Yahoo Adds to BrowserPlus Web Technology

Yahoo has released an advanced version of its BrowserPlus Web development technology, enabling developers to use it on their own Web sites for better in-browser uploading and desktop notifications.

BrowserPlus offers a plugin framework for building Web applications that contain desktop capabilities; the browser programming environment can be extended with JavaScript APIs to access desktop facilities. An update to the freely available platform was released late last week.

In a blog detailing the improvements, Lloyd Hilaiel, a member of the BrowserPlus team at Yahoo, cited drag-and-drop capabilities for files and folders.

"What's better about the upload? To start, it's easier for end-users to select the files they want to upload," Hilaiel said."You can drag and drop files or folders directly into your Web browser. An enhanced 'File Browse' implementation supports file multi-select as well as folder select."

Desktop notifications in BrowserPlus offer Web sites an unobtrusive hook to inform users about important events or content changes, Hilaiel said.

For the uploading of photos, Yahoo has added a component to manipulate images on the client before uploading. "Once the content is selected and the image is ready to upload, our service includes a progress bar that shows accurate upload progress," said Hilaiel.

This release adds backing for the Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 6 and 7, and Firefox 3 browsers. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 with Intel processors and also on Windows Vista and XP.

Other new capabilities include client-side storage and "playful" support for motion sensors on specific laptops.

BrowserPlus was described by a Yahoo representative as an attempt to make time spent in the browser more efficient and fun. It is focused on making Web plug-ins easier and safer to develop and use. Yahoo has set up an online developer center for BrowserPlus.

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