Systems Engineering

Making your web applications more fluid

June 19, 2008

  • Guest Blogger

How many web browser windows do you have open during the day? Have you ever tried to dedicate a window to a specific web application only to have it overrun by a link to another site? Site Specific Browsers (SSB) might be the answer you are looking for.

More and more applications are being written as web applications instead of the traditional compiled, system dependent binary. Web apps allow a wide range of flexibility for the developer, but having everything in your web browser can get cluttered in a hurry. This is where SSBs become helpful. They are essentially stripped-down web browsers tied to a specific site (hence the name). What makes these different is that they behave on your system like an actual application, not a web application. This can be especially useful for internal web applications, too.

The one that I am currently using is called fluid. It is a MacOS specific SSB that allows you to pick a URL, and save it as an application. When you run it, it behaves just like any other app.  It shows up in the Dock as a separate application with its own set of preferences. The fluid application itself is a small manager of your web applications that you have created, and it is not necessary to run it on a day-to-day basis, only when you want to create a new SSB application.

Users of other platforms aren’t left out in the cold, either. Mozilla Labs has an SSB called prism that is available for multiple platforms. Current versions of prism can be found at mozilla labs.