Naill Kennedy has a couple of good posts last week on the history and definition of widgets. Here are the first paragraphs of each post. Head over to Naill Kennedy’s blog for the full articles.
A brief widget history – Sept. 27
“The widget technology we take for granted today has been over 25 years in the making. Small pieces of customized desktop and web content have made their way into our lives whether you call it an accessory, a widget, a web part, or a gadget. Below is a visual timeline of widget history and a brief summary of how some of today’s widget sectors got their start.”
Widget nomenclature – Sept. 30
“Widget terminology often confuses newcomers. The variance of terms — widget, gadget, module, badge, button, etc. — can create impressions of a fragmented industry in its early days, not able to agree on anything as simple as a name. In this post I will walk you through the etymology and nomenclature of widgets and its variances. I interpret each term as a separate meaning, not a synonym, depending on the structure and use of widget content.”
He also has several good and in-depth posts on widgets. Do a quick search on his blog.
Our good friends over at Clearspring are helping organize a WidgetDevCamp in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, our schedule does not allow us to participate. That shouldn’t stop anyone else though…
WidgetDevCamp is a DevCamp-style event in Washington DC for anyone interested in Widget and modular app development.
It will be a chance for discussion, learning and some collaborative widget hacking. Come and share information on the latest topics in widget development, and see what kinds of prototypes can be built with a group of smart folks together in one place for a day or two. Did you have fun at BarCamp DC? WidgetDevCamp should be fun too.
Designers, developers, product marketers — anyone interested in the potential of widgets and other distributed applications (including Facebook) — come on out!
The event is currently still in the planning stages, but it’s slated for a weekend in late October around the Metro D.C. area. For more information, check out the WidgetDevCamp Wiki.
Joost announces their API via their forum. The forum post provides the login info to access their API development site so you can play with the API.
“There have been a lot of changes and improvements to Joost recently. One that you might not have noticed is that with the newest release Joost 0.12.0 a new Widget API is available that makes it possible for third parties to create their own Joost widgets.”
Hi5 introduces their new widget gallery. Currently, the gallery only includes widgets from Slide and RockYou, but it looks like they are looking to expand the offerings. If you are a widget developer, they would like to hear from you via their contact form.
“We’re pleased to announce our new widget gallery. Widgets allow you to add all kinds of interesting content to your profile — slide-shows, games and more.”
Hi5 is also beta testing their API.
“Welcome to the API for Hi5.com We’ve got a full SOAP API, and even a few REST endpoints. Feel free to check it out!”
Widget Summit 2007 Announced
“Widget Summit is a two-day conference on widgets and content syndication. Web pages have gotten smaller, dynamic, and distributed as components within the desktop, personalized homepage, social network, blog sidebars, mobile phones, and even dedicated hardware. Today’s publishers need to reach their audience wherever and whenever they may choose to interact with content. Widgets lead the way towards a distributed web loosely joined.”
[all of the above via Snipperoo Blog]
OK, so we’re a little late in reporting this. Things have been busy around here. In any case, the winner of the WidgetCon 2007 Widget Contest was announced last week.
“We are pleased to announce our Big Widget Winner: Ernesto Quezada and his Moving Earth widget! Ernesto’s widget mashes together official Geological Survey information with Google Maps, showing up-to-date quakes and their magnitude with graphics and animation. It’s pretty cool, take a look…” – WidgetCon Blog
Here is Ernesto Quezada’s response when told he had won.
“Well, I’m still in shock! It really took me by surprise; it is a great honour for me to have participated and specially to have won the big widget challenge. I was born in El Salvador, Central America in 1975 but moved to London, England in 2002…Apart from being my work, new media is my hobby, that’s why I love experimenting with different technologies. When I heard about the big widget challenge, I thought about building something related to our planet and to my background. My home country has been hit by many earthquakes throughout history, many have had devastating effects and even though I’ve moved to a place where there are no quakes at all, its still in me the fear for these natural phenomena.” – WidgetCon Blog
We would like to congratulate Ernesto Quezada. The widget is pretty cool and being based in Los Angeles, we definitely see the value and interest this widget has.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) updated the Widgets 1.0 Requirements document a few days ago. The document is a good read and widgets standardizations would be a nice move. We like the direction this is going and in particular we like what Marcos Caceres (editor of the requirements spec) had to say in a comment posted over at Widgets Lab.
“I don’t think it should be the w3c’s place to tell designers or widget vendors what widgets should look like, but, instead, instead, the w3c should specify the tools developers need to create awesome looking/functioning widgets.” – Marcos Caceres
We couldn’t agree more. Having build various widgets across different platforms and systems, it would be great to be able to standardize on some specs, easily develop widgets across these systems and still retain the freedom to deploy widgets to meet business needs.
Hooman Radfar sums it up perfectly over at Widgify, “Between all the hub-bub around measurement and now this, it looks like our little widgets are growing up in a big way.”
Widgets 1.0 Requirements – W3C Working Draft 05 July 2007
From W3C Abstract:
“This document lists the design goals and requirements that the Widgets 1.0 Specification needs to address in order to standardize how Widgets are scripted, digitally signed, secured, packaged and deployed in a way that is device independent, follows W3C principles, and is as interoperable as possible with existing market-leading user agents on which Widgets are run.”
“The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards.”