Debian has off-shooted IceDove and IceApe to replace Thunderbird and Seamonkey respectively. I am sick to my stomach that I think that they sound cool and have such great icons. This means I will want to use them. Maybe I’ll just change my User Agent string to masquerade as IceWeasel so I feel cool. I really want to use these apps though. I’m such a sheep.
I really am finding that there is a certain quality about free software fanatics and operating systems junkie which I’m calling “trial addiction.” I love OS X and I’m happy with it, but I’m really interested in installing every new version of Linux and playing with it. And I feel that way about apps too. I love downloading them and just checking them out, even though I don’t actually use them for any extended period. It makes the Windows registry a mess, but with AppZapper, there’s no real penalty on a Mac.
IceApe has me a bit confused though. I don’t know of any modern Linux distros (save Linspire, which is commercial anyway) which bundles SeaMonkey. That means that nearly all SeaMonkey installs are post-sysinstall. And if someone is going to download the app, why not just install SeaMonkey proper? What’s the point of adding another open source app that needs maintenance when you have several great ones (like XMMS) which are dying and unmaintained. Seems a bit redundant to offer IceApe when most people will bundle IceWeasel or install SeaMonkey.
Personally, I am waiting to see an extension that imports the new IceWeasel and IceApe features into Firefox proper. This is the benefit of XUL and extensions (or Add-Ons, as they’ve been inexplicably renamed). I’m looking forward to watching the Ice* suite push the Mozilla devs to make better software. God knows, that’s what the drive of free software really is – better free software.