All Posts Tagged “Web Application”

Bringing web applications to your Desktop with Prism

I have almost finished working on a web app that will be used inside intranets by students willing to do their English language exams interactively. I have reached the point where I want the app to have as much as possible the look of a desktop one. So I started thinking that may be with the help of Javascript I might be able to remove the browser toolbar; not a bad idea so far. Also I wanted to disable both back and refresh buttons because the exam is timed and the student will have a time counter for each section. However after I ran through this thread and found a strong resistance towards such ideas, I decided to go with other solution. Simply I chose to remove the toolbar and use keystroke events to determine which ones are related to navigation, just like ‘f5’ and ‘backspace’. So far so good, but after few minutes of work on this approach, I had few thoughts at mind: “Why am I doing so? Do I really need a browser to do this? shouldn’t be there any software that can render HTML markup and can have a customized interface?”
I start searching for such a software and found Prism, which is a cool product by Mozilla that helps you turning a web app into a desktop like one. Taken from the product why page:

Instead of running all your web apps in the browser, Prism lets you run them in their own window just like normal applications. A single faulty app or web page can no longer take down everything you are working on.

Prism is so easy to be used, it takes 1 minute approximately to turn your web app into a desktop one and you will gain many Desktop integration things like:

  • Access web apps from system taskbar or dock
  • Tray icon and dock menus
  • Associate applications with browser links
  • Minimize to tray
  • System tray icon and dock badges

Prism can be used as a stand alone soft, or just another Firefox addon(this one didn’t play well with me). Give it a shoot, you won’t regret it!