New Yahoo! Widget Engine Released

December 19, 2005


Yesterday, Yahoo! released version 3.0.1 of the Yahoo! Widget Engine (formerly known as Konfabulatory). I’d love to report that there is something really new about this release, but there isn’t. This release is a bug fix release that also cleans up the last little bits of the Konfabulator brand. Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to reload this tool.

Why do you want this? Well, you may not want this. What Yahoo! Widgets does is to provide a Javascript runtime engine that can be used for small applets (widgets). These applets utilize XML and HTTP as their communications infrastructure. In short, this is an AJAX palette from which cool little knick-knacks can be built.

My personal favorite is the simple weather widget. It is a transparent, visual representation with your local weather forecast. Is this new or special? Of course not. But it is handy, unobtrusive, and rather pleasant-looking. But the widget gallery isn’t limited to weather. There are WiFi indicators, clocks, map visualizers and lots more.

Can you live without this tool? Yes. Is this a fun little gizmo that might tickle your fancy? Yes. Do I expect Yahoo! to use innocuous things like this to convey their brand and cause just a little stickiness to their other services? You bet.




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