There are a few web pages that I always have open. Google Reader, Vitalist, and Workamajig (yikes). Sites like Mint and, (shameless plug) Twuffer are even beginning to make the tabs-never-to-be-closed list.
Fluid is written by ex-Apple Dashboard developer Todd Ditchendorf. It allows you to create Site Specific Browsers, or SSBs. Thanks to Fluid, “you can create SSBs to run each of your favorite WebApps as a separate Cocoa desktop application.” It’s Mac OSX Leopard only, so all you Tiger cats need to upgrade.
My immediate goal was to make an SSB of Google Reader. I think of Google Reader as a separate RSS aggregator app anyhow, so why not make it totally separate from the browser? I downloaded Fluid from the site, unpacked it, and moved it to my Apps folder.
Create a Fluid SSB
When you launch Fluid, it asks you for the URL of the site to app-ize (appify?), what you want to call the app, where to put it, and even what you want to use for the app’s icon. If you leave the default on that last option, your app switcher will use a giant, blurry version of the favicon gleaned from the web.
Google Reader SSB. (yes, thats 1000+ unread)
The magic happens, and the next thing you’ll see is your new web app all neatly bundled in it’s own page, complete with it’s own taskbar. To really burn up time that might otherwise be productive, think about your web apps having their own taskbar and what that allows you to do. Super nerds will love the Convert to MenuExtra SSB option so you can drop the app down from next to your clock, then fold it up again. Google Calendar perhaps?
That’s right Gmail fans, you can now participate with your Apple Mail and Outlook cohorts in email client groan fests. And all you protective tweeters out there who like your Twitter in a comfy, toasted, no-butter browser style aesthetic, Fluid was made for you. I’m off to make a stand-alone Twuffer app.