Fluid: Desktop Web Apps

Matt turned me on to a new app for OS X (Leopard only) called Fluid. Essentially, fluid lets you create website-specific applications - really just little webkit browsers as their own applications with their own icons. It's really simple to use and (so far) has worked phenomenally well.

I have two web apps that have become an absolute core staple of my daily routine: Remember the Milk (for TODO management) and Google Reader (for RSS feeds). Both of these are pretty "heavy" web apps (containing lots of JS/AJAX/etc) and I had been running Firefox extensions for both which ultimately weighed down my main browser (which is where I do primary development, etc). Having them as separate applications lets me keep Firefox running (a little) leaner, and I also get pretty icons and the ability to "cmd-tab" between them.

The coolest part, however, is that Fluid has implemented icon updating on a few sites (google reader being one of them) to show the number of unread items. Check it:

Fluid App Dock Icons

Now, if I can just get Google Gears for Webkit working (for offline support for google reader & RTM) I'll be one happy camper.

The desktop / web app convergence continues...

James Walker

James Walker (a.k.a. walkah) is an independent developer and hacker. He is a long time Drupal developer, but these days spends more time in Python, Ruby and Javascript.

You can follow him on twitter or github.

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