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Old 06-21-2008, 05:17 PM   #1
DMcCunney
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Mozilla Prism

When the Mozilla project was initiated by Netscape to create the next generation browser suite to replace the venerable Netscape Communicator program, the first order of business was a new rendering engine, known as Gecko. Gecko understands and renders HTML and CSS, and interprets JavaScript. It also understands and renders XUL (pronounced "zool", an XML language designed for creating user interfaces. What you actually see on your screen when you use a Mozilla product like Firefox is defined by XUL with CSS, custom graphic elements, and JavaScript for interactivity.

A copy of Gecko is provided with each Mozilla product, but the longer term roadmap is to break it out as a separate stand-alone run time called XULRunner, with Firefox, Thunderbird, and the like being simply instances of things XULRunner will render. This will make it more convenient to use XULRunner and Gecko in things that aren't browsers or web related. A few things like that already exist, like ActiveState's Komodo programmer's IDE, and the Songbird cross-platform media player, but these currently bundle their own copy of Gecko.

The first fruits of the effort are now available as Mozilla Prism, with a corresponding Firefox add-on. With Prism installed, and the add-on in Firefox, you get a new choice on the Tools menu called "Convert Website to Application". Select the page you are viewing, click the menu choice, and the add-on generates the necessary framework and places an icon on your desktop. Click the icon, and XULRunner is launched with the web page as the target. The site is rendered in the resulting window without the overhead of the full browser. (If the site has links you click on, that opens the default browser to view them.)

I created desktop shortcuts for GMail, and the control panel for my router (a Linksys model using Tomato custom firmware.) It takes less than half the time it would take to open Firefox to view either page. I suspect I'll find more uses for it.

Mozilla Prism is here: http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Prism

and the FF add-on is here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6665

Still beta code and a work in progress, but very promising.
______
Dennis

Last edited by DMcCunney; 06-21-2008 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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Mozilla Prison
A Play in Three Acts
Act I - Scene 1
Guard 1: "Sell me your future advertising dollars!"
Prisoner 1: "I will never give into the system!"
Prisoner 2: "You tell him, man!"
Guard 2: "Shut up in there!"

Act II - Scene 1
Prisoner 1: "I am going to kill all of the guards."
Prisoner 3: "That is not very likely."
Guard 2: "Shut up in there!"

Act III - Scene 1:
Guard 2: "Okay, Jones, it's time to come out of the bars."
Prisoner 1: "Okay, but I need to grab my sunglasses!"
*Prisoner 1 reaches into box and pulls out knife*
*Guard draws gun from holster and shoots Prisoner 1*
Prisoner 1: "Oh, I'm dead."

The End
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
JSWolf
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The most popular use for the Mozilla Prsim is on the cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

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