Thursday, June 23, 2005

Konfabulator comes to Windows!

(note: not exactly news--only that I've just noticed it...)

With all that talk about OS X Tiger and its fabulous Dashboard (and yes, I've installed it on my iBook), PC users can now enjoy some widgetty fun with Konfabulator 2.0, now available for Windows XP/2000. I've only got the few I actually use running on my PC (below)--the moon is a "werewolf monitor" (shows the phase of the moon).
Incidentally, when Tiger/Dashboard was first unveiled last year, there was some unhappiness expressed by the creators of Konfabulator (Macworld News, June 29, 2004):
When Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's next generation operating system, Mac OS X Tiger, at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday, many of the new features were met with applause and cheers from the crowd. But one new feature, Dashboard, generated an equal amount controversy for the company as Apple demoed a feature that many onlookers claim share many similarities to a shareware application called Konfabulator.

Arlo Rose and Perry Clarke developed Konfabulator, which is a JavaScript runtime engine for Mac OS X that lets you run files called Widgets. Widgets can do pretty much anything you want them to, according to the developers, from simple utilities like alarm clocks to games to AirPort signal strength, stock quote grabs and more.
Arlo Rose has this to say:
"It doesn't make any sense to me," Arlo Rose, the developer of Konfabulator, told MacCentral. "Why would a company piss off a developer whose whole purpose is to try to get more people to come to this company's platform by doing cool things? If this is what they do with the products they think are the best, then why would anyone have any reason to develop more cool stuff? I certainly don't."
Some people, however, disagree with the claim that Dashboard is just a rip-off of Konfabulator. Whatever the case, Widgets have come to Windoes. Not that similar things have not always existed--for example, Active Desktop, which has existed since Internet Explorer 4.0/Windows 98.

update: Konfabulator reviewed at Ars Technica.

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