Prism hopes to refract Silverlight and AIR

Posted by Rick C. Hodgin

Mountain View (CA) - Mozilla has decided to throw its rainbow colored hat into the ring.  In an attempt to offer an open-source alternative to Microsoft's Silverlight and Adobe's AIR, Prism will provide an integrated application environment for the desktop, one which allows web-based applications to be launched from the desktop.  The primary difference?  Those applications will run without the standard browser controls being visible, just like regular windows.

Prism provides a way to bring all of the web tools forward into traditional window appearances.  Gmail can look like a stand-alone app, running in its own window, directly minimizable without affecting the browser in general, and without the regular browser header clutter.  Other applications will work the same way, enabling web-apps to truly appear as regular apps.  Currently the project is in beta and the team is looking for those who want to get involved, including developers and directors.  The project lead for Prism is Mark Finkle.  Contributors include Cesar Oliveira, Wladimir Palant, Sylvain Pasche, Alex Faaborg, and Myk Melez.

An early prototype is ready for Windows, with Mac and Linux versions expected soon.  While not as weighty as Silverlight or AIR, nor as comprehensive, Prism provides all the necessary, integrated, easy-to-use, web-based programmer interfacing necessary for true web-based applications.  These are the programs we run using the already established HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and <canvas>, as well as Java and other plug-in extensions.

Prism would like to be a small-footprint, easily integrated, open-source alternative to Silverlight and AIR.  Prism's potential is to one-up those endeavors by allowing the existing web application base to come alive on the desktop and in their own discrete windows.

Read more ... Prism website.