Comparison of widget engines

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This is a comparison of widget engines. This article is not about widget toolkits that are used in computer programming to build graphical user interfaces.

General[edit]

Widget engines that are discontinued are marked in a different color.

Engine Creator Current Version License
adesklets Sylvain Fourmanoit 0.6.1 GPL
Adobe AIR Adobe Systems 1.5 Proprietary
AveDesk Andreas Verhoeven 1.3 Proprietary
Dashboard Apple Inc. 1.8 (July 20, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-07-20)) [±] Proprietary
DesktopX Stardock 3.5 Proprietary
gDesklets Martin Grimme and Christian Meyer 0.36 GPL
Google Desktop Gadgets Google 5.0.0701.18382 Proprietary
Kapsules Andrew Powell 0.9.9 Proprietary
KlipFolio Serence 5.0D Proprietary
Microsoft Gadgets Microsoft ? Proprietary
NetFront Access Co. Ltd. 3.5
Netvibes Netvibes 1.0 Proprietary
Opera Opera Software
Windows, OS X

20.0.1387.91 (April 2, 2014; 16 days ago (2014-04-02)[1]) [±]

Linux, FreeBSD

12.16 (July 4, 2013; 9 months ago (2013-07-04)[2]) [±]

Proprietary
Plasma KDE (Aaron Seigo, main developer) 4.13 (April 16, 2014; 2 days ago (2014-04-16)) [±][3] GPL
Screenlets Rico Pfaus (AKA RYX) 0.1.5 GPL
Serious Samurize Gustaf & Oscar Lundh 1.64 Proprietary
SuperKaramba Hans Karlsson 0.39 GPL
WebKit Apple Inc.  ? BSD+LGPL
WidSets Nokia ? Proprietary
Yahoo! Widgets Ed Voas, Michael Galloway, and Sam Magnuson [Note 1] 4.5.2 Proprietary
Engine Creator Current Version License
  1. ^ The Yahoo! Widgets was originally released by Arlo Rose and Ed Voas as Konfabulator. The name was changed several months after Yahoo! acquired the software in July 2005.

Operating system support[edit]

Engine Mac OS X Windows XP Windows Vista Linux
adesklets No No No Yes
Adobe AIR Yes Yes Yes Yes
AveDesk No Yes Yes No
Dashboard Yes No No No
DesktopX No Yes Yes No
gDesklets No[Note 1] No[Note 1] No[Note 1] Yes
Google Desktop Gadgets Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kapsules No Yes ? No
KlipFolio No Yes Yes No
Microsoft Gadgets No No Yes No
NetFront No[Note 2] No[Note 2] No[Note 2] No[Note 2]
Netvibes Dashboard bridge Using browser Using browser Using browser
Opera Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes
Screenlets No No No Yes
Serious Samurize No Yes Yes[Note 3] No
SuperKaramba No No No Yes
WebKit ? ? ? ?
WidSets No[Note 4] No[Note 4] No[Note 4] No[Note 4]
Yahoo! Widgets Yes Yes Yes No
Engine Mac OS X Windows XP Windows Vista Linux
  1. ^ a b c As for the next major version the gDesklets' developers are planning to support Windows XP and Mac OS X.
  2. ^ a b c d NetFront is a Mobile browser, which is also preinstalled on the PSP, and on the PlayStation 3.
  3. ^ The current version of Samurize (1.64.2) runs on Vista but there are a few minor issues that need to be worked out, such as security dialog prompts.
  4. ^ a b c d WidSets is for mobiles and runs on the Java MIDP 2.0 platform

Technical[edit]

Languages[edit]

What programming languages the engines support. Most engines rely upon interpreted languages.

Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable
adesklets No No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Adobe AIR[Note 1] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ?
AveDesk[Note 2] No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
Dashboard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[Note 3] Yes[Note 3]
DesktopX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes
gDesklets[Note 4][Note 5][Note 6] No No No Yes No No Yes No No No
Google Desktop Gadgets ? ? ? Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Kapsules[Note 7] ? ? ? ? No Yes Yes No ? ?
KlipFolio No No Yes[Note 8] Yes Yes No No No No No
Microsoft Gadgets Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes (as ActiveX) Yes
NetFront[Note 9] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Netvibes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Opera[Note 9] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Screenlets Yes Yes Yes ? No No Yes No ? ?
Serious Samurize[Note 7][Note 10] No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SuperKaramba ? ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes ?
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ?
WidSets ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Yahoo! Widgets[Note 11] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No[Note 12]
Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable
  1. ^ Widgets for Adobe Air can also be programmed in Adobe Flash, and Actionscript.
  2. ^ AveDesk can be extended using AveScripter, which supports plugins written with XML and Javascript, extended using CSS.
  3. ^ a b Dashboard uses a technology called Cocoa Plugins.This allows for Objective-C code to be used through the plugin. The plugin is written with Cocoa and is compiled.
  4. ^ gDesklets will provide some CSS like dialect in the next major version.
  5. ^ The next major version of gDesklets will support Yahoo! Widgets. Thus, JavaScript support will be included, too.
  6. ^ gDesklets might support Perl scripting through PyPerl [1] in the next major version.
  7. ^ a b Widgets for Kapsules and Serious Samurize can be written in any scripting language for which there is an ActiveScript engine, including PHP, JScript, VBScript and Ruby.
  8. ^ KlipFolio supports custom styles using CSS syntax.
  9. ^ a b This is only relevant for Opera's and NetFront's extensions; the web browsers themselves support HTML, CSS and others.
  10. ^ Samurize supports DLLs compiled with C++, Delphi, PowerBASIC, and FreeBasic, among others. HTML/XML/CSS support can be added by using certain plugins.
  11. ^ Yahoo! Widget Engine supports Perl and Python indirectly through the use of the shell, provided that the interpreters are installed on the machine (on Mac OS X, they are by default).
  12. ^ Yahoo! Widgets can interface with COM (windows) or AppleScript (Mac OS)

Formats and Development[edit]

Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
adesklets ? ? ?
Adobe AIR Flex Builder 3, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4 ZIP application/vnd.adobe.air-application-installer-package+zip
AveDesk AveScripter ZIP ?
Dashboard Dashcode ZIP application/x-macbinary
DesktopX Desktop X Pro EXE ?
gDesklets No Tar.gz ?
Google Desktop Gadgets Google Desktop Gadget Designer ZIP app/gg
Kapsules ? ZIP ?
KlipFolio No Proprietary XML Format ?
Microsoft Gadgets No[Note 1] ZIP application/x-windows-gadget
NetFront No ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Netvibes No Online ?
Opera Opera Dragonfly ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Plasma No ZIP, with plasmoid as extension instead of zip ?
Screenlets No Tar.gz ?
Serious Samurize Serious Samurize Config Editor ZIP ?
SuperKaramba No Tar.gz ?
WebKit No ? ?
WidSets ? ? ?
Yahoo! Widgets No[Note 2] Proprietary Format, ZIP application/vnd.yahoo.Widget
Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
  1. ^ Microsoft Gadget have documentation, but no IDE to aid development.
  2. ^ Yahoo! Widgets have documentation, but no IDE to aid development.

Development Tools[edit]

As widgets are largely combinations of HTML or XHTML, CSS, and Javascript in most cases, standard AJAX tools, such as Eclipse ATF, can be used for development. Specialized tools may give access to additional capabilities supplied by frameworks such as Dojo or Openrico.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Opera stable 20.0.1387.91". 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  2. ^ "Opera 12.16 changelog". 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^ "KDE Software Compilation 4.13". KDE. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.