During the Widget2.0 conference, Fox , the parent company of MySpace, just announced the launch of a new widget platform, based in Flash: SpringWidget
Well, another new platform! I see one issue with Flash widget from the content creation side: they requires a paying authoring tool (Flash from Adobe) and alternative are not really mature. Again, a good tool for designer, but not so easy to use for most of average users, as it require a learning curve (longer than HTML?).
W3C to standardize Widgets?
In the same time, the W3C started a draft about Widget Of course, from what I can see it will be totally incompatible with this new platform! The scope of this draft is very limited for now, and mainly speek about description of the widget itself. So it’s unclear how far this will go, and if some topic like cross widget communications, user preferences saving, authentification, access to native functions will be adressed.
In order to have a better view about the widget landscape, I’ve tried to find whath are the major difference between the various engines/implementations…
|Name||Rendering engine||Scripting language||Execution framework|
|Googe Gadgetl||HTMLbased||Java Script||Desktop+Browser|
|Yahoo!Widget||Custom XML based||Java Script||Desktop|
|Opera Widget||HTML based||Java Script||Browser+Desktop|
|Dashboard||HTML based||Java Script||Desktop (+Browser?)|
|Spring Widget||Flash||Action Script (ECMA Based)||Desktop+Browser|
The obvious trend is about HTML+Java Script, with an execution environment being able to execute widget both on Desktop and within Browser.