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Google Gadgets Join Dashboard Widgets As KDE Plasmoids 28

Balinares writes "As another sign of Google's growing interest in the Linux desktop, according to a Google developer, the Linux implementation of Google Gadgets will be able to run natively as KDE Plasmoids. After Mac OS X Dashboard widgets, this is the second major widget library to be supported in KDE Plasma."
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Google Gadgets Join Dashboard Widgets As KDE Plasmoids

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  • The developer's name is Dong Tiger.
  • I use an Apple PowerBook G4 all day, and I rarely bring up Dashboard. Sometimes I will bring up Dictionary or PCalc, but usually I will use an application instead. Do others find widgets useful? What are they?
    • I've learned to hate them.

      When they first came out, they seemed to bring up their last state, and then update ... so you'd have a weather widget, and it'd show you 2 day old weather when you brought it up until it got its update. Now, it shows a blank widget, and doesn't seem to give you control until it's updated. Needless to say, this makes the calculator widget useless when I'm flying and it refuses to give me control until its update times out.

      I'd love to find a way to disable it completely, so it doe
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mccalli ( 323026 )
      Do others find widgets useful? What are they?

      Yep - I use the converter several times a day, I use the Tube travel status (London Underground) map to check things before leaving and I use four instances of the clock widget to track time in the various zones I need to interact with.

    • Re:Usefulness? (Score:4, Informative)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:05PM (#23683121)

      Do others find widgets useful? What are they?

      Now that Widgets are fast to appear and disappear (after the first load) and no longer suck (resources constantly) I find myself using a number of them. Many are default widgets even:

      • Business - yellowpages, being able to get the closest indian food delivery and make the number giant on my screen is really convenient. It's even faster than opening a new tab and using the Web.
      • People - whitepages, nice and quick. I used this to find someone's phone number the other day when I found their wallet.
      • Simpletimer - just to set a timer and get notified. This is great for lunch in 20 minutes type things.
      • Unit Converter - quick way to convert units, nice around the house or when I'm somewhere without internet access.
      • Weather - a nice, quick weather report and forecast including radar images.

      Sure I could run separate applications for all these, but they are lightweight and pulling them all up with a key and dismissing them just as quickly is pretty convenient. I basically think of Widgets as a single, customizable, catch-all application that keeps my dock less cluttered.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Oops, I forgot an important one. TheDailyGrind is great for tracking how much time you're putting in on different projects. It is essential for a contractor with multiple jobs and good for accounting for your time at a regular job too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        You can make any and all widgets fast to appear and disappear on linux by using compiz with the desktop widgets layer plugin. You can specify windows by the usual rules (class, title, et cetera) and they get snarfed into that layer and no longer appear anywhere else. This is a minor annoyance, because it doesn't offer an option to automatically switch to the widget layer when specific programs are launched. This would be nice, so that for example when you launch the gdesklets config app (which I have set to

    • I find most of them useless but

      I have weather, calendar, a couple of sticky notes, and an airport monitor. The airport monitor is the best lightest weight one I have come across and displays quite a bit of info about available wireless in range, without loading up a more capable app.
    • by DrOct ( 883426 )
      I use a widget on dashboard to check local weather conditions/forcasts fairly often (I use a third party widget that gives me conditions at a site near my house rather than the one OSX comes with which is somewhat less accurate). I use the calculator fair often, and it can be a decent way to check movie times when you want to do that. There are also some widgets that are hooked up to RSS feeds, though I dont' use those too much anymore. Finally there is the Hypnotoad widget. All glory to the Hypnotoad!
    • The only Dashboard widgets I ever use are the weather report, and the flight tracker, but that's obviously only when I need to track a flight, which isn't often.

      I don't like the way Dashboard works. For using a calculator, I find it much more useful to just put in the dock. If the Dashboard were implemented more in the manner of Gnome/KDE panels, or into the top menu bar (like, click the little flight tracker icon, or calculator icon, or whatever in the menu bar to activate the widget to po
      • Re:Usefulness? (Score:4, Informative)

        by lbbros ( 900904 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:11PM (#23686703) Homepage

        'd certainly make use of it. I haven't seen Plasma, but if they're copying Dashboard in any way I'll probably be avoid that too, if I ever bother with KDE 4.

        For clarity's sake, notice that the goal of Plasma is far more ambitious than Dashboard. Plasmoids/Applets (native Plasma widgets) are meant to interact with the rest of the desktop. They can be used to stay pretty there, but also to actually carry out tasks (the part that displays folders on the desktop is an applet itself. Applets can be grouped in containers (containments; even the panel/taskbar is one of them), and some of these containers can be used to separate the desktop into different "activities" that can be accessed by zooming out of a containment and in in another.

        Hope this puts things into perspective.

        Disclaimer: I'm neither a KDE nor a Plasma developer, just one of the contributors of the FAQ.

    • * They're more portable - they run in Windows or OS X.
      * They have MUCH less overhead. Some dashboard widgets have a CPU% in the double digets while Dashboard is open!
      * They're not constrained to the dashboard.

      I have a feeling that part of the reason that Apple stuck their widgets on the dashboard was because the overhead of webkit doing AJAXy things to try and look lickable is so high. The layout engine Konfabulator introduced is much lighter weight. Whatever the reason, I found I was never using the Dashbo
    • by MrCoke ( 445461 )
      I view my favourite cartoons in Web Clips.

      Very neat, very easy.
    • Now that im all graduated, i can bitch and moan about this without fear of repercussions....

      Dashboard widgets are a pain to have to work with in a school environment where the kids use buggy, crapwaredgets that do things as varied and useful as poorly simulating a basketball game, or poorly simulating an actual implementation of the breakout concept, or just being stupid and cluttering the screen. it all amounts to situations where the teacher will attempt to access the somewhat useful default functionalit

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )
      In KDE4 with simple shortcuts for show plasmoids and got rid of the taskbar ect.

      I hope to use an extra mouse button so that is is a mouse only thing (if I am moving the mouse anyway, my hand is there).

      Being able to mouse button access to my start button, a few key folders, and whatever else will be great (as it seems, even using the keyboard).

      This is different than the dashboard that doesn't actually save screen space.
  • According to the Plasma FAQ only pure HTML Dashboard Widgets can run as Plasmoids. This is not surprising :) but do keep it in mind.
    • I believe the OS X Widgets and the Google Gears widgets are being called via JS for this reason.
      • by argent ( 18001 )
        I'm not sure what you're getting at.

        Pure HTML Widgets use Javascript for their active content, of course. The point is that Widgets that contain non-JS scripts or native code will, as one might expect, not run as plasmoids.

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