Reference: Replacing Mozilla Prism for Site-Specific Browsing on Linux

Mozilla briefly offered a little program called Prism that let you build a site-specific browser (SSB): a browser with a stripped-down interface that is intended for interacting with one particular site. The idea is that if you plan to stay entirely on one site during a browsing session, nowadays you often don’t really need the location bar, back and forward buttons, history, etc. This may sound silly, but I’ve found stripped-down SSB interfaces much nicer than those of regular browsers, when they’re appropriate.

Mozilla says it’s dropped Prism in favor of a project called Chromeless. Unfortunately Chromeless seems to have very different goals, and it appears to have no support at all for saying, “Please make an SSB for this webpage now.” The development of Chromeless has also been very slow recently. Meanwhile, Prism isn’t entirely compatible with Firefox 3 and above, which has been bad news for my SSB-loving self.

I’ve looked into this a bit, and it turns out that with recent versions of Firefox, the capabilities of the old Prism can be emulated. I’ve done this on Linux, but similar approaches ought to be workable on other OSes. The limitations that I know of are:

That being said, here are the instructions for replacing Mozilla Prism on a Linux system.