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Mozilla Labs opens umbrella with Raindrop prototype

Conflab aggregator shuns Internet Explorer

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Mozilla Labs has released a prototype conversation aggregator and Web 2.0-style communications platform for Firefox, Safari and Chrome users.

The experimental open source tool, which altogether snubs Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, has been dubbed “Raindrop”.

Mozilla said it hoped the prototype would “explore new ways to use open web technologies to create useful, compelling messaging experiences.”

The tool allows users to grab conversations from email, Twitter, blogs and other social networking sites.

“Raindrop uses a mini web server to fetch your conversations from different sources (mail, twitter, RSS feeds), intelligently pulls out the important parts, and allows you to interact with them using your favorite modern web browser (Firefox, Safari or Chrome),” it said.

Anyone interested in writing extensions that use standard open web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS, can tinker with the code here.

Mozilla effectively hopes to build a one-stop-shop communications platform that allows users to have a single point of entry for messages and personal data.

“When a friend’s link from YouTube or flickr arrives, your messaging client should be able to show the video or photos near or as part of the message, rather than rudely kicking you over to a separate browser tab,” it said.

“Notifications from computers and mailing lists should be organised for you, not clutter your inbox or require tedious manual filter setup. It should be easy to smoothly integrate new web services into your conversation viewer entirely using open web technologies.” ®

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