Mozilla's Prism making web apps first class citizens on the desktop

Mozilla Labs Prism

I’m a big fan of Mozilla applications and lately my attention has turned to Prism. It’s an incredibly simple idea which allows web applications to become first class citizens on the desktop. Prism is really just a single pane web browser with no menu or toolbar. Sounds a bit strange at first but when pointed at Gmail or Google Calendar or whatever your favorite web app is it releases that application from its tabbed browser confines and brings it onto your desktop as a top level window. What’s great is that for each application you point it at it maintains window size and location making it feel more like a client application.

Mozilla Prism options dialog

To setup a new application with Prism all you do is launch it and fill out this simple dialog. You have options to create the standard shortcuts and provide your own application name. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux so be sure to give it a shoot.

I’ve already created several shortcuts to applications I used all the time like GMail and Google Calendar. I haven’t run into any issues yet but I’ll admit I’ve toyed with the idea of implementing my own version of the same thing, just because.

And be sure to read the blog post about it which has all the details.

Kudos to the guys/gals at Mozilla for this latest app!

2 thoughts on “Mozilla's Prism making web apps first class citizens on the desktop

  1. Thanks for the tip, Steve! I’m now using Prism for my local twiki app which I use for all my todo lists and note-taking (it’s GTDTiddlywiki, btw, yes a variant of the Getting Things Done methodology). Simply being able to alt-tab to it as a separate app from Firefox is very convenient.
    Prism is great at what it does, but I’m disappointed that it inherits the cookies from Firefox – it will be great when they allow Prism instances to have their own cookies, so then you can be logged in simultaneously to the same apps with different IDs. Maybe this only applies in few situations but I’d like to see this.
    And oh yes, Happy Thanksgiving!

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