Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Oct 2006 21:34 UTC
Gnome "A desktop full of handy widgets to tell you about what's going on in the world and what's going on around your computer. This is Jackfield. Jackfield is an application for the Gnome desktop that plays host to widgets; small applications to do the things you need. It can run widgets from Apple's Dashboard, will eventually be able to run those from Yahoo's Widget Engine, Microsoft's Gadget Sidebar, and Opera Widgets, and you can write your own."
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Taskbar Contents
by joe.drago on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:05 UTC
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As I'm sure this is pure nitpicky-ness, the screenshot provided on the page appears to have like 6 "Jackfield" toplevel windows listed. Ew.

I expect this is a dev-only thing, and the real deal hopefully hides this from the taskbar.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Taskbar Contents
by somebody on Thu 12th Oct 2006 16:58 UTC in reply to "Taskbar Contents"
somebody Member since:

Nothing one line couldn't solve. Gtk has simple functions to do that

void gtk_window_set_skip_taskbar_hint(GtkWindow *window, gboolean setting);
void gtk_window_set_skip_pager_hint(GtkWindow *window,
gboolean setting);

You just have to call it and no more taskbar or pager

Reply Score: 3

As per the aurthor's weblog...
by intangible on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:10 UTC
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Pretty much in the early development stages right now:

Reply Score: 2

by judgen on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:33 UTC
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gadgets, widgets and all the other crap. Is there actually any need for them? i dont want to offend, but it seems that people want them just for the eye candy and not for their usabillity, and that is fine with me as long as they dont force feed me the stuff down my throat. (and i base that on the appearance of the current microsoft and apple products.) Dont get me wrong i cant be usefull with theese kinds of products, but i dont see it as a feature in my case, in fact its more of an hassle and it uses up prechios desk space.

Reply Score: 5

RE: hmm
by Terracotta on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:47 UTC in reply to "hmm"
Terracotta Member since:

then don't use them, Plasma is going to support them as well, and well I think it's just funny to have a daily comic of garfield and dilbert on your desktop, most of them are rubbisch, but fun rubbisch. For usefull stuff there's the taskbar though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hmm
by ma_d on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: hmm"
ma_d Member since:

There are some mildly useful things, but I think they make more sense on your google homepage.

On Linux, so far, the most popular ones have been system monitors and attempts at the OS X dock (you can't do it with this sort of software though).

Reply Score: 1

RE: hmm
by g2devi on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:07 UTC in reply to "hmm"
g2devi Member since:

Is there a *need* for them? No. Anything that could be done with widgets could also be done through coding specifically for GNOME or KDE.

Is it just eye candy? Not really. They look pretty ugly.

Are they usable? Some would definitely be. Think of Firefox extensions or firefox engines that allow you to search through wikipedia or amazon just as easily as google. The majority of extensions and engines are garbage, but the few that are not are pure gold. No problem, just take what you need and chuck the rest. The fact that writing extensions and engines is easier than the alternative is one key reason so many exist. If Jackfield succeeds in it's goal of running all widget/gadget engines, you can be sure that there will be at least some gold in the cruft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: hmm
by Tuishimi on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "hmm"
Tuishimi Member since:

I use the weather widgets and dictionary widgets. I also use the MAMP startup/shutdown widget, calendar and calculator - oh, and the SMS widget. They are always a keystroke away, but most importantly, out of my way when I DON'T need them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: hmm
by Adurbe on Thu 12th Oct 2006 14:31 UTC in reply to "hmm"
Adurbe Member since:

I find certain widgets very useful indeed

u currently have running

Blogger widget - to jot down things for my blog throughout thr day
IPwidger - displays the ip of each interfave plux my external IP (which changes alot)
Calculator - cuz i cant count
Dictionary . cuz i cant understand big words :-p

I find this easier and faster than them being individual apps thatt i have to apple-tab between

Reply Score: 1

Stop bashing lol
by HeLfReZ on Wed 11th Oct 2006 22:50 UTC
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I think its great..sure not everyone has a need for pretty stuff like widgets and compiz on their desktop. But not everyone uses their linux machines in init3 either. Different people have different desires, and I think programs like this will do nothing but further linux is the marketplace.

