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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Peek Into Yahoo! BrowserPlus

There's been a bit of speculation about BrowserPlus, the mysterious new platform called BrowserPlus from Yahoo!. Yesterday BrowserPlus Team removed that veil of mystery to show you directly what it is, what it does.

BrowserPlus is a platform for extending the Web: an end-user installs it and a developer uses its features through a small JavaScript library. Some of the features that exist in the platform today include:

  • Drag-and-drop from the desktop
  • Client-side image manipulation (cropping, rotation & filters)
  • Desktop notifications

The most unique attribute of BrowserPlus is its ability to update and add new services on the fly without a browser restart or even reloading the page! For users, this means no more interruptions or installers to run. For developers, it means you can check for and activate new services with a single function call (pending user approval, of course). BrowserPlus is dynamic, allowing us to implement the standards of tomorrow while enabling fun and playful web applications along the way.

Most of BrowserPlus runs separately from your browser so you can minimize the impact and shut it down quickly when you don't need it. As an added bonus, that means BrowserPlus will rarely affect the speed or stability of your day-to-day browsing.

In addition:

  • If the sites you visit never use a particular BrowserPlus service, it will never be run. Only built-in services and those you approve in a Service Update can be run.
  • A service starts running the moment that you visit a site that uses BrowserPlus, and shuts down when you leave.
  • If you visit multiple sites that all use BrowserPlus, then it starts up one copy of the software, even across multiple browsers.

Currently it supports these operating systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X 10.4, Tiger (intel only)
  • Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard (intel only)

On Mac it supports Firefox 2 (or greater) and Safari 3

On Windows, it supports Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 (or greater).

Yahoo! will continue to extend it to run in more places.

To know more about BrowserPlus, check this demo and read the FAQs.

Related post: http://i-stuff.blogspot.com/2008/04/do-more-inside-your-web-browser-with.html


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