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Current Labs Project Details

Prism ( has been around for quite some time in various forms since 2007. Similar features have appeared in Chrome and Safari in betas and releases.

Requirements for Product

Ability to create a standalone instance for any site

Need to be able to create standard desktop shortcuts on Windows, Mac, and Linux to launch a standalone process loading that site. We should copy required cookies/passwords/resources so that this instance has access to that data and the first run is a seamless move.

Simple and intuitive install experience

  • The current UI is really heavy and opaque to end users. There are some ideas on how to make this very obvious and feedback-rich, while streamlining the interaction.
  • We should probably support some types of drag and drop operations, like dragging a bookmark into your dock, or start menu. Dragging to the windows desktop is a little more ambiguous, not sure what we should do there.

Issues to resolve before ship

Open questions for this iteration

Do we want to explore any of the desktop-enabled APIs for the first iteration?

Autodiscovery of SSB-enabled apps and UI indicators?

Future problems to solve

Exposing APIs to do more desktop-like things

The best examples are doing stuff like notifications and bringing focus forward, i.e. exposing Growl for Zimbra, or flashing on the taskbar like a normal Windows app, etc.

Some other upcoming work on sandboxed APIs for extensibility may come into play here.

Enhanced autodiscovery

Recognizing patterns of usage that make a standalone setup much better. i.e. if you open Gmail and leave it open forever and come back frequently, we should offer to make it standalone.

SSB-specific spec work

Includes ideas like:

  • CSS media type like "sitebrowser" (needs better name, application? desktopapp? desktop? window?)
  • sanity for icon support
    • Web designer provide any image format, and the client deals with creating .icns and .ico files.
    • We need to get that standard in place before there are too many SSBs on the market, and people feel obligated to create the random file types for full compatibility.

Required Resources


1 x Engineer w/understand of desktop integration points and XUL chops for UI work

Projected Timeline for Integration


Cost/Benefit Assessment

Write me