I tend to avoid web apps because I don’t like having my apps stuck in a tab in a web browser. This makes it hard to command+tab to the app and impossible to assign that app to a particular space. I don’t use GMail but if I did I’m pretty sure I’d be using Mailplane to access it. Fluid is not as advanced as Mailplane but it does allow most webapps to be liberated from your browser.

[tags]Fluid, web applications[/tags]

You enter a URL and a name and specify an icon and a location and Fluid will create a custom application for your webapp. It does this using WebKit so each of these apps is really just a dedicated browser window but without the address bar and menubars and with its own dock icon. This lets you command+tab to the web app and also assign the web app to a particular space.

Fluid is not perfect. When a webapp tried to leave the domain it starts in Fluid interprets that as a call to an external URL and opens the page in your default browser. This is great when you’re using Fluid to access web mail because when you click a link in your mail you end up in your browser just like you would with a regular desktop mail client. However, when I tried to set up Flickr as a Fluid App it wouldn’t work because Flickr redirects to yahoo to deal with your login.

Despite this one flaw I still live Fluid and have a few custom applications set up with it.