October 13th, 2008 — Tags: desktop, linux, Technology, widgets
Back in 2003 when I still had enough time to follow up on the latest Linux applications, there was a new tool (or toolkit) developed called Karamba. It aimed to bring desktop widget functionality to KDE on Linux. Soon there was a new application called Superkaramba that improved on the old application and got a lot of attention. Curious as I was, I downloaded it, compiled it and was soon running it on my desktop.
Looks like the idea of using desktop widgets was catching on at the time. At the same time there was an application called Konfabulator (which got bought out by Yahoo and is now called Yahoo! Widgets). When I started working and was forced back on Windows, I started using konfabulator and liked it quite a lot. At around the same time Mac OS X had an application called Dashboard, which did all the things the other two were aiming for. With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft entered the field and released native widgets called Gadgets. The final development – as far as my exposure lets me believe – was the development of Plasma in the new version KDE. There is also one other player in this game that introduced its own version of widgets. Google created the desktop search back in 2004, and soon after added a sidebar with gadgets and other plugins. As one would guess, these gadgets performed the same general tasks as all the other flavours and aimed to provide the same solutions.
I this article I will try and review each of these implementations both from a user perspective. Part 2 will carry reviews from a developer’s point of view.
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