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Mozilla Prism!

I was reading John’s blog today and spotted a link to Mozilla Labs. I’ve always liked some of the Google Labs projects and an avid fan of both Firefox and Thunderbird – so what better way to see some of the things that Mozilla have got on their minds.

Prism glass 1

I’ve only read about one project before I’ve started typing, but already it strikes me a something remarkably simple but such a good idea!

Prism notes that:

Personal computing is currently in a state of transition. While traditionally users have interacted mostly with desktop applications, more and more of them are using web applications. But the latter often fit awkwardly into the document-centric interface of web browsers. And they are surrounded with controls–like back and forward buttons and a location bar–that have nothing to do with interacting with the application itself.

So Prism will let you add these applications straight into your Start Menu (an eBay Application link, a Facebook application link etc.)

You can see the benefits for some users already! Is anyone using this?

Creative Commons License photo credit: tanakawho

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 3:09 pm and is filed under Programming. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (8)


  1. I gave it a whirl a while back. I don’t really see the point – it just moves the app from a browser tab to the task bar.

    Google Chrome has this built in and, IMHO, does it much better, as you only have one binary – Firefox and Prism are separate (I think) and so it’s not as efficient.

    Will Mozilla integrate Prism with Firefox in the same kind of way?

    MagicRoundabouts last blog post..Magic Roundabout!!!

  2. Tim Almond says:

    Sounds a little like Google Gears. Will have a look…

    Tim Almonds last blog post..Clueless About The Internet

  3. Keiron says:

    Mozilla do a Firefox plugin by the looks of things… I wasn’t thinking for me- but some of the users I encounter who are less “computer literate”?

  4. Matt says:

    I never saw the point in this either. I always have Firefox open and switching tabs is just as easy as switching applications. I’ve tried working this way with a few webapps but couldn’t get used to the idea of not being able to wander off to another site.

    Matts last blog post..links for 2008-10-17

  5. Keiron says:

    OK… So all the techies are replying with a “What’s the point?”

    How often have you had that phone call after sorting someone’s computer out:
    Phone: “I can’t find my eBay!!!”
    Me: “Was it in your bookmarks?”
    Phone: “No, it was just there – what have you done with it?”
    Me: “Did you type it into the address bar?”
    Phone: “No, give me my eBay back I want to buy random rubbish and pay large postage”.
    Me: “How did you get to eBay?”
    Phone: “I click the big swishing ‘e’ on the desktop! – e for eBay”

    Mental thud as I realise they have eBay as their homepage in Internet Explorer and I’ve either:
    1. Switched them to Firefox
    2. Reset their homepage (probably because I’ve asked them if they want it to be google?!).

    See any applications now?

  6. Matt says:

    LOL! Yeah, good point, although I’d hate to have to set that up for all their sites. They’d only delete the shortcuts by accident anyway and be straight on the phone to you.
    The whole thing is really aimed at trying to replace desktop apps with web services. There’s a long way to go before this becomes anything other than niche if you ask me.

    Matts last blog post..Farewell To Google Chrome

  7. Copper Wire says:

    While I think Mozilla is on the right track, Google is already better at this integration (i.e. Chrome and Android). Hopefully the Android phone will pan out, and google will take a stab at a full desktop OS. Oh a man can dream can’t he?

  8. Keiron says:

    Google have the cash background I think, over Mozilla. So a Google OS will probably eventually appear – but it will just be a flavour of linux surely?

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