Zimbra on Prism & Other New Stuff

Zimbra Desktop

Matt Asay has a post about Zimbra’s newest desktop client. It’s a great, full featured email/calendar client and it’s using Prism to give it a standalone, desktop application feel.

That’s right, they are shipping Prism along with the client code and offline support system.

This version of Zimbra is pretty fast too, especially on Firefox. Even more so on Firefox 3. Of course, Prism uses the same Firefox 3 rendering engine, so we’ve got you covered :)

Prism Status

The current version of Prism can handle the basics of desktop-enabling fairly well, but there is support for more features coming soon. We have been listening to feedback from users and watching what other ideas are happening in the site specific browser space. Projects like Fluid and Bubbles are pushing the envelope forward. Not to be left behind, the in-development (trunk) version of Prism has some pretty nice features:

  • WebApp icon support – When installing a webapp, Prism will use the favicon of the webapp, if you want it to. You can also use a custom image too.
  • Dock badging support – Support has been added to allow Prism webapp.js code to add a textual badge to the OS X Dock icon. This has not been exposed to the web content, only the Prism webapp script. We want to explore ways of allowing web content to more directly access this feature.
  • Minimize to tray – A new webapp.ini setting will allow the Prism window to be minimized to the Windows system tray. We want to explore ways of allowing web content to more directly access this feature, such as, adding context menus and custom tooltips to the system tray icon.
  • Separate profiles – Prism now places each webapp into its own process/profile. The user can group webapps together when installing, if they want webapps to share a profile.
  • Bug fixes – Thanks to everyone who has been filing bugs and feature requests.

We also have a Firefox extension version of Prism coming out. The extension contains the full Prism runtime, but allows users to create Prism-webapps from Firefox – and uses Firefox as the runtime (no XULRunner needed). Prism Firefox extension features include:

  • Simple install – User can manually choose to install the current website as a Prism webapp.
  • <link> support – The extension will scan any tags found on a web page for webapp bundles and ask the user if they’d like to install the webapps.
  • One-click bundle install – Clicking on a hyperlink that points to a webapp bundle, should prompt the user if they’d like to install it.

We’ll post more as we get closer to a new release.

You’ll notice that we want to create ways for webapps to manipulate some of the desktop-enabling features (dock badging and systray support for example). We don’t want to create custom, Prism-only APIs to access these features. We’re looking for feedback and discussions on how webapps can support these kinds of features without breaking when running in traditional browsers.

I can haz WHATWG spec plz? A site specific browser meetup sounds like a good idea.

12 Comments

  1. Gijs said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 2:39 am

    I filed a bugzilla enhancement to move the dock badge code from mail/ to toolkit/. Please tell me you secretly already did that rather than re-implementing everything? Because that’d suck for other potential consumers.

  2. Tomer said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 2:45 am

    What about Prism l10n?

  3. Matthew Gertner said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 6:07 am

    The code for the dock badge stuff is copied from mailnews/ and implemented under a generic API, with the intention to move it (and other OS-specific stuff) to toolkit/ at the appropriate time (i.e. not until after FF3 has launched).

    That said, the code is ancient and uses obsolete APIs from the Carbon era. I think it should be reimplemented anyway.

  4. FredCavazza.net » Mozilla + Yahoo! = 2 Rich Desktop Applications said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 6:32 am

    [...] Plus intéressant, la version off-line de Zimbra (Zimbra Desktop) repose sur la technologie Prism (dont je parle plus longuement dans un précédent billet : Mozilla expérimente une alternative aux solutions de client riche avec Prism). Plus d’infos ici : Zimbra on Prism & Other new Stuff. [...]

  5. Just Browsing » Zimbra Adopts Prism said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

    [...] email client using Prism. Mark Finkle, the Mozilla employee in charge of Prism development, provides his own thoughts on the announcement, including a run-down of its latest and greatest [...]

  6. Update on Mozilla Prism Project « OSS Blog said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

    [...] Mark Finkle’s Weblog » Zimbra on Prism & Other New Stuff [...]

  7. Myk Melez said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

    Sound great, I’m looking forward to testing out that extension!

  8. Tony Westfall said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

    Where can I get the trunk version of Prism?

  9. Todd Ditchendorf said,

    February 19, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

    Hi Mark, Todd here, developer of Fluid. Congrats on the new Prism features! Also, thanks for the Fluid shoutout… although the link is broken. should be fluidapp dot com not org.

    I’d love to do a meetup too.

  10. Mark Finkle said,

    February 19, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

    @Tony – trunk version is in SVN and can be built (http://wiki.mozilla.org/Prism). A release should be happening soon.

    @Todd – sorry about the link (fixed). Great work on Fluid, it really shines. The Flickr icon repo is also a nice asset. Feel free to email me about meetup stuff or ways we can converge/support web app features. (mark dot finkle at gmail dot com)

  11. Talou said,

    March 4, 2008 @ 5:04 am

    Hi Mark, is the 0.9 version listed on your files an official one ? This shot is exciting and easy to use !

  12. tecosystems » Friday Grab Bag: Pedro, Mozilla, iPhone, and More said,

    March 7, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

    [...] rather than waiting for the authors to create an RIA for it. So if GMail doesn’t follow Zimbra’s lead, you can simply create an application on your [...]

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