15 June 2009

web applications and Firefox

I am currently using the following web applications:
  • GMail
  • Facebook
  • Google Docs
  • Google Reader
All of them come with their own navigation infrastructure and in none of them I need Firefox' menu and address bar. In fact, they take up valuable screen space that I would rather use for the web application. Especially Facebook and Google Reader take up so much space for the own navigation that there is barely enough for the content. To view photos in Facebook or read posts in Google Reader, I often have to F11 Firefox into full screen mode.

Wouldn't it be great if Firefox had a web application mode, just like Google Chrome, where the menu and location bar are not displayed? Given that the navigation bar can already be hidden and shown easily, all the is necessary would be to save the visibility state of the bar per each website! So easy to implement!

I just read about the Mozilla Prism Project which is a Browser specific to web applications, but it doesn't seem to be very popular. Their is also a Prism extension for Firefox which I just tried out, but it just doesn't work. The only way to start a webapplication is to first create a shortcut on the desktop (why not just a bookmark?!). I did that and clicked the shortcut only to be left with an ordinary and empty Firefox window. Sucks!

Currently I am experimenting a little and run my Firefox without any location bar. It's actually not too bad, because I can still use Ctrl-L to type adresses. It's the same behavior only using a little dialog window that disappears after hitting Return. Let's see if that can take away some pressure until the Firefox developers show reason.


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