Saturday, March 25, 2006

Website as WallPaper

I caught wind of this on the O'Reilly Mac site. WebDesktop is an interesting app, that's been around for awhile, but not updated in a couple of years. What it does it put a window in the background that can display either a URL address, or an html file. You can maximize the window of WebDesktop to take up your entire screen, then put it in the background. Clicking on the background won't make it active - you have to actually select the icon in the doc, or Command+TAB to select the program. This allows you to do the normal things you usually do on the desktop without fussing with the background website. You can also choose to have the URL update at periodic intervals. And you can also adjust the opacity of the window.

This is an interesting program, and my only quibble seems to be the way it handles RSS feeds. Pasting the Safari RSS URL into WebDesktop opens the RSS feed in Safari itself. This also seems to happen when you click on a link in an active WebDesktop window. It would be wicked cool if this app could open other app windows up in the background - NetNews Wire would be an excellent background that would update itself. I'm also wondering what the screen background would be best or least distracting. My wavy blue pattern is visible still behind the WebDesktop window... I also wonder about screen burn in - so it would be cool to have a way to change between URLs automatically.

In any case, this is a neat toy, and I can see folks using it to check their webmail accounts or other frequently updated content sites.

Hasta la pasta....

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