Lately, I’ve caught the IceApe bug (IceApe is a rebranded/renamed Mozilla Seamonkey), and I’d like to share my enthusiasm about it.
First, a friend of mine got me hooked. Steve Dibb, a Gentoo user (yeah, I know. ), loves it, and has been using Seamonkey ever since I’ve known him. Being a heavy Firefox advocate, I tried everything in my power to show him the One True Browser, but he refused to budge. Now, rather indirectly, he’s got me using IceApe. How did that happen?
Well, running Debian Sid on my laptop, due to the better hardware support than Ubuntu at the time, an X11 update came down the pipe. With this update, IceWeasel had the ability to crash X by selecting an unfocused tab. The way to get around this bug, was to start IceWeasel in safe mode, disabling any and all extensions. This was fine for the occasional here-and-there, but when it came to web development, I needed my extensions. Wondering what to do, I realized that IceApe used the same Gecko 1.8 rendering library as IceWeasel, so I installed it and gave it a try.
First impressions weren’t that great. The default theme is the same theme that Netscape and the Mozilla Suite was using back in the day. Not to terribly exciting to look at. Further, it doesn’t have any real way to manage extensions and add-ons through the browser. However, as I started fiddling with it, I noticed the insane amount of configuration options, and it actually was using less resources than the combination IceDove/IceWeasel that I was using. Getting the same amount of work done with the same or better productivity is always a plus in my book. And if it uses less RAM than previous setups, I’m all for it.
Since installing and running IceApe, it’s been flawless. It would be nice if there was a better way to handle extensions, and it would be nice if some of the extensions that I use would work with it, like Firebug. All-in-all, however, I love it. It’s snappy, powerful, and full of config’ing. Since running it, I haven’t seen the need to go back to the IceDove/IceWeasel combination. One suite, IceApe fits all my needs very nicely. I’d highly recommend it.