A site-specific browser (SSB) is a software application that is dedicated to accessing pages from a single source (site) on a computer network such as the Internet or a private intranet. SSBs typically simplify the more complex functions of a web browser by excluding the menus, toolbars and browser chrome associated with functions that are external to the workings of a single site.
Site-specific browsers are often implemented through the use of existing application frameworks such as the Apple Computer developed, now open source WebKit, Microsoft Corporation's IE (the underlying engines, specifically Trident and JScript) and the Mozilla application framework. SSBs built upon these frameworks allow web applications and social networking tools to start with desktop icons and double click launching in a manner similar to standard non-network applications. Other technologies including Adobe's AIR use specialized development kits that can create cross-platform SSBs.
An early example of an SSB was MacDICT, a Macintosh OS 9 application that accessed various web sites to define, translate or find synonyms for words typed into a text box. A more current example is WeatherBug Desktop, which is a standalone client accessing information also available at the weatherbug.com website but configured to display real-time weather data for a user-specified location.
On 2 September 2008, the Google Chrome web browser was released for Windows operating systems. Although Chrome is a full featured browser using a WebKit based engine, it also contains a "Create application shortcut menu item that adds the ability to create a stand alone SSB window for any site. This is similar to Mozilla Prism, formerly known as WebRunner which is available as an add-on to the Firefox browser.
Examples of applications of SSBs in various situations include:
The following sites offer software or discussions that are helpful in developing personal or business SSB applications:
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Jul 08, 2004; KELLEY BOUCHARD Staff Writer Staff Writer Mark Peters contributed to this report. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 07-08-2004...