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Mozilla Prism - web apps on your desktop

Notes from ClifNotes, Nov 2007, permalink Browser Tools


So what is Mozilla Prism and what good is it? I happened to run across it earlier this month and I wondered the same thing.


From what I understand, Prism is basically a trimmed down version of a Firefox web browser that is devoted to running a single web application in a single window. It's designed to allow web application developers to write software packages that will run on your desktop. I can see how it might be handy for a programmer to only have to write a single set of code for your website and for the tools that people use on their desktop.


What I tried was setting up some my favorite websites to run in Prism. It does look just like a Firefox browser window without all of the navigation tools and no tabs. Some of the normal browser functions are available in the window but many are missing. It works great but I can't find any value in it for myself. There's no reason I shouldn't just use my regular Firefox browser instead of Prism.


Here's the info that really interested me. You may see Prism soon and not even know it. Read this quote from the Mozilla site: "We’re also thinking about how to better integrate Prism with Firefox, enabling one-click “make this a desktop app” functionality that preserves a user’s preferences, saved passwords, cookies, add-ons, and customizations. Ideally you shouldn’t even have to download Prism, it should just be built into your browser."


I guess we'll have to wait until some newer version of Firefox to find out just how useful it will be.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Prism is an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop.


Unlike Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight, we’re not building a proprietary platform to replace the web. We think the web is a powerful and open platform for this sort of innovation, so our goal is to identify and facilitate the development of enhancements that bring the advantages of desktop apps to the web platform.