Extracting Web Apps From the Browser: Fluid and Prism [en]

[fr] Prism et Fluid sont des applications OSX qui vous permettent de créer des mini-applications qui sont en fait une fenêtre de navigateur (Firefox ou Safari) qui n'ouvre qu'une seule URL. Pratique si vous avez l'habitude de consulter Gmail, Twitter, Digg etc. via leur interface web.

This has been a productive morning for a lazy Saturday. A tweet from Tom Morris put me on the track of Fluid, and then Prism. (This is for Mac users, by the way.)

Fluid and Prism are both site-specific browsers, the first based on Safari, the second on Firefox. If you’re the kind of person who always had a Gmail tab open in their browser, and maybe another for Twitter, and for blog comments, and Google Docs, and for Friendfeed, and god knows what, you’ll like this.

Personally, the reason I like desktop clients is that they separate the web service I’m using from the browser. I can Cmd-Tab to it. I don’t see it all the time when I’m in my browser. I don’t lose the tab when my browser crashes.

Site-specific browsers basically allow you to create a simple application which is in fact a single browser window that opens up one single web page. Links in that web page, when clicked, get opened in your default browser.

I have now created “apps” for Identi.ca, Wave, and Gmail, so far. It’s as simple as filling in a small form with URL and title fields.

My only gripe is that I haven’t yet figured out how to replace the URLs favicon by another larger one as the app’s icon. Blown-up favicons are really ugly. I’ve found some sources of icons online, but am not finding all those I need, and clearly not managing to “install” them (I’m sure I don’t need to re-create my apps).

Similar Posts:

A Few Words About Google Wave [en]

I wanted to write this post yesterday, to keep up with my good resolutions, but time caught up with me and I had to leave my computer to go and enjoy some time on the lake (we finished 13th, and I had a good windy sailing lesson before that — thanks Dad).

So, as for most of you I guess, Google Wave came up on my Twitter radar these last days. I thought I’d take a quick peek, without spending the whole day on it, so I looked at part of the demo video (the first part, where the actual demo is), and read a few articles (CNET, Mashable and ReadWriteWeb — there are tons of others, but I’m on purpose trying not to be exhaustive in my research… fight that perfectionism!)

In one word? Cool.

I remember many years ago, how taking collaborative notes in SubEthaEdit during the BlogTalk conference in Vienna would every now and then drift into us chatting in the document. (By the way: I’m on the Programme Committee for BlogTalk 2009 which will take place in Jeju, South Korea, on September 1-2. Send in your proposals now!)

I also remember, how many years before that, ICQ introduced “real-time chat” (or whatever they called it), where you could actually see people type when you chatted with them.

And I remember the many many days I’ve spent in endless wiki conversations — I think one of the best ways I can describe Google Wave is to say it’s a very accelerated wiki page with bells and a touch of Facebook.

Google Wave is marrying e-mail and IM, and it’s a good thing. It’s recording the process of the conversation, which makes it easier for outsiders to jump in. It has private, it has public, it has text, it has rich media, it has profiles.

People say it’s a bit hard to get at first, and that, in my opinion, is another indication that it is something really new.

I can’t wait to try it. I get all excited when I think of it. These are my totally uninformed first impressions. Over the years, I’ve come to trust those — Google Wave is going to change things.

Similar Posts: