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    That was quite a rant!

    I tried to use SeaMonkey a few times over the past couple of years but gave up after general crashiness and the fact that Thunderbird is a way better email client.

    I sympathize with the author to a degree. For backend things like programming languages, libraries, and kernels, we nerds are great at iterating on what already works. But if it has a GUI, some people just seem to have this irresistible urge to throw out the whole baby+bathwater and reimplement the thing (poorly, as a rule) literally just because it seems like a fun thing to do. Especially web browsers, desktop environments, smartphone interfaces, and so on. Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

    (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

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      I wonder if there’s some structural reason that free software does so badly in some areas, or if it’s a function of the population of people who work on free software. I tend to think it’s the latter, but I am willing to be persuaded.

      Also, I really wish that Apple didn’t ship Mail with the OS, because I’d love to see some actual competitive pressure on email clients. As it stands, I’ll just stick with mu and mbsync.

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        I don’t think bad UI development is a free software problem. We see it all the time in commercial products:

        • Windows Start menu -> Tiles
        • MS Office toolbars -> Ribbon
        • Gmail interface variant 99834279834 -> Gmail interface variant 99834279835
        • Reddit old -> Reddit new
        • etc etc

        I suspect this is a problem driven by a psychological desire to appear fresh, new and “innovative”. Whether or not you succeed does not matter, you only have to appear to change for people to think you are doing the right thing.

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          Yeah, this is true. “We must do something! This is something!” &c.

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        I was considering adding the Rant tag :)

        SeaMonkey … general crashiness … Thunderbird is a way better email client

        Eek, I’ve never had any stability issues with SM. At least not more than any other web browser.

        I always felt that Seamonkey mail and Thunderbird were identical to use. What differences caused you problems? Anything major?

        Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

        Ooh yes. I’m very happy with GTK2 apps simply because the interface is OK and it’s not constantly changing. GTK3 seems to be still changing and yet simultaneously ignoring all of the lessons learned in the GTK2 era and earlier.

        There’s a small paradox involved. The expectation that new app develop uses the latest frameworks, but the latest frameworks are never the best ones.

        (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

        twitches

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          Minus HiDPI support Motif and gtk 2 are mature and stable. It’s too bad we as a community want to throw them away. I really wish there was an interest in a lighter weight GUI framework for Linux/Unix. I agree and sympathize with you and Hales.

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            Motif

            As far as I know, Motif doesn’t have any accessibility support. GTK 2 does, though.

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              Thanks drs.

              You bring up an important point. Why are projects transitioning from GTK2 to GTK3? GTK2 is a bit like win32 UI’s, it’s such as popular historical foundation that compatibility for it is never going to go away. GTK3 doesn’t really bring that many advantages (HiDPI, anything else?) and instead brings horrible things like the new file chooser dialog (that searches instead of navigating when you type).

              Seamonkey’s transition from GTK2 to GTK3 has never made sense to me. Most of the UI is in html/XUL anyway, what was the motivation? Perhaps it was easier for maintenance because upstream had done the same?

              Sidenote: perhaps HiDPI support can be hacked into GTK2 at the renderer level without the application knowing (other than for custom widgets, which would look scaled)? I’ve never used the library, so there’s probably a pile of technical reasons why this wouldn’t work.

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                Why are projects transitioning from GTK2 to GTK3?

                Because developers like using active projects, not abandoned wastelands.

                GTK3 doesn’t really bring that many advantages

                • Wayland
                • Broadway (rendering to HTML — maybe not the most often used backend, but might be useful for running apps on a headless server)
                • CSS styling (soooo much better than the gtk2 theme-engine hellscape)
                • touchscreen support (I can even pinch to zoom in Evince yaaaaay)
                • inertial scrolling support for touchpads (if you “had” it it gtk2 and everywhere else — that was your driver emulating inertia by changing wheel scroll speed, which is a horrendous hack)
                • header bars and other cool modern UI elements (conservative “Windows 95 UI fans” hate them, but as an ex-Mac-user I love them)
                • great language bindings with gobject-introspection

                But wait, GTK 4.0 is coming! — with GPU rendering (WebRender-ish kind of engine), constraint based layout, and the whole thing actually becoming a scene graph while still keeping all existing widgets (Qt really dropped the ball on this with QML/QtQuick being its own separate from-scratch world)

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              I was considering adding the Rant tag :)

              SeaMonkey … general crashiness … Thunderbird is a way better email client

              Eek, I’ve never had any stability issues with SM. At least not more than any other web browser.

