Saturday, May 3, 2008

Prism apps in Hardy Heron

I've been using the Google Prism apps since moving to Ubuntu Hardy.

This blog has a good summary of how to install these applications in Hardy and what they are good for.

The short version is that prism runs web based applications as standalone applications.

I've found these prism apps a mixed experience. On the plus side, having gmail, google reader and the like separate from the browser is handy:

  • No longer accidentally closing the tab for one of these

  • More real estate for the application

  • Icons in the panel for the individual applications

  • Able to launch the apps from launchers such as gnome-do

The big down side is that you no longer get all the functionality that you get in the browser. For example, keyboard accelerators to increase/decrease font sizes. On the other hand, this can be a good thing if the web application itself is really well designed, since it is no longer restricted to the key and mouse events that the browser doesn't grab.

One other down side I've found is opening links from these apps. Sometimes they open a new prism window, sometimes they open in my browser. I haven't quite figured out how to control all this and it can be annoying not being sure where and how things are going to open.

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