[Project_owners] MS Office and Seamonkey

Stephen Clavering mozilla at clav.me.uk
Sun Sep 14 05:50:44 EDT 2003

John Dobbins wrote:

> MS Office, not exactly one of the more popular suites among open 
> source programmers, but it does have some lessons.
> It wasn't too long ago that Word Perfect and Lotus each dominated a 
> part of the market that Office dominates now. A Pair of stand alone 
> aps. A lot of people considered them to be better than thier 
> equlavants from Microsoft, but MS Office had one big advantage, it is 
> an integrated package that was better than just the sum of it's parts.

Office is not integrated to anything like the extent that Seamonkey is.  
For example:

- Apps do not have a Window menu listing windows from the other apps.
- Each app has its own Options window, rather than the all-in-one-mess 
that seamonkey has
- There are no equivalents to such ridiculous things as New > Address 
Book Card being shown in *Navigator*
- Exit does not exit all the seperate office apps.  It will exit all the 
seemingly seperate seamonkey components.

In fact, the only integration in MS Office that I can see is things like 
inline editing of an excel spreadsheet embedded in a Word document.  And 
the sum total of all UI used by that is double clicking on the embedded 
object.  And there's the office clipboard of course, though that grabs 
anything stuff you copy to the clipboard from *any* app, not just Office 
ones, so is more of a system utility.

And that list can double as my reasons for wanting to use 
Firebird+Thunderbird rather than Seamonkey.  As well as:

-  the entire Navigator Tools menu, the only two items on which I used 
more than about 2 times ever -- DOM Inspector and JS Console -- are 
buried on a submenu!
-  an actually useful bookmarks toolbar where you can middle click 
things, and where the context menu actually works for submenus as well 
as jsut on the toolbar itself.  (and other not immediately obvious 
things like this).
-  not having to add stuff to userChrome.css to kill the awful toolbar 
grippies.  (In firebird should you want to quickly turn off a toolbar 
you would simply righ click on it and untick it in the context menu, in 
recent nightlies at least.)
-  extension developement is a lot easier when not hunting through 200 
overlay files, many of them dynamic, to find a specific part of the UI I 
want to change.
-  the horribly ugly 16 colour theme in seamonkey, and the lack of 
decent alternatives.  i'm not a great fan of the friebird default 
either, but it's better.   (the thunderbird theme is very nice imo)

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