Pyro Desktop is an interesting project I was fiddling with for some time. It is a novel approach in the whole desktop v/s web tussle. Pyro uses Mozilla Firefox as a platform to build your desktop. This enables it to run web content alongside the desktop applications.
Inside it is a compositing window manager. Or as Chris Toshok explains, it is a psuedo-compositing windows manager:
Pyro is a pseudo-compositing window manager/desktop environment. I say “pseudo-” because unlike compiz/beryl/metacity/xfce/etc, it doesn’t do the compositing itself. Instead, it reflects window contents into the firefox DOM as canvas elements, and firefox composites them as it does an HTML page. Simply put, pyro uses the X damage and composite extensions to turn firefox into your desktop. From there everything you can do to a dom element can be done to native window contents.
It is still at infancy stage and there will be more questions to solve, but the direction in which it is growing can very well give us the closest integration of Web and desktop by bringing Web to the desktop. When I read about it, I found it similar in goals to Parakey, which was recently acquired by Facebook.
What does this mean for the common man. If Pyro goes through it will erase the line between desktop and the Web. The RIAs will be able to run as natively as the desktop applications. This can simplify and increase productivity for the user.
The Mozilla Desktop Environment idea has appeared before, and I was scared of living out of the browser. However, I think Pyro takes it a level beyond that, it actually integrates the desktop and the web, by using a common window manager. What do you think?