(Reposted from the Webian blog) Webian Shell is a full screen web browser for devices that don't need a desktop. As of today you can download a prototype which you can try for yourself.
A Graphical Shell for the Web
If you’re anything like me then you’ll find that most of the stuff you do on your PC these days happens in a web browser and the desktop environment you used to depend on is now just getting in your way. Modern web applications can do just about everything traditional desktop applications can do (like flashy graphics, sound, video and offline storage) so often all you really need is the browser. The idea of the Webian Shell project is to replace your computer’s interface with something much simpler, which treats web applications as first class citizens and does away with all the un-necessary clutter.
Rapid Prototyping with Mozilla Chromeless
These are some of my ideas for future directions to take the prototype, but I’d love to hear your ideas.
- Home screens – instead of a desktop, Shell could have multiple home screens like you see on mobile devices, but containing web widgets and icons for “installed” web apps. See Mozilla’s Open Web Apps project for some inspiration.
- Hardware controls – any graphical shell for a hardware device needs the ability to monitor and control hardware for things like sound, network, GPS, battery etc.
- Zoomable tiled window manager – zoom out to a view of all currently loaded web pages (like Panorama in Firefox or Expose in OS X), then zoom in to the page you want.
- Split Screen – view two pages side-by-side
- On-screen keyboard – for touch-screen devices like tablets.
Download the Prototype
You can find out more on the Webian web site or go straight ahead and download and install Webian Shell 0.1 on your Mac, Windows or Linux computer today. I’d really love to hear your feedback! You can propose ideas, report bugs and ask questions on GetSatisfaction, or join the Google Group to take part in the conversation. You can also follow Webian on Twitter or Identi.ca, like it on Facebook and check out the channel on YouTube.