Introducing Prism

Prism is an open source cross-platform prototype of functionality that lets users split web applications out of the browser and run them directly on the desktop.


Prism is part of a series of Mozilla Labs experiments into bridging the divide in the user experience between web and desktop apps and exploring new usability models as the line between those kinds of apps continues to blur.

With the latest update, you can now get Prism simply by installing a small extension to Firefox 3. With the new Prism extension for Firefox 3, users can now split web applications directly out of Firefox without needing to install and manage a separate Prism application. Just install the extension, browse to a web app, then select Tools > Convert Website to Application.

Other new or improved features include:

  • Pick an icon to represent a web app on the desktop: Prism can use the web app favicon or the user can pick a custom image to represent the web app.
  • Run each web app in its own profile: Prism now places each web app into its own process/profile so they don’t interfere with each other, which also makes it possible to install a web app twice and use it simultaneously with two different user accounts.
  • Badge the dock icon: Initial support for adding a badge to the desktop icon has been added. Currently, this can be done through a custom webapp.js file. We’re working on creating and reusing web standards to expose this to content without requiring custom scripts.

Get Prism for Firefox

Install Prism for Firefox v0.2 for Firefox 3.0b3pre or greater, Windows/Mac/Linux.
The standalone version of Prism v0.9 is also available for Windows (installer, archive), Mac and Linux.

Warning: This is an early prototype. Use at your own risk.

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