Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Konfabulator, Kapsules and Dashboard

In the news: Yahoo! buys Konfabulator.

Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine for Windows and Mac OS X that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to. Widgets can be alarm clocks, calculators, can tell you your WiFi signal strength, will fetch the latest stock quotes for your preferred symbols, and even give your current local weather.

I checked out their widgets which reminded me of MacOSX Dashboard. However, I was unable to install Konfabulator on my machine as the setup failed due to the fact that I do not have admin privileges on it (the setup insists on installing Konfabulator for all users on the machine).

Anyways, I stumbled upon Kapsules (I don't remember how). Kapsules is like Konfabulator, but since it uses the Microsoft Active Scripting Engine, which is a part of Windows, one can write widgets in a lot of scripting languages.

I think Dashboard, Konfabulator and Kapsules simply rock, and the idea that they embody (XML based GUI markup) would do to desktop application development what happened to web application development by allowing people who are graphic artists (PhotoShop hackers) to play a greater role in determining the look and feel of an application than ever before, leading to applications with fantastic GUIs.


Abhimanyu said...

Cool Stuff...have you installed Kapsules?

Sid said...

Yup, I've installed Kapsules version Since the widgets tend to take up some screen real-estate, and I have a dual-mon setup I have just the Analog clock widget and Stickies Notes widget running.

Sid said...

I meant to say that I do not have a dual-monitor setup on my machine.

Neel said...

I downloaded the konfabulator the day i read the news about yahoo acquisition :) i saw its basic widgets, pretty kool stuff.

However, I havnt got the time to figure out the widget for my purpose specifically like small dashboard for my shares. I also want to figure bout how easily I can customize or create new widgets so that I can make use of them some where in the company's projetc etc. etc.

Sid said...

Integrating some widgets with some of the software used internally at my company was one of the things that caught my fancy too. I integrated a Kapsules Search widget with our internal request system. I am also thinking of scrapping all the requests assigned to me into an RSS file and using an RSS reader widget to display them. Fun!