It’s no secret GTalk client is for Windows only. Linux and Mac users have so far sought out other IM alternatives thanks to GTalk using Jabber protocol for their IM client. I use openSuSE 10.3 as my primary desktop and have had trouble getting some of the excellent IM clients like Pidgin to work behind a proxy.
Thanks to GChat in Gmail, I have been able to use IM even if it has to be within Gmail. I even used a Greasemonkey script for Gmail 2.0 to alert me with the tab flashing when there is a new IM. However, I did find this a little annoying to keep going back to Gmail to check on IM messages. Because, everytime I go into Gmail to see IM messages, I would also end up checking my Inbox and before I know 20-30 minutes would have vanished. This kind of goes against my goal of trying to increase productivity with all these web apps and hacks.
You’d think I’d be content at this point. Not.
Run Google Talk (GTalk) gadget with Mozilla Prism
Mozilla Prism released their 0.9 version last week and I am smitten by the usefulness of it. If you haven’t heard of it, check out my Mozilla Prism review. In that post, I also show how you can run it from behind a proxy at work or school. Since it’s a beta version and a work in progress, they don’t have a straightforward setting for proxy in it’s options yet.
If you don’t want to click over, Prism is a prototype from Mozilla Labs which lets you split your web applications from the web and run it in your desktop as a standalone application. They even allow separate profiles for each Prism app which means you can have multiple Gmail accounts open in different Prism web apps in your desktop.
I have taken this idea and created a Prism web app for the Google Talk gadget and now I have a GTalk client like app running standalone in my desktop! Some of the best gadgets out there for sure.
Here’s how you do it:
- Install Mozilla Prism – Windows, Mac & Linux installers (v0.9 at the time of writing)
- Create a new web app with url https://talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/client
- Give it a name and choose to save it on desktop
- You are done!
If you are a Mac or a Linux user, you can now run GTalk standalone in your computer with Mozilla Prism. If you are already using Firefox 3, with this Prism Firefox extension you can just open this url (or any other web app) in Firefox 3 and then directly create a desktop application for GTalk right from your browser.
I see that Prism has an option to install extensions. It doesn’t look like it’ll accept Firefox extensions as it complains that they are not compatible. I even tried turning off compatibility checking but didn’t have much success. I would love to hear if someone has succeeded installing extensions with Prism as that would open up a whole new world of options to these Prism web apps. I am sure it will be obvious in the coming releases. But, I want to make it work today!
GTalk makes it the fourth web app I run in my Linux desktop with Prism after Gmail, Google Reader and Remember the Milk.
What other web application do you see yourself running on your desktop with Mozilla Prism besides these cool gadgets?