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KDE 4 to Support Apple Dashboard Widgets 373

Ryan writes to tell us Applexnet is reporting that Zack Rusin, a lead developer of KDE, has confirmed that KDE 4 will be able to run and display Dashboard widgets similar to Mac OS X 10.4. From the article: "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."
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KDE 4 to Support Apple Dashboard Widgets

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  • Re:who knew (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theAtomicFireball ( 532233 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @01:56PM (#14379397)
    Sure... if you define "anywhere" to mean "anywhere but windows"
  • Exciting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrenBren ( 940202 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:00PM (#14379422) Journal
    I think this is a great idea. Right off the bat, there will be lots of Widgets available.

    The Apple community will also benefit, because there are probably a lot of people in the Linux community that will write new Widgets that haven't been thought of (or thought necessary) by the Apple programming community.

    I, for one, welcome our new Widget overlords.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:01PM (#14379431)
    None of the UNIX people I know use MacOSX. And I personally think the UI is awful.
  • by HowIsMyDriving? ( 142335 ) <ben.parkhurst@gmail . c om> on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:02PM (#14379438)
    It will never happen. Apple needs OSX to be able to be in the market place. Apple, while making money off of the hardware will need OSX, especially since going to the Intel platform to make it different. If they opened it up to white box computers no one would buy Apple hardware, and they would soon be stuck with just iPods and iBooks and Powerbooks. The cannot do this, for it would kill the company.
  • Am I the only one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Keruo ( 771880 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:07PM (#14379465)
    who thinks this is rather bad idea?
    Why do we need to bind the browser this deep to the GUI?
    Haven't we learned anything about bad design from microsoft and IE5?
    I mean something like this [].
  • by linguae ( 763922 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:08PM (#14379470)

    Most UNIX-people use Apple because it still is UNIX but with a better GUI. Perhaps KDE will convince Apple to make the GUI Free Software.

    And don't forget about the ability to run commercial applications such as MS Office and Photoshop. I believe Macs are preferred to a standard Linux or BSD desktop configuration mainly because of mainstream application and hardware support; the GUI just makes the experience more worthwhile.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:12PM (#14379496)
    I think this is great. KDE is a wonderful, powerful, flexible, full featured desktop enviornment. I currently run KDE 3.4.3 on a P3-450 laptop with 256mb of ram and it runs great.

    Do I think that KDE 4 will also run great on that hardware? I'll be honest, I have my doubts, but that is fine. I have seen how the KDE team did a great job of optimising the KDE 3.x series. Every release got faster and smaller (in memory). Still, if I need to get more ram, I'll do that.

    For people that want to run a computer with less ram, or can't afford any more: Don't run KDE! You can run blackbox, fluxbox, IceWM, twm, and many more!

    GNU/Linux/*NIX/OSS/Free Software is all about choices, so PLEASE don't sit around complaining about bloat (or anything else, for that matter.) Make sugestions. Make contributions. Enjoy the amazing bevy of free software!!
  • by jbellis ( 142590 ) <`moc.rednelbeganrac' `ta' `nahtanoj'> on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:13PM (#14379509) Homepage
    That's just apple's workaround for "we think virtual desktops are too complicated." No need to impose that on KDE.
  • by AntiOrganic ( 650691 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:19PM (#14379546) Homepage
    Can you explain to me, from an accomplished software engineer's perspective, what's so bad about modular components that can be reused in multiple applications?

    The problem with Internet Explorer was never that it was coupled too deeply into the file manager and it was therefore buggy and insecure, and only someone with no clue whatsoever would tell you that. Internet Explorer is problematic because it has multiple zones with different security settings, and as history has shown, it's very, very easy to trick Internet Explorer into thinking that a script executing from the Internet zone is actually in the Local Computer zone, and thereby able to overwrite files, instantiate arbitrary ActiveX/COM components, and do all manners of naughty things that it shouldn't be able to.
  • by NamShubCMX ( 595740 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:21PM (#14379556)
    And like most things with KDE, this feature (desktop widgets) will be 100% optional and NOT running it will not affect performance.

    Features != bloat (especially if off by default)

    Btw, KDE has had this for years, namely SuperKaramba.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:27PM (#14379595)
    And now they've got Active Desktop!
  • by Smurf ( 7981 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:30PM (#14379610)
    That's just apple's workaround for "we think virtual desktops are too complicated." No need to impose that on KDE.

    It seems you are confusing Dashboard [] with Exposé [].
  • Re:who knew (Score:2, Insightful)

    by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:36PM (#14379651) Journal
    Except, if you read the summary, you'd see it isn't, since OSX widgets can include Cocoa code, which KDE doesn't support.

    In other words, you'll get your modpoints for bashing Java, but you lose in reality.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jZnat ( 793348 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @02:58PM (#14379775) Homepage Journal
    Yeah; GNOME 2.12 is already far ahead at the "shaving off bloat" to the point where Linus said "fuck it" and switched to KDE. As long as the bloat is optional and configurable, everyone can be happy.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JulesLt ( 909417 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:11PM (#14379846)
    I think it's called a metaphor. As in explaining that the widgets are presented on a layer 'over' the desktop. Maybe a metaphor that didn't compare one piece of software to another might be better 'it's like a transparency sheet'.

    Personally, I'd prefer them 'on' the desktop and to bring them up via Expose, but that's me.
  • by xwizbt ( 513040 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:19PM (#14379905)
    Except I use it all the time. Every day in fact. I use it on my interactive whiteboard to teach my class. We start the day with the dashboard displayed, showing weather, iCal class events, the weather in Stockholm (or other areas of interest depending on our geography topic) and, until recently, a countdown to Christmas.

