Prism: Mozilla’s New Experiment

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Is Mozilla Labs trying to compete with Adobe AIR/Microsoft Silverlight? That is the first question which struck my mind when I heard the news about Mozilla’s Prism. Yeah, Prism. It is Mozilla’s new attempt to bring web-applications to desktop users.

So what does this mean for an end-user like you and me? First of all, it is not a replica of AIR or Silverlight. The concept is different and the single most important factor that is driving Prism is to bridge the user-experience gap between web applications and desktop apps.

Prism will enable computer users to add their favorite Web applications to desktop, when they click on the icon corresponding to the web application it will launch in a window. Prism empowers the users with various options like Control Tab, Command Tab and Expose key functions, just like a typical desktop application. Not only that, users can access their favorite web-applications from any Web browser when they are away from the computer.

Prism means cool news for web application developers. From now-on they do not have to write fresh code for their applications to function with Prism. Apparently, any application that runs in a “modern standards-compliant Web browser” will function in Prism.

Prism is developed on Firefox’s engine, so it offers supports for HTML, JavaScript, CSS and Canvas. While a Windows version is currently available for testing purposes, early editions for the Mac and Linux are in the pipeline.

A news statement by Mozilla said, “Prism isn’t a new platform.” “It’s simply the Web platform integrated into the desktop experience.”


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