Robert Kaiser wrote:
7 weeks ago, I started a thread on long-term SeaMonkey project goals on
the mozilla.dev.apps.seamonkey newsgroup, trying to gather opinions from
the community on a vision for future of the project surrounding the
long-standing Internet suite from the Mozilla community.
I am new to this forum although not new to Computing, Netscape, or
Mozilla. About ten years ago, I selected Netscape technology for the
foundation of our company's communication infrastructure - Communicator,
nntp, smtp, LDAP and all. Much has changed, or course, since then. The
vision failed only a couple of years ago under the onslaught of
Exchange, Active Directory, and most of all - Microsoft Outlook. I am
now a retired "Chief Information Systems Architect" and have since had
time to take a more philosophical view of it all. I think Outlook is
the killer application that drove Mozilla out. The business environment
is different from home usage. The ERP (business systems software)
determines what browser you use. Your customer's and suppliers expect
you to have a compatible e-mail client. Outlook's integration with the
calendar and the contact list were the key drivers for the change.
SeaMonkey/Firefox/Thunderbird were unable to integrate with a
server-side calendar and also were unable to book meetings with
customers via e-mail.
Additionally, Outlook's integrated contact management/address book were
quite a bit better, even though we had a robust LDAP implementation.
Finally, problematic software "shims" were required to use Outlook as a
client in an open (IMAP, etc.) environment or to use Mozilla
technologies against Exchange.
It seems that users want to use what they are familiar with at home and
at work. But, it's not a two way street. Although you can use Outlook
at home with good success in the open ISP environment, it's much more
difficult to go the other way. Perhaps that's part of the rational for
breaking up Communicator into Firefox and Thunderbird since it's much
easier to sneak a browser into the work environment.
I have always liked SeaMonkey because it has remained the closest to my
understanding of Netscape's original vision: Usage of open
standards-based servers and clients to support workgroup ("groupware")
communications. That would include mail (yes, HTML mail!), address
book, contact management, browsing, groups (nntp), calendaring, and IM.
I think SeaMonkey is getting close, lacking mostly in the calendar and
contact management areas. I think we all need a calendar server
somewhere on the Internet to assist us, too.
Thanks for listening,
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