The widget environment of the day….

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.

Widgets families

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
VistaWidgets? ? Java Script? Dekstop+Browser

The obvious trend is about HTML+Java Script, with an execution environment being able to execute widget both on Desktop and within Browser.

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