Tag Archives | pros

How Exciting is Prism 1.0 beta?

Good, Bad and Ugly Facts on Prism 1.0 beta I was really excited by the idea of Prism back when it was first released, but little has been done with the product until now.  Last week, Mozilla announced the launch of Prism 1.0 beta and a new site to promote it.  So, now that some time has gone by, and we have all had time to play with it – time to cover the best and the worst about this most recent release.

What I Like About Prism 1.0 beta

Overall, I like Prism as a product.  The idea of being able to run something like Gmail as an application rather than as a web page interests me.  Here are some of the newest Prism features that Mozilla is extremely happy with:

  • New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
  • Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-specific settings.
  • The ability to clear private data on demand.
  • Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
  • Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
  • Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
  • Support for SSL exceptions.

So there you have it; all great things to love.  So what still bugs me about Prism?

What I Don’t Like About Prism 1.0 beta

This might seem a little superficial, and many will answer my annoyance with the fact that is is still, “just a beta” but I don’t like the file download.  When downloaded your just left with an unzipped folder that says Prism.  Why not install it like a regular application?

I also think they need some simple scripting in there, to customize Prism a little ‘bit more.  How could this problem be solved?  Allow Greasemonkey scripts (or something like it).  Eventually somebody will figure out that step on their own, so they might as well get ahead of the curve.  If it is a product that comes from Mozilla, I want it to be customizable.  Firefox is customizable.  Thunderbird is customizable.  Prism just is not customizable enough for me, right now.

Final Thoughts?

Overall, it is getting there – however I am not sure they have been able to release this in a way that gets everybody excited about it.  The biggest hurdle for them, right now, is to answer those people who will say, “So… why not just launch it in the browser?”.  Those of us who are excited about it will answer back with, so that you can create separate applications for web sites you use, of course.  However, returned with another why, the argument for Prism just is not there yet. 

Prism is a fun toy for enthusiasts, but right now isn’t there for the general public yet, and I’m not sure how they would get there.  Do you?

Pros and Cons of Feedly Add-on for Firefox

whatsnew.part1 Is Feedly worth your time?  As a new type of article for Firefox Facts, I thought I would weigh in on both the pros and the cons of this add-on and give you my final thoughts on if it is a keeper or not.  Mind you – I am a very picky man.

If you believe the front page of Feedly.com, even Leo Laporte tweets, “My new favorite Firefox extension (and home page): Feedly.”.  I have heard about Feedly for a while now (from several sources), so I figured it was time I gave it a shot.  You can pick up the add-on for Firefox via the official Feedly web site or the Firefox Add-ons web site as well. 

The Install of Feedly

The toolbar icon for it is automatically  placed in your navigation toolbar, so I give it a click and it already has me signed in and has found my Google Reader account.  That is pretty cool.  Under social connections, it is asking me if I want to import Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Twitter or Friend Feed.  I handed it Twitter, then watched it work.  Ok, think this thing is up and running!

The Pros of Feedly

  • I like the fact it works with Google Reader and Twitter (the only two I tried) right off the bat, with no problems at all.

The Cons of Feedly

  • The ad box on the right of the web page layout is HUGE! (conveniently not shown in front page screenshot above).  Here is the huge ad in question.  You can click it to get the actual ad dimensions:

    feedly-huge-ad

  • The toolbar icon is ugly and has rough edges
  • I had to resize my browser to larger than 1024×768 to see the page correctly (without a horizontal scroll bar).  Should be a more flexible layout.

Final Thoughts on Feedly

I have to say, after spending a little ‘bit of time with Feedly, I just don’t get it.  Why do I need a Firefox extension for this?  Couldn’t they do it all as just a web site that imports things I plug into it?  Now I understand all the social aspects, but it just does not tickle my fancy.

Agree or disagree?  Let me know what you like about Feedly and maybe you might win me over.