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07 June 2011, 10:22

Webian Shell brings full screen browsing

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Webian Shell Logo Mozilla community member and Chromeless project contributor Ben Francis has announced the release of version 0.1 of the Webian Shell, a full screen web browser aimed at devices that don't require a desktop. In a post on the project's blog, Francis says that "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."

The Webian Shell is built on Chromeless, an open source Mozilla Labs project that allows developers to build desktop applications using standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The initial 0.1 release of the Webian Shell provides users with a minimalist, full screen, tabbed web browser with a clock. Francis says that he hopes that the first prototype will be enough to convey the basic idea behind the project and interest new developers from the open source community in helping the project with future versions.

Zoom The Webian Shell makes the browser and web apps "first class citizens"
Current ideas for future versions of the Webian Shell include home screens using Mozilla's Web Apps project for inspiration; hardware controls that can access things like system audio or networking; a zoomable tiled window manager; and a split screen feature to view two pages side-by-side. An on-screen keyboard for touchscreen devices, such as tablets, is also being looked into.

Version 0.1 of the Webian Shell is considered to be at a prototype stage of development and, as such, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.

Further information about the Webian Shell, including a short video, can be found in a post on the Mozilla Labs Chromeless blog by Francis and on Version 0.1 of the Webian Shell is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's web site. Users can follow @WebianProject on Twitter for updates.

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