The roads I take...
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2. Juli 2011
In the end, it was Callek who built the release and InvisibleSmiley who updated the website, though I did send the announcements - but as always with SeaMonkey, it has been a simply great achievement of an all-volunteer community, and I would like all the great people in that team for all they did and continue to do.
That release was a somewhat emotional moment for me - I have said for a few months that this would be "my last release", and even if I didn't do the final steps in the end, I have been working a lot since 2.0 to make this happen before transitioning over to working on Firefox crash analysis for Mozilla.
I even did some UI and build system code work, including some heavy lifting and some very visible code, for example lightweight themes (Personas) support, defaulting to tabbed browsing, switching to places bookmarks, turning on out-of-process plugins, adding the Data Manager, OpenSearch support, using omnijar, and an optional search bar and an OpenSearch engine manage, not to speak of the release engineering and management work.
This brought SeaMonkey up to date with Firefox 4 not only in the platform and in the web-facing parts, but also in many other user-facing features - and even added a unique feature that Firefox doesn't offer by default (Data Manager).
I also organized a first SeaMonkey Developer Meeting in October 2010, where the core team had a great opportunity to talk about the past, present and future of the project and, most importantly, meet face to face. This showed what a cool, diverse, and great group there is at the heart of SeaMonkey, but it also made me think even more deeply about my personal priorities.
For several years I coordinated a vibrant community project, and with the 2.1 release, it has delivered a really great product, starting a new era - the updates will follow in faster succession and be even closer in time and code to what Firefox is shipping.
For myself, it also marked the start of a new era as I passed the baton on project coordination back to the collective of the SeaMonkey Council and the great volunteer team and community, which I trust to make the project continue doing great Internet suites for quite some time to come.
I learned a lot in this project, and the project management experience there made it possible for me to now work in program management at Mozilla to help making Firefox more stable than ever before. I'm very passionate about the Mozilla mission and believe this is the best way I can make a difference to support it and drive it further to success, but I'll still be in reach to help and support SeaMonkey as part of my free time - just not in such a prominent role. I'll still be around in discussions, do small things here and there, esp. in support of Callek in release engineering, work on the Data Manager as well as some other add-ons that work in both SeaMonkey and Firefox - and I'll try to make "the official Mozilla" and SeaMonkey work together as well as possible.
This is a great release, project and community, I thank you all for making all that possible, for supporting me and us all over the years, and I hope you will take care well of this baby I helped to grow up and that you will help it grow even more mature over the next few years!
10. März 2011
And after porting all the OpenSearch integration code, this was not incredibly hard any more, it was mostly copying over the Firefox search bar and engine manager code (the latter is available from the former, so they're slightly tied together) and then fitting it into SeaMonkey (and even cleaning them up a little, which I will backport to Firefox again).
And this is how it looks in my test build (and nightlies starting tomorrow) with the search bar customized in:
Of course, as stated before, this additional box is hidden by default, but a right click on any free area in the toolbars and selecting "Customize..." will allow you to drag it into the active set.
Today, for the official sixth anniversary of the SeaMonkey project (see last year's anniversary article), it fits well that this patch did land on the comm-central tree and very probably marks the last major work I land for SeaMonkey as I'm transitioning to new challenges.
I'd like to thank everyone who has patiently reviewed all those large porting patches I did, trying to get some of the heavy lifting done to bring the SeaMonkey suite into the 21st century - which I think the upcoming 2.1 release and its currently available betas do and will demonstrate beautifully.
It's been a pleasure and I'm happy I could contribute a number of important pieces of work to this still thriving and now even reasonably modern Internet suite with bleeding edge support of web innovations like a lot of HTML5 and CSS3. Who would have thought 6 years ago that this project would come to where it is today?
20. Jänner 2011
We're also shipping all built-in extensions as XPI files inside the extensions folder of the application now, which more or less is the equivalent to the omni.jar method but for add-ons.
