August 24, 2004

Mozilla: Suite or Firefox/Thunderbird/Sunbird?

After recent announcement of the first Sunbird build, I decided to try Firefox / Thunderbird / Sunbird trio instead of tried and trusty Mozilla Suite. Here are my impressions...

  • Firefox / Thunderbird user interface looks somewhat cleaner and more polished.
  • Surprisingly, trio does not occupy way more resources than the suite. Sunbird takes just 12Mb of RAM (if windows task manager is not lying)
  • Firefox is really very fast to launch (but I don't close it anyway as I had never closed the suite)
  • I love Firefox's download manager, it looks much better than suite's.
  • Firefox's theme list and installed extensions list are nice looking as well

But, everything has its flipside:

  • I'm having a hard time getting used to the search box. I'm keeping typing search query into the address bar instead of search box; and it's extra control to tab through.
  • As Firefox and Thunderbird became two separate applications, the option to middle click on the link in the email and have browser open it in the new tab is gone; link can be opened only in the new browser window now.
  • Setting up S/MIME certificate now is way too involved for the casual computer user. Even though Thunderbird FAQ pretends it is really easy to do, it is not so obvious as they make it sound. Linked forum threads are witnesses to it. The answer: you have to manually export certificate from Firefox and import it into Thunderbird. To make matters worse, export button labelled as "backup".

Let's hope middle click appears in some next version of Thunderbird... :)

Posted by Vadim at August 24, 2004 9:23 AM

Quite similar feelings over here! Especially the extra search box feels awkward in the day-to-day use.

Posted by: Torsten Curdt at August 24, 2004 6:06 PM