    Then throughout the day I have instant access to a calculator, the dictionary or thesaurus; it's invaluable. Sure, it's fun, too, but it's got that functional edge to it as well, and being able to fling up the calculator and suchlike without having to trail through applications is great.
  • Re:Exciting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bonzoesc ( 155812 ) <> on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:24PM (#14379936) Homepage
    Mac widgets are basically tiny HTML/Javascript applications, with the option of using native code and certain JS functions to access system stuff normal web pages shouldn't.

    They're rendered and run by WebCore (derived from KHTML), so adding them to KDE is simply getting KHTML to support transparent windows and the extra JS stuff. Getting them to run the widgets with native code parts probably won't ever be a priority.
  • by Eil ( 82413 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:24PM (#14379939) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps it will lend something to KDE.

    They already do. Safari is descendant of Konqueror and contribute (perhaps inefficiently) their patches back to KDE. However, since this is KDE's own effort to reproduce Dashboard from scratch (Dashboard isn't open source even if many of its components are), Apple has no reason or incentive to contribute any of their work on Dashboard to KDE.

    Most UNIX-people use Apple because it still is UNIX but with a better GUI.

    This needs to be qualified a little better because the a large number (most likely the majority) of "UNIX-people" are still happily using a non-Apple Unix. For example, I use KDE and don't see that changing anytime soon because KDE is, for me, a much more powerful UI environment than OS X. Most of my geek friends and co-workers are in the same boat, though some are considering Powerbooks for the occasional on-the-road work.

    Perhaps KDE will convince Apple to make the GUI Free Software.

    Not going to happen and literally everyone at Apple has said as much. The simple, elegant OS X GUI is Apple's trump card. It is the main reason to buy a Mac. If they give that away, then anyone on the planet can implement it and Mac sales go down the tube. Sure, there are many reasons to buy a Mac but the OS is definitely the biggie. This is why Apple is putting so much effort into making sure that OS X does not run (easily) on plain Intel boxes.

    Or maybe Apple will just sue the socks off of the KDE project.

    I don't see how that's possible unless Apple went patent-squatting on the desktop widget engine idea. Dashboard may be the most popular implementation, but it was hardly [] the first [] to exist.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:43PM (#14380051)
    That's just apple's workaround for "we think virtual desktops are too complicated." No need to impose that on KDE.

    That's just your workaround for explaining Apple's more elegant solution to the problem...

  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:51PM (#14380089) Homepage Journal
    Most UNIX-people use Apple because it still is UNIX but with a better GUI.

    Uh, no.

    "Most UNIX-people" use Apple because the Apple desktop users outnumbered other unix desktop users, so when Apple switched to unix, they instantly became the #1 desktop unix brand. You're swapping cause and effect.

    True, there are some people who moved from other unices to Apple, and if so, great; they went with what they liked, but don't make it sound like the entire unix world moved en masse to Apple when OS X came out.

    Also, one other thing: by some counts, Linux users now outnumber Apple users. I will only make a passing mention of this because it's debatable.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @03:55PM (#14380112)
    No, they compared a layer itself to a layer in photoshop. Big difference. As for "bloat": people accused desktops of being bloated without knowing what they talking about. Often, they're misreading how memory is used in apps, and when they're not, they're probably misunderstanding how systems like KDE share features. The whole point of a desktop environment is to create a platform that has lots of useful code built in, so that apps can be quickly developed from common widgets etc., without reinventing the wheel, and without wasting memory that could have been shared. In systems like KDE, the "bloat" is a feature. But, in GNOME, code-sharing is much less common due to it's lack of object-orientation. It really is bloated and slow, even with fewer features.
  • Re:who knew (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pluggo ( 98988 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @04:23PM (#14380250) Homepage
    This is what I think is one of the more interesting aspects of open source: the cross-pollenation that occurs, with a feature moving one place, mutating, then moving back into the original source. The whole thing smacks of memetics.
  • by Uncle_Al ( 115529 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @05:20PM (#14380551)
    > KHTML has to be rendered by a browser ...
    > The desktop is just a Konquerer shell anyway.

    Hmmm...A few points about KDE:

    • Konqueror is just a shell to plug in KParts []. One of those KParts is a khtml part, which makes Konqueror behave like a webbrowser. So to render a webpage you will not need Konqueror but khtml!
    • The Desktop is a program called kdesktop. It is not Koqueror!

    Why do I get the feeling you are not the KDE expert you seem to think you are?

  • Re:Memory Usage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theAtomicFireball ( 532233 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:00PM (#14381039)
    I can't believe I'm posting hits, because I'm usually playing the drooling Mac fan-boy part in this here Slashdot play we're all in, but...

    Do you realize how inefficient even a 12 meg memory footprint for something that pulls down like 20 bytes of weather data from a URL and then displays that data along with an image to indicate whether it's sunny, raining, or snowing? Widgets are a great idea, but they ARE memory hogs and take far more processor cycles than they should to do their job. They are not the best example of software engineering to ever come out of Cupertino by any stretch of the imagination.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:13PM (#14381568)
    "use Linux use it for reasons like better reliability, usability, compatibility, interoperability, lower cost, and higher performance"

    *Reliability - ok good point there
    *Usability - rofl, Linux has a reputation for being extremely hard to use
    *compatibility - let me see if you have this distribution download this build, if you have this download this, if you have this download this, oh before you can use this you need to install some parts of gnome because it would not work if you only have kde.
    *Interoperability - same as compatibility pretty much
    *LowerCost - "you can't use this CHEAP winmodem go buy yourself a real modem"
    *Higher Performance - assuming you figure out how to use it after spending countless hours reading help sites, asking people on irc for help, and finding the right drivers for all your prehiperals then yes it soars greatly in this.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer