When I wrote about Mozilla’s Prism project a while ago, I was very excited for the possibility of bring web applications to the desktop. Since then, a new project called Fluid has popped up. It’s the same ideas as Prism, however is Mac only.
Fluid is a small application that is used to create stand alone applications for web apps. Think of going into your applications folder and seeing Facebook or MySpace. In the end, they are individual web browsers that are created specifically for one website.
Fluid is moving a quite a fast pace and coming up with a lot of nice features. One cool feature that Prism lacks is custom dock icons. Fluid lets you choose an icon for your application, or, if you don’t have an icon to use, it’ll automatically pull the site’s favicon.
Fluid is also starting to tie directly into websites. Facebook, Gmail and Yahoo mail applications all come with un-read message count badges in the dock just like Apple’s mail.
The biggest downside to Fluid is that it only works on Mac OS 10.5. The main application, and mini applications it creates, don’t work under 10.4. This is the only area I see Prism winning. Neither project works under 10.3 either, even though Prism claims it does.
If you are on Windows or Linux, then Prism is a great project to watch grow. If you are on a Mac, Fluid is a great contender. It’s actively being built with new features and updates every week or so.
One thing to keep in mind here is that neither application is complete. Both are still under development and features will continue to change as they grow.
|Breakdown||Prism 0.8||Fluid 0.4|
|File Size||43.2 MB||2.5 MB|
|Interactive Dock Icon||No||Yes|
|Works on Windows||Yes||No|
|Works on Linux||Yes||No|
|Works on Mac||Yes||10.5 Only|
|Basically The Same As||Firefox||Safari|