Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Create a desktop app for

I have been using a desktop app based on fluid and the iphone twitter client hahlo to access twitter. Fluid is a SSB (site specific browser) that converts a site to a native mac application, that you can add to the doc/menu bar, it even allows for dock badges(Those little numbers that show new messages). This is slightly different from Adobe Air and Microsoft Silverlight in that it uses nothing 'new' other then current open internet technologies. I created one for muti as well, it may be of use to others out there so here are the instructions.

* Note these instructions are for mac, for windows replace fluid with mozilla's prism, the same script should work on prism / firefox as well.

1. Download and install fluid - Instructions and details at the Fluid website

2. Run fluid, and fill in the details like the screenshot below:
Name: muti
Location: Applications

3. You can either choose to use the default website fav icon or a custom icon. I created a custom icon so it fits well in with the rest of the icons in the menubar. Feel free to use it
Rightclick and save as:

4. Click "Create", fluid will work for a bit, then click "launch now"

5. A new window will popup with the title muti, click on muti in the menu bar and then preferences and select advanced:

muti > Preferences > Advanced

6. Under "Allow browsing to URL's matching this pattern" change to **

7. Optional:
muti > Preferences > Appearance : you can change the window opacity
muti > Prefrences > General : Tick open in the background this opens all links clicked on muti in the background in your default browser.

8. Close the prefrences panel

9. In the muti window, logon with your username and password

10. With muti application still open, click the script icon: and select browse

11. In the new window that pops up, enter in "muti" in the search box and hit enter, click on the first option. This will take you to a page with a description of the script, feel free to look at the source code. The script can be found at:

12. Click "Install Script" , this will display the source code with an alert, Click Install

13. On the menubar click the script icon: again, and confirm that muti is listed there with a tick next to it

14. Close down the window

15. Select muti > Convert to menuextra SSB

16. All done, now you have a desktop app for muti that looks good in the small window of fluid and it should look like this:

* Elements on the right side navigation bar on muti seems to be used for a lot of things like voting and logging in, since this was removed logging in will not work. Voting will still work since i catered for that in the java script. If for some reason you need to login again, deactivate the script, logon and reactivate it again.
* Windows users can use the same script, just replace fluid with mozilla prism (not tested)
* If you prefer the default page to be hot on step 2, just enter instead
* To refresh, right click and select reload
* Feel free to modify/customize the JS code
* Possible future features:
-Dock badge with the number of new submissions. Though this is not currently possible since there is no way to differentiate new items since the last refresh.
- Auto Refresh

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