If you're building your own versions of SeaMonkey, note that this is switched on by default and you need to clobber your objdir to make builds work correctly after this switch. You should be able to turn this off with the --enable-chrome-format=jar (or any other chrome format you used before) option, which might make things easier for developing but gives you a different and probably slower build than what we ship to testers and users from now on.
Please make us aware of any problem you're seeing, e.g. with updates, which we tried to make work fine, but could not test before landing this switch.
20. November 2010
My newest add-on for Firefox 4 and SeaMonkey 2.1 is using this code name and makes the download manager UI run inside a browser tab and in a tabular style similar to what SeaMonkey is using. It also supports the use of progress windows instead of the download manager if preferred.
This is using the code I wrote earlier for SeaMonkey's download manager and even progress window UI, those interested in the actual code find it in the add-on source repo.
I'm not planning to backport this code to older versions than Firefox 4 or SeaMonkey 2.1, any time I put into this id better spent on improving what's there and I'd rather convert more of it to use things like Services.jsm, which only exists in Mozilla 2 code.
I will also not backport this work to SeaMonkey due to the discussions that had been going on around the progress windows. I'd happily support people porting code though - and I'd also accept patches to improve the add-on if anyone wants to help, of course.
And for everyone else, if you're interested in a download manager running inside a tab in a tabular interface, please test this add-on and give feedback!
Right now, it's not reviewed for public on AMO yet, it's in the sandbox, but that shouldn't stop you from testing it - feedback comments improve the chances of the add-on being made public!
17. November 2010
There's not much in this feature-wise, just a small improvement on deleting entries from lists and a possibility to launch certain views directly when calling it (and that also means it has its own caller function now), next to a few more code restructuring changes from the SeaMonkey reviews, so I only bumped the version number to 1.0.3 and nothing higher - yet.
The really large change though is that the add-on now has a public code name. I have been thinking about this for a while and in the end decided to use code names for all my add-on projects that improve Firefox and/or SeaMonkey functionality, and use bodies of water for them - based on my SeaMonkey roots.
The Data Manager's new code name "Tahoe", and old Washo Indian word for "deep water", refers to a lake on the borders of California and Nevada that is known, among other things, for very deep and very clear waters - similar to the deep reach and clear sight in data that this add-on provides.
I've also picked up Download Manager UI work again, though only as an add-on - even though if it's not up on AMO yet because it's not ready enough for this at the moment. Currently, there's only a source repository for it - and it already has the code name "Jökulsárlón", after an Icelandic glacier lagoon that has pieces breaking off the glacier and swimming through it as icebergs on their way to the sea, just like files through the download manager.
While the Download Manager work will not go into SeaMonkey code, the Data Manager work is or will be (patches are up for the current changes) - and the add-on source code is public as well, of course.
In the mean time, have fun using Tahoe Data Manager - built into SeaMonkey 2.1 or as an add-on for Firefox 4!
P.S.: My German-language dictionaries also have new 2.0.2 versions available in variants for Germany, Austria, Switzerland.
30. September 2010
SeaMonkey now supports OpenSearch through toolkit's search service!
We're late into this compared to Firefox, but this is one of the last, maybe even actually the last, item we needed to pick of from "the toolkit". The good thing is that now, all the search plugins that work for Firefox and possibly other browsers also do work for SeaMonkey. The bad news is that the special feature we had, the scraping of search results into the sidebar, is gone now and we don't have a clear idea if it would even be possible to get it back.
Also, we don't have a search bar available yet (it's planned to have it as an optional item through toolbar customization), the sidebar does some of its job for now, but even things like detecting site-specific engines or search suggestions are not available there yet.
The current state is a first step to get this feature in at all for SeaMonkey 2.1 Beta 1, now further steps can be taken to refine and improve it for the second beta and the final release.
24. September 2010
I have reported about the add-on and on the features before, but now this idea I started working on four months ago has made one more step and is included by default in SeaMonkey, starting with manual builds from today as well as tomorrow's nightly builds.
