53 version yourself, I imagine it WILL be worth your while doing that -- specially since "anything beyond 2.53 is just affected by Mozilla's "lets remove anything we think we don't need or want" philosophy [and] 2.57 is not ready for prime time yet" (and, from what you said, it won't be useful for XUL-extension users, anyway).

frg wrote:The biggest problem will probably be some css and shadow dom. wasm and web workers too but whoever invented this will probably get a few bucks from the mob as a bonus. They will have a field day writing exploits :)

payments api and vr will probably go nowhere outside of some controlled environments anytime soon.


Since I never was interested in css or dom, and have no idea what "payments api" is, that shouldn't be a problem dor me, either.

frg
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 1:51 pm

Yes, I am using 2.53 and still sleep well but I trust NoScript and uBlock to block the most problematic script code.

Shadow DOM, newer css and other stuff will become a problem over time unless you only use a basic subset of simple websites. The web doesn't stand still. Mail and news should be good for more years but creepy exploits might stay unfixed. There were a few like EFAIL in recent releases. And IDN domains are a joy too so i deciced to always show the url in the browser in punycode in my builds.

FRG

alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 3:30 pm

frg wrote:Yes, I am using 2.53 and still sleep well but I trust NoScript and uBlock to block the most problematic script code.


It's somewhat disconcerting, but I never felt the need for any of the extensions you mentioned: FlashGot, NoScript, uBlock, uMatrix, etc. Ad-blocking with ADP 2.9.1 seems to balance good and bad aspects for me, keeping Flash as an on-demand plugin seems to work well most of the time, and the one-off site/tab toggling allowed by PrefBar has been enough (in many cases, this didn't solve all, or even any, problems, so I rarely use it). Should I reconsider?

tonymec

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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 4:00 pm

alexyu wrote:It's somewhat disconcerting, but I never felt the need for any of the extensions you mentioned: FlashGot, NoScript, uBlock, uMatrix, etc. Ad-blocking with ADP 2.9.1 seems to balance good and bad aspects for me, keeping Flash as an on-demand plugin seems to work well most of the time, and the one-off site/tab toggling allowed by PrefBar has been enough (in many cases, this didn't solve all, or even any, problems, so I rarely use it). Should I reconsider?

Other people, other needs. I've read that among Firefox users who (when they were supported) used extensions, 10 extensions was something of a high limit, with 2 to 4 being more like average. I have 58 extensions enabled at last count, but none of the ones mentioned above. This puts me so far off the chart that to the add-ons subsystem developers I'm an "aberrant data item", a measurement error if you want. So what? SeaMonkey users are not sheep, they don't all behave the same way. Use whatever add-ons suit you, you are neither frg nor me and our styles would probably not be to your personal taste. There's nothing wrong with that.
Best regards,
Tony

alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 4:18 pm

Yes, everyone is different in needs and likes (and that's one of SM's attractions over the later FF, to me, as i said in a previous post); but more important than "like" is "why" (and that's something which is harder to see nowadays): WHY does someone 'like' or 'prefer' this over that -- and my comment was directed at that: Since frg, you, and many posting here have lots of experience and knowledge, I always want to know these reasons and considerations, because they may make me reconsideer my current ideas on the subject.

tonymec

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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 6:20 pm

alexyu wrote:Yes, everyone is different in needs and likes (and that's one of SM's attractions over the later FF, to me, as i said in a previous post); but more important than "like" is "why" (and that's something which is harder to see nowadays): WHY does someone 'like' or 'prefer' this over that -- and my comment was directed at that: Since frg, you, and many posting here have lots of experience and knowledge, I always want to know these reasons and considerations, because they may make me reconsideer my current ideas on the subject.

