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The (Draft) New SeaMonkey Vision

In my talk on SeaMonkey 2 & The Vision Beyond today at FOSDEM, I showed the new SeaMonkey vision to people for the first time. This version basically a near-to-final draft, which we are planning to put up on our website soon, but I think I should bring it to you in this blog right now as the earlybirds who were up and here at 9am have heard and seen about it as well.

After our initial goals of making the suite survive and porting it to toolkit have been reached or are being reached with SeaMonkey 1.x and 2 respectively, it's time to have some guidelines for the future of the project. There are a few balance acts in there where the detailed decisions are to be made by the SeaMonkey Council and module owners on a case-by-case basis.

The topics, integration, configurability, innovation, security and stability are not ordered by importance but are all at the same level and taking up the same space in the project, but it wouldn't be good for readability to display them in the same space at the same time.

Here's the actual (draft) vision text:
  • Provide choice to power users through a reasonable set of configurable and customizable features paired with extensibility through add-ons
    • Power users, being one of the main target groups of SeaMonkey, should be able to choose what functionality they want to use in what way.
    • At the same time, the amount of options must be kept comprehensible for users that are not yet accustomed to everything SeaMonkey has to offer and managable for the team writing and maintaining the code.
    • Development of SeaMonkey add-ons should be made as easy as possible, for example through providing similar or the same APIs as Firefox and Thunderbird for add-on developers.
    • Everything normal SeaMonkey users need to tweak should be available in UI preferences, things only a small minority of very advanced users want to change should not be in standard preferences UI.
    • Add-ons should be able to easily extend, configure and customize functionality.
    • Continually evolve SeaMonkey and both foster and integrate innovation on the Internet
      • The distinctions and strengths of the SeaMonkey suite need to be deepened and made to stand out more to make the suite a compelling offer for people.
      • SeaMonkey needs to keep up with changes in how the Internet is used and should also innovate new ways of using it.
      • The user interface should evolve gently but steadily to feel familiar to both long-time suite users and people switching from other applications to SeaMonkey.
      • SeaMonkey needs to master the challenge of combining new uses and workflows with accustomed user experiences.
      • Protect and enhance security and privacy of SeaMonkey users as far as possible.
        • Individuals' security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional. (see The Mozilla Manifesto)
        • The suite needs to offer its users realistic options for understanding, accessing, managing, combining, sharing and moving data created by or about them.
        • When a feature that provides more security threatens to invade privacy (e.g. sending some of the user's data to a server to check for possible security risks), this effect needs to be minimized, both weighted against each other for default settings, and an option to disable this feature must be provided in some way.
        • Keep the SeaMonkey user experience stable and mature
          • The SeaMonkey user interface should be kept familiar to former users of the integrated Internet suite.
          • Apply "constructive conservatism" to the user experience - don't revolutionize and don't deny change but evolve it in a controlled way.
          • SeaMonkey should be practical and simple enough for beginners as well as able to adapt/adjust for more experienced users.
          • "Stable" SeaMonkey releases should be tested well enough by the community that we can trust they feel mature enough for production use.

          • I hope those guidelines can safely take SeaMonkey to new destinations in the future while keeping up and deepening the strengths and distinctions of what the suite is about.

            Entry written by KaiRo and posted on February 8th, 2009 14:43 | Tags: future, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Vision | 4 comments | TrackBack

            Comments

            AuthorEntry

            Peter

            quote
            sea monkey
            I have used Seamonkey in the past. I find the tightly integrated approach is slightly better than using either Firefox and Thunderbird separately. However, they get the majority of tech attention and updates at the present. One of my suggestions would be a more relevant and beautiful name change. I know this is very hard for people to accept, but names attract attention and interest, and influence direction. As an example, if Seamonkey became Mermaid, a new love affair would probably begin. Good luck with the project.
            2009-02-11 12:55

            Keith

            quote
            About everything-is-a-tab, I'd like to say that's one of my pet peeves about Opera. I don't want preferences, bookmark manager, etc. to be tabs.

            The best thing to do with extensions is to generalize the API a bit, I think. Currently, it's hard to impossible to actually install a Firefox plugin in SeaMonkey 2. But perhaps worse, my existing plugins that work fine in 1.1.14 won't work either.

            I don't think the aviary products get more technological advancements, at least not on the back end. On the front end maybe (in that case, it's just window dressing), but I like the SeaMonkey 1.1.x look (with Modern Skin).
            2009-02-14 02:33

            Bill MacGregor

            from USA

            quote
            Remember SeaMonky's Roots
            "The topics, integration, configurability, innovation, security and stability are not ordered by importance but"

            THEY SHOULD BE !!!!

            The above should Read for SeaMonkey The topics,security, stability,configurability and innovation

            Have you ever heard the saying "Everything after But is B.S.

            "but are all at the same level"

            For FireFox it does not matter ,,,,,,,

            I am wondering how many people on the project were around when Netscape gave up and then give the Code to the Mozilla Project.

            The number one reason to build Mozilla was for Security
            How many know why the Mozilla Project was Dumper a few years ago?

            How many know why Mozilla now SeaMonkey has always and always Be more Secuer than FirFox?

            How many know why there are just over 2000 plugins for SeaMonkey and almost 7000 for FirFox?

            How many know to Google the name of all plugins, Before installing them.

            How many know that many Plugin's connect to sites in countries like Iran

            How many know that because, Anyone can write a plugin, that many Big Companies that there sole reason for being is to Make money buy collecting and Selling You Info, everything you do on the web aka Spyware, Update their Plugins when they find New ways to Collect YOUR Computer and Internet Usage.
            One example is StumbleUpon. Owned by Ebay

            How many know that Google bought many very good programs That use to Cost a lot, rewrote them and now Give them to you?

            Google is in business to Make Money, their Free Downloads are Not Free! You pay in the end.... All = Spyware !!!

            To those that wonder why Many FirFox plugins will not install in/on SeaMonkey, "Security"

            Differences in the Code..........

            The Plugin writers focus on FirFox because they know it will always be less Secure and 90% of FirFox users are younger and do not understand [or care] that Keeping your Info In is the most important Security Issue !!!

            At times I and many of the first contributors, wish that the Mozilla prodject had not let just anyone into the project.
            If it had been that way, the people [kids] that ripped up the code and wrote FirFox etc would have never been allowed in.........

            Think Before You Write..
            Bill MacGregor
            2009-03-24 17:20

            P. Geranium

            from Netherlands

            quote
            All can be a tab...
            I hope Seamonkey will look far more integrated to the user in future. Now you can imagine it as just using firefox and thunderbird next to each other.
            All can be a tab is a great approach. I hope I can find it soon in the "latest trunk". I'm sure Seamonkey will be my favorite internet suite as was Mozilla!
            2009-06-16 21:23

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