              I always felt that Seamonkey mail and Thunderbird were identical to use. What differences caused you problems? Anything major?

              Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

              Ooh yes. I’m very happy with GTK2 apps simply because the interface is OK and it’s not constantly changing. GTK3 seems to be still changing and yet simultaneously ignoring all of the lessons learned in the GTK2 era and earlier.

              There’s a small paradox involved. The expectation that new app develop uses the latest frameworks, but the latest frameworks are never the best ones.

              (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

              twitches

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              Wow.

              Yeah, I’ve also ended up toying around with Firefox because it sucks so much by default: https://is.gd/iHRkw2. Also got rid of that retarded hamburger menu in favor of Alt/F10 for the normal one, and learnt that Alt+Home fully replaces the home button, so that went away as well.

              They broke Pentadactyl with WebExtensions–the addon installed its own minimalistic UI–and Chromium still sucks a lot more, so I didn’t have much of an option besides QuteBrowser, which I had to leave because of other problems.

              You get what you pay for.

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                qutebrowser dev here - out of curiousity, what other problems? :)

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                  Man, why can’t I rant without repercussions.

                  My log tells me I switched 11 June this year but my memory fails to provide context. IRC logs come up empty.

                  Let me dig… lack of a good AdBlock (such as uBlock Origin) was one thing. I think I also needed Firefox for some sites, and ran two browsers at the same time often. I think Google had a glitch with default focus.

                  Your blog is down as of right now.

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                    Sorry, blame F5Bot :D

                    I still plan to look into a more sophisticated adblocker, but as always, there’s a lot to do…

                    Your blog is down as of right now.

                    Huh? https://blog.qutebrowser.org/ works fine here.

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                      It definitely doesn’t work here, might be CDN issues, or I don’t know what.

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                        What does “doesn’t work” mean precisely? No CDN, so that’s weird.

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                          $ ping blog.qutebrowser.org

                          gives me no responses from the Czech republic (residential or VPS).

                          Edit: Okay, it is up now. Wasn’t before.

                          Edit: And now it’s not, again.

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                  I’ve also ended up toying around with Firefox because it sucks so much by default: https://is.gd/iHRkw2.

                  Glad to see I’m not the only one that tries to yank all of the whitespace and unused widgets out. I don’t think interfaces designed to compromise between traditional and touchscreen interfaces work well for either.

                  I used to use a Vim-like addon with Firefox many years ago. It was amazing. Hitting ‘f’ to make all of the links keyboard-navigable was the biggest boon, especially with a touchpad, as it meant I didn’t have to fear misclicking with the thing all the time.

                  Sad to see addons getting so strangled. Let’s hope things get back to where they were sooner rather than later.

                  EDIT: Ah, the hamburger menu. One of the things that I have to help everyone use because no-one has a clue what it does. A good user interface does not hide things, a menu bar is a very discoverable solution that has been around for decades. It’s a shame to see it being pushed aside.

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                    Not sure what problems you ran into, but I regularly use it as a “focus mode” browser. Light resource usage (particularly since I disable JS with it), and minimal vertical space is great for reading docs/blog posts. I still have FF for sites that don’t support qutebrowser well, but I’m finding most thing work fine in it.

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                      Now that you touch the topic, I need integrated reader mode, and something to change text to proper black color. The web is a hostile environment. I wish removing all the awful CSS was a reliably solvable problem.

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                        wish removing all the awful CSS was a reliably solvable problem

                        What do you mean by this? Are you referring to the difficulty of doing it in the webextensions environment of Firefox, or the difficulty of partially stripping CSS using heuristic-like things?

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                          I’m concerned about stripping (more precisely unifying) formatting while keeping a workable page layout, which, as far as I can tell, can only rely on heuristics. I’m glad that Reader Mode in Firefox at least mostly processes article-like pages successfully.

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                    Claws Mail

                    […]

                    No HTML email support

                    I used to use CM, and it did support HTML mail via a plugin, and it even let you choose to view text or HTML mail.

                    See: https://www.claws-mail.org/plugins.php?section=downloads

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                      The author didn’t say it explicitly, but it’s not reading that’s the problem.

                      They want to write HTML emails.

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                      God, I loved Seamonkey. Used it for like 12 years as my browser/mail/irc client. I moved to firefox after quantum came out. If SeaMonkey ever merges quantum, I’ll go back.