I can only answer from my own point of view, of course. Starting from Firefox 0.10 (aka 1.0RC), from time to time when I had nothing better to do I went through the extensions online (in later times limiting myself to a page or two of "recently changed" ones) and if something caught my eye I might install it and try it. Not everything remained enabled, especially when some of them started malfunctioning due to not being maintained, but I still have a goodly number of them. Also, when I switched from Firefox to SeaMonkey some extensions, especially tab-related ones, stopped functioning due to the differences between both browsers: for instance Tab Mix Plus never worked with SeaMonkey so I had to reimplement (in userChrome.css) the parts I wanted most and either do without the rest or find them in some other extension(s). In the golden era of XUL extensions there were even up to two third-party sites (mozdev and The Extensions Mirror), plus some authors' private sites, where extensions could be found which were not hosted at AMO. Most of that is gone now but I might still have an extension or two which I got that way.
Best regards,
Tony

alexyu
 
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Post Posted August 2nd, 2018, 7:51 pm

tonymec wrote:In the golden era of XUL extensions there were even up to two third-party sites (mozdev and The Extensions Mirror), plus some authors' private sites, where extensions could be found which were not hosted at AMO. Most of that is gone now but I might still have an extension or two which I got that way.


At that time, I did actively seek out extensions which would do several functions/actions I felt the need for, and compared the ones I found until settling on the ones best suited to my needs and preferences -- and, yes, sometimes they would be found outside AMO, in Mozdev and authors' sites; OTOH, sometimes I read comments about extensions which did things I had never thought about and, trying them out, found I liked them -- so, currently, my SM (and FF) have about 40 active extensions and 10 disabled ones... And, as I commented in a previous post, that's one of the main reasons I have no desire to go 'the 57+ way' since, even if new web extensions are written, many of these functions/actions would now be 'out of bounds'.

Peter Creasey

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2018, 7:18 am

alexyu wrote:Maybe a question to be asked is "why use SM under those conditions, and not some other program set?".

My (personal) answer would be, on the main points:
- I like a an integrated email/news/browser suite very much;


a, totally agree with you. I use all three constantly and liberally.
. . . . . . . . . . Pete

Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2018, 7:44 am

Peter Creasey wrote:I'm perplexed. How can SeaMonkey, even with its great capabilities, have a future if it is not viable for someone like me who operates with a fully updated Windows platform and without any extensions?

Well, to put it bluntly, as I mentioned here, SM doesn't have a future.

As it is, SM 2.49.* is stable, I suspect that 2.43 will be stable and that 2.57, despite best efforts of SM devs, will be somewhat unstable and unpredictable and not a build I'd fancy. It is very unlikely that SM builds could be based off any more recent Firefox builds. Security-wise, as I've explained, the 2.49.* series will be the most up to date, unless security fixes for other Firefox versions can be shoe-horned into later SM builds.

When the security life of each build ends, then the SM project effectively ends. At that point, users drift away, extension/theme devs stop writing new stuff and will hardly maintain existing. With the absence of users, I suspect, that the Support side will also vanish, leaving just the written records in the KB, etc.

I can also see T/Bird moving into a Firefox-type webextension direction at some point, which would cause problems for SM.

However, KMeleon, for example, packed up years ago, but it's still, sort of, going. So, anything is possible.

I did outline here the route I'll be taking. However, I would emphasise it's not for everyone, as you'll be on your own and fixing your own problems. You'll also have to be adaptable.

For example, I've never understood this 'Highlander - there can be only one' approach that many people have with browsers. The reason I mentioned my many graphics programs was not only to get across that older programs are often fine, but also that they either do different things or some do the same things but better. That's why I need so many. Same is true for media players, audio players, pdf readers, etc...and browsers.

Thus, at the moment, if a website needs DRM (UK's Channel 5, etc) and I want to use that site, then I will use Firefox or whatever and then return to SM when done. Good few years down the line, as web standards bite, I'll need to probably do that with other things, until you finally reach a silly point where you are using XXX browser more often than SM. I don't see that happening for a good while and have no problem with using what I need to use to get the results I want.

Given the lesser of two evils, this was not a hard decision for me, but it's not ideal for everyone.



Before I forget - I use Simple HTML in Email, not Simple Text, as I erroneously wrote in an earlier post.
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