Comparison of widget engines

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This is a comparison of widget engines. This article is not about widget toolkits that are used in computer programming to build graphical user interfaces.

Contents

General

Widget engines that are discontinued are marked in a different color.

Engine Creator Current Version License
adesklets Sylvain Fourmanoit 0.6.1 GPL
Adobe AIR Adobe Systems 1.5 Adobe AIR EULA
AveDesk Andreas Verhoeven 1.3 Donationware
Dashboard Apple Computer Template:Latest stable release/Dashboard Part of Mac OS X since version 10.4
DesktopX Stardock 3.5 Shareware
gDesklets Martin Grimme and Christian Meyer 0.36 GPL
Google Desktop Gadgets Google 5.0.0701.18382 Freeware
Template:Rh2 | Kapsules Andrew Powell 0.9.9 Freeware
KlipFolio Serence 5.0D Freeware
Microsoft Gadgets Microsoft ? Part of Windows Vista
NetFront Access Co. Ltd. 3.5
Netvibes Netvibes 1.0 Free API
Opera Opera Software Template:Latest stable software release/Opera Freeware
Plasma KDE (Aaron Seigo, main developer) 4.3 GPL
Screenlets Rico Pfaus (AKA RYX) 0.1.2 GPL
Serious Samurize Gustaf & Oscar Lundh 1.64 Semi-free software
SuperKaramba Hans Karlsson 0.39 GPL
WebKit Apple Computer  ? Freeware
WidSets Nokia ? Freeware
Yahoo! Widgets Ed Voas, Michael Galloway, and Sam Magnuson Template:Refun 4.5.1 Freeware
Engine Creator Current Version License
  • ^  The Yahoo! Widgets was originally released by Arlo Rose and Ed Voas as Konfabulator. The name was changed several months after Yahoo! acquired the software in July 2005.

Operating system support

Engine Mac OS X Windows XP Windows Vista Linux
adesklets No No No Yes
Adobe AIR Yes Yes Yes Yes
AveDesk No Yes Yes No
Dashboard Yes No No NoTemplate:Refun
DesktopX No Yes Yes No
gDesklets NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun Yes
Google Desktop Gadgets Yes Yes Yes Yes
Template:Rh2 | Kapsules No Yes ? No
KlipFolio No Yes Yes No
Microsoft Gadgets No No Yes No
NetFront NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun
Netvibes Dashboard bridge Using browser Using browser Using browser
Opera Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes
Screenlets No No No Yes
Serious Samurize No Yes YesTemplate:Refun No
SuperKaramba NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun Yes
WebKit ? ? ? ?
WidSets NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun NoTemplate:Refun
Yahoo! Widgets Yes Yes Yes No
Engine Mac OS X Windows XP Windows Vista Linux
  • ^  As for the next major version the gDesklets' developers are planning to support Windows XP and Mac OS X.
  • ^  Early versions of Windows Sidebar have been successfully ported to Windows XP, though this activity is forbidden under the EULA.
  • ^  The current version of Samurize (1.64.2) runs on Vista but there are a few minor issues that need to be worked out, such as security dialog prompts.
  • ^  Google Desktop for Linux requires an additional download (Google Gadgets for Linux) to run Google Desktop Gadgets.
  • ^  WidSets is for mobiles and runs on the Java MIDP 2.0 platform
  • ^ NetFront is a Mobile browser, which is also preinstalled on the PSP, and on the PlayStation 3.

Technical

Languages

What programming languages the engines support. Most engines rely upon interpreted languages.

Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable
adesklets No No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Adobe AIRTemplate:Refun Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ?
AveDeskTemplate:Refun No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
Dashboard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes YesTemplate:Refun YesTemplate:Refun
DesktopX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes
gDeskletsTemplate:RefunTemplate:RefunTemplate:Refun No No No Yes No No Yes No No No
Google Desktop Gadgets ? ? ? Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Template:Rh2 | KapsulesTemplate:Refun ? ? ? ? No Yes Yes No ? ?
KlipFolio No No YesTemplate:Refun Yes Yes No No No No No
Microsoft Gadgets Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes (as ActiveX) Yes
NetFrontTemplate:Refun Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Netvibes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
OperaTemplate:Refun Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Screenlets ? ? ? ? No No Yes No ? ?
Serious SamurizeTemplate:RefunTemplate:Refun No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SuperKaramba ? ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes ?
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
WidSets ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Yahoo! WidgetsTemplate:Refun Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No NoTemplate:Refun
Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable
  • ^  AveDesk can be extended using AveScripter, which supports plugins written with XML and Javascript, extended using CSS.
  • ^  Widgets for Kapsules and Serious Samurize can be written in any scripting language for which there is an ActiveScript engine, including PHP, JScript, VBScript and Ruby.
  • ^  This is only relevant for Opera's and NetFront's extensions; the web browsers themself support HTML, CSS and others.
  • ^  Samurize supports DLLs compiled with C++, Delphi, PowerBASIC, and FreeBasic, among others. HTML/XML/CSS support can be added by using certain plugins.
  • ^  Yahoo! Widget Engine supports Perl and Python indirectly through the use of the shell, provided that the interpreters are installed on the machine (on Mac OS X, they are by default).
  • ^  gDesklets might support Perl scripting through PyPerl [1] in the next major version.
  • ^  The next major version of gDesklets will support Yahoo! Widgets. Thus, JavaScript support will be included, too.
  • ^  gDesklets will provide some CSS like dialect in the next major version.
  • ^  KlipFolio supports custom styles using CSS syntax.
  • ^  Yahoo! Widgets can interface with COM (windows) or AppleScript (Mac OS)
  • ^  Dashboard uses a technology called Cocoa Plugins.This allows for Objective-C code to be used through the plugin. The plugin is written with Cocoa and is compiled.
  • ^ Widgets for Adobe Air can also be programmed in Adobe Flash, and Actionscript.

Formats and Development

Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
adesklets ? ? ?
Adobe AIR Flex Builder 3, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4 ZIP application/vnd.adobe.air-application-installer-package+zip
AveDesk AveScripter ZIP ?
Dashboard Dashcode ZIP application/x-macbinary
DesktopX Desktop X Pro EXE ?
gDesklets No Tar.gz ?
Google Desktop Gadgets Google Desktop Gadget Designer ZIP app/gg
Template:Rh2 | Kapsules ? ZIP ?
KlipFolio No Proprietary XML Format ?
Microsoft Gadgets NoTemplate:Refun ZIP application/x-windows-gadget
NetFront No ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Netvibes No Online ?
Opera Opera Dragonfly ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Plasma No ZIP, with plasmoid as extension instead of zip ?
Screenlets No Tar.gz ?
Serious Samurize Serious Samurize Config Editor ZIP ?
SuperKaramba No Tar.gz ?
WebKit No ? ?
WidSets ? ? ?
Yahoo! Widgets NoTemplate:Refun Proprietary Format, ZIP application/vnd.yahoo.Widget
Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
  • ^ Microsoft Gadget have documentation, but no IDE to aid development.
  • ^ Yahoo! Widgets have documentation, but no IDE to aid development.

Development Tools

As widgets are largely combinations of HTML or XHTML, CSS, and Javascript in most cases, standard AJAX tools, such as Eclipse ATF, can be used for development. Specialized tools may give access to additional capabilities supplied by frameworks such as Dojo or Openrico.

References

Personal tools

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