Prism is now WebRunner
Update: WebRunner has been discontinued and is no longer available for download. Although we no longer support the public product, Salsita can still produce a packaged web app for distribution by your company. Contact us for more details.
Mozilla Labs has not been working actively on Prism since early 2008. However, the Prism name has continued to be associated with Mozilla, leading to confusion recently about the status of the product. For the past three years, I have been responsible for development of the product, with the fantastic support of Zimbra (a subsidiary of VMware) and several other clients (including DesignLinks International and Bloonn). A few months ago I set up Salsita Software, primarily to focus on the ongoing development of WebRunner. Today we have a growing team of developers working on the product.
As some old-timers may remember, when Prism was first invented by Mark Finkle in 2007, it was called “WebRunner”. Well, all that is old is new again, and as we proudly announce a major new release of the software, we’re returning to the original name.
The biggest change is that WebRunner is now a Firefox extension rather than a XULRunner application. The justification for doing this is outlined in a previous blog post. In a nutshell, this makes it possible to use any Firefox extension in a WebRunner app without modification, as well as having access to all Firefox features. With the XULRunner approach, we found ourselves duplicating Firefox’s features by hand one by one. We’ve also made a whole slew of other new improvements to WebRunner since the last release, which I will describe in more detail in future blog posts.
From the user’s perspective, however, nothing has changed: the app still looks like a regular Prism app. The WebRunner extension takes care of stripping down the Firefox user interface and removing unnecessary elements. We’ve added a menu bar to WebRunner apps in place of the old “gear” menu.
To all the dismayed users who emailed me over the past few days worried about the future of a product they have grown to depend on, rest assured: we are investing more time and resources into WebRunner than ever before. And companies who want to deploy their web apps as standalone apps on all major operating systems with a better user experience, more features, great user engagement and no browser compatibility issues, WebRunner is still the only game in town.
Visit our product page to learn more about WebRunner and access the latest version, which is compatible with both Firefox 3.6 and 4.0. I’ll be posting much more about this in the days and weeks to come, including developer documentation and case studies from some of the companies using WebRunner.
Update: I should have mentioned this explicitly: WebRunner will continue to be free and open-source! All source files are licensed under the same tri-license (MPL/GPL/LGPL) as before. You can browse all the source files from our Trac interface.
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