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Monday
Oct262009

Google Wave and Fluid

For those running Mac OS X there is a great application called Fluid that is the perfect companion for modern WebApps, such as Google Wave.

Fluid is a site specific browser (SSB) which allows you to create and run each of your favourite WebApps as a separate application. The advantage of this is that you get an isolated, streamlined window that only connects to a specific WebApp, making it look and feel like a full desktop application.

An SSB is not required for standard websites, such as blogs etc. However is very useful for WebApps that you use regularly and keep open for long periods of time, such as Google Mail, Facebook and of course Google Wave.

Installing and Setting up Fluid

For this example I am going to use Google Wave as my WebApp.

The first thing you need to do is download and install Fluid. This process is the same as any other Mac OS X application.

Once installed open the application. You will be prompted to "Create a Site Specific Browser".

You need to specify the WebApps URL, provide it a name and location for installation and finally an icon. For Google Wave I have used a 256x256 transparent .PNG file that can be downloaded here.

The Site Specific Browser will then be created and added to the location you specified during the setup process. As it is a WebApp I use quite often I also added it to my Dock.

You can now open your new application.

If you have setup Google Wave with Fluid the first time you open the application it will display a warning that your browser is not compatible. This message will only display once and you can click to proceed anyway. Fluid is based on WebKit, which is the same browser engine as Safari and Google Chrome, therefore you should have no issues.

For a full list of features check out the "Fluid Feature List".

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