Right now, you find it in the Tools menu or by entering "about:data" in the location bar and it's a pure addition to the other managers of the same data for the moment, until it can do everything those can do and we can remove them. There's a lot of work to do until then and the bug report has a long list of dependencies for those work items - help is appreciated there!
Once again, SeaMonkey 2.1 Beta 1 in early October will be the first version we'll ship to a wider audience for testing this feature.
23. September 2010
Since today's nightly builds, this is available in SeaMonkey 2.1 as well. This means that you'll find "plugin-container" processes running when you're using the SeaMonkey browser, those are the processes in which the actual plugins run in. Also, it means that a crash in Flash code will not take down your browser or even mail component of SeaMonkey any more!
Happy browsing with SeaMonkey 2.1!
8. August 2010
Finally, after roughly 5 months of the patches being around, reviews have been completed and I could land the places bookmarks patch set (a total of 1.2 MB of diffs, about half of that removal of the old system) in SeaMonkey "trunk" today, which means 2.1a3pre nightlies starting with 20100809 and also the soon-to-come SeaMonkey 2.1 Alpha 3 will be based on the new system.
As mentioned before, this brings a number of improvements:
- Live bookmarks, i.e. displaying feeds as "virtual" bookmark folders,
- Microsummary support, or "live titles", allowing (optional) bookmark titles that are dynamically being updated with info from the website itself,
- Bookmark tagging as an additional possibility of organizing bookmarks,
- More robust storage for bookmarks (including good recovery options),
- "Smart folders", e.g. "recently bookmarked pages", as well as saving bookmarks queries as virtual folders,
- Bookmark icons are working much better and not being lost when they expire from the browser cache,
- More code sharing, meaning code will be actively maintained and developed, which hasn't been fully the case with the older code,
- Possibility to sync bookmarks (between different SeaMonkey installation, but also Firefox or Fennec ones) via Sync (will possibly even be integrated directly into SeaMonkey),
- Easier porting of bookmarks-related Firefox add-ons to SeaMonkey,
- And probably more.
- "Groupmarks" are being replaced by being able to open any bookmark folder in tabs (middle-clicking a folder title or selecting the "Open All in Tabs" entry from the folder display),
bookmarks.htmlfile can still be exported to, even automatically at application shutdown, but it's not the main storage format any more. Most usages of the file can be replaced, including using it as the homepage (the sidebar panel can be set instead), but what doesn't work is switching between different bookmarks.html files as bookmarks sources. I strongly believe most use cases for that can be somewhat differently be achieved through the means of the places system, but we unfortunately don't yet have too good descriptions of those use cases and why this "feature" (I'd call it "misuse") is quite popular among a number of people.
bookmarks.htmlbetween multiple installations doesn't work any more, but using Sync should bring almost the same experience.
There may be some rough edges left in the SeaMonkey integration, for example, the patch for making Modern work has just not been landed yet, I finished it just before I could land the rest, but I hope it will get reviews soon.
Also, I just heard that the code I added a few weeks ago to set site icons correctly so places can use them seems to have been broken meanwhile, so the bookmarks toolbar and probably menu and manager are missing many icons - that problem is probably in our tabbed browsing code, we'll investigate it ASAP and hope to fix still it for Alpha 3.
If you are testing nightlies or the upcoming alpha, and you see things that don't work like they should, please report bugs (make sure you set a dependency on the SMPlacesBMarks bug if it's related to this feature landing). We will try to fix all the problems we can - of course your help is appreciated there as well - so we will be able to ship a great SeaMonkey 2.1!
31. Juli 2010
Data Manager 1.0 is available for installation now!
The major change from 0.9 is optimization to get some speed improvements. I also posted this code as the first version of patch in the SeaMonkey integration bug, preliminary review feedback indicates that there are a number of improvements I still can make and need to make before I can land it - and the add-on will profit from that as well, I'll try to keep things in sync as much as reasonable and possible between the in-SeaMonkey and add-on versions.
There's also a few thing where future feature work is needed, see the list at the end of my previous posting.
Still, I hope Data Manager improves the experience for more and more of you in the future!