Web applications and desktop integration

Much of my tool set is now housed inside the browser. The tools are web applications. My email is there. My calendar is there. My collaboration is there. My industry awareness is there. Etc. This web application suite is not uncommon. The trouble is that neither the Microsoft Windows desktop nor FireFox work together to provide me with a common application management experience. For example,

• The Windows "task bar" shows one task button labeled "5 Fire.." rather than one task button for "Email & Calendar", another for "Bloglines", etc.

• I can place URL shortcuts into the Windows "Start" menu which helps with organizing these tools. FireFox even suggests that I can drag-n-drop the URL from the browser's address bar into the start ment, but it fails to drop and so I must manually add the short cut.

• When I use the Email shortcut, for example, FireFox opens another browser tab to the URL even if already have the URL open on another tab. What I want is Email brought to the front just like an ordinary desktop application.

• FireFox does nothing to help me NOT replace my email tab or calendar tab with other transient content. When I am using the "Email & Calendar" browser I want all non-email and calendar content to be opened another browser window.

I want a browser with great desktop integration. There are some great FireFox extensions that make manipulating tabs easy but doing this is manual. They also only make FireFox better. The Windows desktop needs a new set of rules for integrating web applications. Mozilla's Prism might help. I suppose I could code something up with Greasemonkey but I really don't have the time and what time I do have I have other more interesting uses for.

How do you manage the web application and desktop integration?

1 comment:

Bob said...

I'm guessing you're not Mac-based, but if you were Fluid (http://fluidapp.com/) creates a great solution to this. If you're not able to run this then there is Prism from Mozilla Labs (http://labs.mozilla.com/2007/10/prism)