For me, an example of the latter is the 
DoBeDo widget
, which lets me enter to do items that are 
synched with iCal. I can assign due dates, priorities, and a description for each item. The widget 
lets me easily view lists by calendar, and simply checking them off is the same as doing that in 
iCal. For me, what s particularly great about this kind of app is that I can have a synchronized to 
do list both at work and at home, thanks to my .Mac account. Before DoBeDo, I was using 
Burnout Menu
, a menu item application I had paid for. Actually, I find DoBeDo to be much 
faster and more stable than Burnout Menu... and it s free! (Burnout Menu does have a few tricks 
DoBeDo widget doesn t, but they aren t things I need.) 
The appeal of widgets is one of the reasons Yahoo snapped up the rights to Konfabulator this 
week. Windows will need something to compete with Apple s Dashboard, because widgets will 
clearly become a source of OS envy as their popularity spreads. (Yes, Konfabulator did get 
ported from Mac OS X to Windows last year, but you still had to pay a license fee to use 
Konfabulator widgets.) Unfortunately for Yahoo, Konfabulator is not nearly as good as Apple s 
Dashboard system. Why? The primary problem with Konfabulator is technical... rather than 
leveraging an existing JavaScript engine (WebKit), as Dashboard does, Konfabulator runs its 
own. Why try to maintain your own JavaScript engine when everyone who would ever use 
Konfabulator already has one in the form of their favorite browser? As a result of this, 
Konfabulator can be a memory and processor hog, whereas Apple has carefully designed 
Dashboard so that widgets take up no processor cycles or memory when not in use. (Of course, if 
you ve set your widget to continue working even when Dashboard is hidden, the widget will do 
just that.) John Gruber has an excellent article explaining this a lot better than I can on his 
Daring 
Fireball
 Blog. 
It s really hard to explain what a Dashboard widget is to a Windows user without showing one. 
So one of the things I prepared with the launch of my new widget was a little 
QuickTime movie
that shows the widget in action  scaled down, of course. Once I had all of this prepared and fully 
tested, I submitted information about it to Apple s web site and also to MacUpdate. A couple of 
days later (it didn t take as long as I thought it would), I was the proud owner a whole page on 
Apple s Dashboard download site devoted to my new "
Sizzling Classic 45 s
" widget! Ah, fame.  
  MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion 
Page 15 
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8 




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