I am using the TLG on a daily basis for my research. I ‘ve bookmarked the entry URL on my browser (Safari for Mac OS X) and normally have one or more tabs or windows simultaneously open. My issue with this: I tend to close down tabs or windows while browsing the web, following URL’s from other sites, checking my gmail account, or (yes, I am doomed to distraction) peeking through to Facebook and Twitter.
What I ‘ve decided to do in order to manage my use of the TLG better is to give Prism from Mozilla Labs a try. Prism is available as a Firefox Extension or a separate application for you to download. What it does is quite simple and ingenious: a browser that runs one and only one specified URL. This is what the only window of the application looks like after downloading it, copying to your hard disk and running it:
Put your bookmarked TLG URL in the URL box, give it a name in the field below, decide whether the application that will be created will behave like a webpage or not and, finally, tell Prism where to put your TLG application. I decided to have it placed on my desktop. Once I run the newly created «TLG.app», log myself in and go to the TLG’s «Simple Search», it looks like this:
Note that you (of course) still need to be connected to the Internet for the TLG.app to work. Prism simply creates an application around an existing webpage. No internet connection, no TLG.app.
There is of course one (potentially serious) downturn to this approach. You can’t have multiple TLG windows open (but pop-up windows will work) nor have you access to the usual menus of your browser (but you can copy text via the right mouse button, if you have one, or the usual command-X keyboard shortcut). You can tweak the font used by the TLG.app (my preference is Gentium) by choosing the Preferences (click on the wheel at the lower left corner of the TLG.app window). This solution is thought as a boost to productivity; the TLG.app is actually crisper on my MacBook Pro than the original Firefox browser. Maybe because it doesn’t have to handle History, Bookmarks, Extensions and the rest but concentrates on one thing: Bringing the power of the web (or the TLG in this case) to your desktop.
Mac OS X users have an alternative to Prism: Fluid has the same functionality but uses WebKit (i.e. Safari) to create the web-specific app you require.