Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bubbles are cool

3D3R, a small software studio in Israel led by Ohad Eder-Pressman and friends, is preaching for "good, simple and straight-to-the-point solutions". And guess what. This is what they actually deliver.

3D3R just released the first beta of Bubbles - a "Simplified, Stripped-Down & Straight-To-The-Point browser window, that is tailor-made for housing those cool Web apps".

I love Bubbles. It's such a simple, good idea.

The desktop we use was designed with the assumption that most of the apps we use are available on the desktop, and therefore, they can be minimized to the task bar, iconized into the system tray, right-clicked to provide a context-sensitive menu, etc.

But guess what. As more and more of the basic services we use are moving online into cool web apps, I find that a lot of my time is spent inside the browser's (tabbed, if lucky) window frame.

Bubbles bridges the gap between Windows desktop apps and web apps. It creates a small hosted-browser frame for a web site, which behaves pretty much like an independent Windows app.

The window is minimal - nothing but the actual web page, no toolbars, sidebars, status bars, etc. This window can be minimized to the task bar or the tray, uses the web site logo as its icon, and can provide its own context sensitive menu when right-clicked.

It's not perfect yet, but what was done, was done right. I'd love to see the option to have Back / Forward / Refresh buttons for sites that rely on them for functionality, a better task bar double-click logic, and a few other bits and bytes, but hey, it's the first beta release.

Small, simple, makes sense.

Technorati : , , , , , : , , , , ,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Web 2.0, kicking even harder

The local Web 2.0 scene is heating up. Following the Gemini Internet event on January, the informal lunch with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington two weeks ago was another trigger in getting us Israeli web entrepreneurs talking to each other, and trying to form local "support groups". The lunch event was covered in a TechCrunch post (see also Valleywag's slightly different interpretation :), and later by the local Ilana Tamir on the Nana portal (Hebrew. I was interviewed for this one).

Another nice development is the introduction of (Hebrew), by Yaron Orenstein and Yemi Glick, both internet veterans. ("" is Israeli commercial domain name, equivalent to .com). is an independent blog aiming to cover the local 'net-related initiatives - existing and new. It's young (3 days old...) and fresh and looking good!

Plus, Google is opening its first Middle East R&D center in Haifa, Israel. Yes, things are heating up.

By the way, "Valley" in Hebrew is emek, and "Silicon" is tzoran. This knowledge may be useful one day :)

Technorati : , , , , , , : , , , , , ,