Running Web Applications/Portlets as desktop applications

Mozilla Labs has an interesting technology - Prism - that aims to quickly bridge the gap between web applications and the computer desktop. Instead of trying to come up with a completely new presentation technology like Flex, Silverlight, JavaFX etc. they have a simple program called Prism that will allow any web application to run outside the browser as a desktop application, so that each web application runs in its own window. It isn't rocket science and there have been similar technologies in the past. But Prism is much more usable and easy to use. I use Prism to run my Gmail and Yahoo Mail as desktop windows. That way my Firefox is free for other stuff and next time I have to restart my browser (which I very frequently do because Firefox can leak memory like a sieve) I don't have to bring up Gmail and Yahoo Mail again. Also the performance of Firefox is not affected because of the email clients that are constantly open.

 There has always been a requirement to run JSR 168 portlets on the desktop as native desktop applications. Prism can be a great solution to do this in a simple and easy manner. Just double clicking on an icon on the desktop will bring up a JSR 168 Portlet running inside Prism. And with Google Gears we can perhaps even make the portlet work offline. :)
 

Comments:

Very good information. I just downloaded Prism and tried to set my yahoo mail (new AJAX UI) but it failed to fetch the content giving error message - "Sorry, the all-new Yahoo! Mail does not support your browser." After selecting classic UI, it works fine.

Posted by Manish on October 29, 2007 at 04:37 AM PDT #

I got this too. Perhaps Yahoo Mail is looking at the user-agent string for compatibility checks and the user agent for Prism does not qualify. Gmail doesn't have any issues so Ajax is not a problem for Prism.

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atul

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