My interest was perked while I was checking out Prism the other day at Mozilla Labs.
Prism (formerly known as Webrunner), a site specific browser from Mozilla, allows publishers to distribute “webapp” archives that specify a website to load in a stripped down browser. It also lets publishers add some extra features on the client side to do some tricks to make the website behave more desktop-like.
From labs.mozilla.com regarding Prism: “Unlike Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight, weâ€™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.“
Here’s a sample website (read that as web application) loaded inside of Prism on KDE:
When seeing this I thought to myself… this was attainable years ago using Xulrunner… For example (and just for fun), I grabbed a “widget like” build of Exch from the middle of 2006, removed most of the UI elements and dropped in a xul “browser” tag that pointed to the same website as the one referenced in the Prism .webapp screenshot above:
The majority of the chrome is removed and a couple “html:canvas” tags are included in the main xul file to draw the rounded borders and the “x” in the top right (clickable for closing). The results are very similar to Prism webapps whether you keep the chrome or ditch it and change the borders to make it widget like inside the xul for Xulrunner. The major difference in my opinion is the ease of deployment for Prism. A small extension like .webapp archive of a website and a few client side scripts (if desired) to add to the desktop-likeness.
I am glad that Prism is being developed… It will allow publishers to push out site specific browser apps -far- easier than what it took to put together what I had done for the example above in Xulrunner. It also adds to the huge pool of exciting technologies developing on the Internet these days.
My son often requests family time at the Lego set. A recent evening produced this surprisingly fast wired remote control car. The trick I have found with Technic Legos, is to set the gearing tight while building, and then loosen it up a bit before turning the power on… otherwise the motor gets bogged down by friction. Someday, I think I will have to look into Lego Mindstorms.
One definition of armamentarium is: The complete range of materials available or used for a task.
May my complete range of materials available to be used on a specific task, forever more, be vastly larger than it is now (lots of tools available). :-)
Or another way of looking at it could be… May my tasks be able to be completed successfully with an ever decreasing range of materials available to be used (simplification of the task).
The update to make Exch compatible with Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 has been accepted by the people at Mozilla. You can find it at the Firefox addons site.
I posted Exch 1.3.0 for Firefox 3 Beta 1 to addons.mozilla.org. It has to be approved by the people that do the approving over these matters. ;-) Then people can get it updated via the normal channels within Firefox 3 Beta 1.
- Within install.rdf: Changed the contents from 2.0.0.* to 3.0b1 in the following tag:
- Within install.rdf: Changed the contents from 1.2.1 to 1.3.0 in the following tag:
Planned work for the future:
- Update the currencies in the Exch form to match those that are at finance.yahoo.com
- Review code and update where necessary
Planned work for the long term future unless otherwise necessary:
- Look into some sort of alternative data source for currency information, what if Yahoo stops .csv downloads?
Todo for Exch:
- Update latest currency info from Yahoo!
- Test on Firefox 3 Beta 1
I just installed Firefox 3 Beta 1 on Linux. Looks nice… I wonder if many things will need updated for the extension to work… probably not. :-)