Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Gadget Development

Developing for Dashboard is nothing like developing for Konfabulator. There was almost zero chance that I would develop a a widget for Konfabulator. I’d have to learn a completely new platform, and anyone who wanted to use my widget would have to buy a license for that platform’s runtime. Dashboard gadgets, on the other hand, are Web pages. I already know HTML and CSS, and I have a collection of tools for working with them. The runtime is free. If I want to use Cocoa or Java, I can do that, too. John Gruber says:

In terms of attracting hobbyist-level developers, Dashboard is going to be an order of magnitude more approachable than Cocoa application development. If you know HTML and CSS, you can design a gadget layout. If you know JavaScript, you can program a gadget.

I can’t think of any possible way that gadget development could be based on something that would enable more Mac nerds to get up and running writing their own gadgets.

The Konfabulator developers are in an unfortunate situation, partially of their own making, but what’s getting lost in that coverage is that the Mac is now a platform for writing client-side Web applications.

2 Comments

Dave Hyatt has blogged another Dashboard post. Here: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/hyatt/archives/2004_06.html#005887

He draws insperation from the web browser side panels. Apple is looking to the net to make better desktop applications.

Chris Gervais

...but what’s getting lost in that coverage is that the Mac is now a platform for writing client-side Web applications.

Yes! Hopefully Apple will complete the value proposition by beefing up their support for Web Services and making SOAP calls easy to perform within the Dashboard framework. From an enterprise perspective, being able to tap into the growing number of internal Web Services to easily create lightweight applications really gives new meaning to the "dashboard" concept.

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