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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Monday, January 02, 2006

KDE 4 to Support Apple Dashboard Widgets
The start of something bigger?

It's official; Zack Rusin, a lead developer of KDE, has stated in his journal that the upcoming KDE 4 will be able to run and display Dashboard widgets much in the same way that Mac OS X 10.4 can. He writes:
I finally got most the implementation of the HTML Canvas element for KHTML finished. It's in the kdelibs-js branch in SVN. After George/Maks merge their other changes we'll merge it to HEAD. I'm planning to add full OSX Dashboard compatibility layer for Plasma (hence why I've spent most of the day yesterday on implementing the Canvas element).

CoreGraphics supports one thing that I need to add to Qt Arthur and that is a nice support for shadows. It's one of the extensions of the Canvas element from Safari that we won't support for now. I know how I want to do it in Qt, now it's just a matter of sitting down and doing it. This plus seperate transformations on fills and strokes which I had planned on doing anyway.
Basically, this means that a layer (similar in some ways to layers in Adobe Photoshop) in the KDE desktop could function the same way that Dashboard does in Mac OS X. Widgets themselves are not inherently difficult to write nor properly interpret, since they are usually just HTML and Javascript (although Cocoa code can be included, the developer's skills permitting). Furthermore, since Konqueror and Safari share very nearly the same rendering engine, KHTML and WebKit, this too will simplify the process.
While I'm not a big fan of Dashboard because it's a completely separate environment from the traditional Mac desktop, this is actually pretty interesting. Hopefully, Apple will both allow it to happen and open up Dashboard widgets so that they can run at any time on the standard desktop.
[ Posted at 6:16 PM | Permalink ]


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