Mozilla's Prism project has been around for quite a while now, and many companies have been using and testing it throughtout the life of its development thus far; it may have taken a rather long time, but Mozilla have finally pushed Prism into its 1.0 beta stages, as they have reported on their blog.
Firstly, what is Prism? If you already know and don't care for the details, follow the link at the bottom of the article to download the latest version. Prism is a desktop application developed by Mozilla, the very same company that is famous for the Firefox web browser, that allows you to take certain websites and turn them into desktop applications themselves (called single-site browsers or site-specific browsers; SSB for short), for Windows, Mac or Linux.
According to Mozilla, here are some of the main features:
* New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
* Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-speciﬁc settings.
* The ability to clear private data on demand.
* Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
* Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
* Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
* Support for SSL exceptions.
So, why bother with this? What's the point in turning webpages into separate applications when your trusty browser handles it just fine? Well, there's a couple reasons. According to Mozilla, Prism is designed to make running web applications much better; many websites like Facebook and Gmail are web applications that are run through the browser (which was first designed for reading documents), and that is not an ideal environment to run other forms of content. Mozilla also reasons that it can be a hassle having to scrounge through masses of tabs and windows just to find your email provider, or similar. If a web application is unstable or poorly written, it can affect the entire browser, potentially losing anything you are currently working on. If you run that same site through Prism, it can't affect anything else you might have going on, so you'll be worry free. Prism is based on the same browser engine as Firefox, so that ensures compatibility with most, if not all, current websites on the internet.
If you're interested in Prism and curious to try it out, please head over to the official Prism website and download the latest version. Additionally, be sure to report back here on how it goes!