Software // Enterprise Applications
News
3/10/2008
08:32 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mozilla Labs Updates Prism Prototype

Prism aims to provide a way for online applications to work outside of the normal browser window, using a subset of browser infrastructure.

Mozilla Labs has released an updated prototype of its forthcoming Web-to-desktop application technology called Prism.

Prism aims to provide a way for online applications to work outside of the normal browser window, using a subset of browser infrastructure. Eventually, it will be extended to include offline functionality, along with Mozilla's Firefox.

"We believe that the Web is a powerful platform for innovation, and our goal with Prism is to drive the development of enhancements to that platform that bring the advantages of desktop apps to the Web," said developer Mark Finkle in a blog post. "To that end, Prism is not a new platform or product but rather a vehicle for Mozilla Labs to experiment with new technologies to extend the capabilities of the Open Web."

Prism's developers see themselves competing with Adobe Air and Microsoft Silverlight. In a blog post last October, when Prism debuted, Prism's developers dismissed Air and Silverlight as proprietary platforms that aren't open.

Adobe's Mike Chambers however took issue with that characterization. "So, I guess the thing I found odd was Mozilla appears to be building something very similar to Adobe Air (which is fine and cool), but somehow it is inherently good when Mozilla does it, and inherently evil when Adobe does it," he said in a blog post, adding that Adobe is an active supporter of open source, Web standards, and Mozilla.

Last week's update offers Prism as a Firefox 3 extension. Users of the extension can turn a Web site into a desktop application of sorts using the Convert Website to Application command.

At least that's the theory. In practice, Prism remains a work in progress. A number of posts on the Mozilla Labs discussion forum describe problems with the extension, as might be expected with prototype software.

At the moment, when it works, Prism doesn't so much create a standalone, offline-capable application as create a shortcut to a Web site that runs in its own window, without the overhead of the full Firefox browser. Still, it's an interesting exploration of what future online applications may look like.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.