People seem to keep forgetting that the desktop is the final frontier for linux. No one will argue that linux can make a helluva server, but its the desktop where the wars are being waged, and linux is trailing a distant 3rd behind microsoft and apple. Until their is a true DEMAND for linux on the desktop, we will never have a DEMAND for commercial applications on the desktop, and until linux is commercially accepted on the desktop, it will always play 3rd fiddle in the consumer arena.

I say bring on the glitz and glam, as long as it can be disabled.

Reply Score: 5

Port it to Windows
by Dolphin on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:22 UTC
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Forget for a minute whether or not there's a need for It:

Something that supports all of those platforms has serious retail value.

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320)

Reply Score: 1

Why judge?
by h3rman on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:24 UTC
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Immediate reactions such as "who needs this?" overlook the fact that apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to make this stuff. That's how OSS works, people can't be stopped from developing things.

If it makes open *n*x/Gnome even more attractive, for whatever trivial reason, it's good. It's not as if now that someone is working on widgets, Linux kernel maintenance has stopped or something.

I admit, I hardly ever use the dashboard stuff on OS X. The translation widget always gives me the word that would have been next to the word I needed, if the widget were a real dictionary.
And although I noticed that the weather widget may tell me what our planet's immediate climatological conditions are, I haven't been in a bunker for quite some time, and a look through the window gives me a fairly accurate idea of the weather too.

Reply Score: 2

One use
by John Nilsson on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:47 UTC
John Nilsson
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I've witnessed one use I thought was quite good.

I attended a lecture where an iBook was used for the presentation. In the resess a question was asked with the result of the lecturer using the computer for posting a small message for the class to see as they reenterd the room. He used a widget that didn't seem to do anything besides presenting a given text in one of those squares with rounded corners.

I don't know why, but something about the presentation of that message just felt right. The fact that the actual presentation software was behind that semitransparent text made it look exactly as temporary as it was.

Reply Score: 2

Great news!
by Jeroenverh on Wed 11th Oct 2006 23:55 UTC
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The gnome desktop was just missing this!

Reply Score: 1

Wow, an easy way to run crapplets
by deathshadow on Thu 12th Oct 2006 00:03 UTC
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What a desirable way to bloat the system - RIGHT... There's a reason I disable opera widgets and grab the OS X dashboard by the nerts and rip it out... I want to run a program I'll run a ******* program, not bloat my machine down by having even MORE crapplets running in the background - have we learned NOTHING from a decade of windows bloat?

Besides this:
Warning: session_write_close(): write failed: No space left on device (28) in /var/www/ on line 65

Warning: session_write_close(): Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/var/lib/php4) in /var/www/ on line 65

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/ in /var/www/ on line 105

Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Reply Score: 1

spikeb Member since:

ah yes, as we all know, an overloaded server is the ulitmate mark of inspiring confidence or not.

Reply Score: 1

tristan Member since:

What a desirable way to bloat the system - RIGHT... There's a reason I disable opera widgets and grab the OS X dashboard by the nerts and rip it out... I want to run a program I'll run a ******* program, not bloat my machine down by having even MORE crapplets running in the background - have we learned NOTHING from a decade of windows bloat?

Presumably this is aimed at the guy who's holding a gun to your head, forcing you to use this otherwise optional widget layer?

Reply Score: 5

how about...
by hobgoblin on Thu 12th Oct 2006 02:10 UTC
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turning the desktop into something similar to what you find on the front of most smart phone?

or maybe even better, just turn the whole desktop into the desktop of a PDA ;)

Reply Score: 1

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Well, okay, it can run the css + javascript part of the widgets, but apple dashoboard widgets can access the cocoa api and call objective-c code thru a bridge. This jackfield thing will not be able to hand that, unless they are bundling the whole gnustep with it and adding tons of new frameworks...

At least for me, my most useful widgets are not plain css + javascript, they have some more apple bowels in it.

any clue?

Reply Score: 1

by saxiyn on Thu 12th Oct 2006 06:24 UTC
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This is written in Python. One step closer to Python World Domination (TM)? j/k.

Reply Score: 1

Useless Useless Useless!
by Melicerte on Thu 12th Oct 2006 07:36 UTC
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I hate dashboard. No matter how it is implemented. No matter the set of features. This is useless and desktop space consuming. period.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Useless Useless Useless!
by nathbeadle on Thu 12th Oct 2006 14:28 UTC in reply to "Useless Useless Useless!"
nathbeadle Member since:

How can you say it's desktop space consuming when it RUNS BEHIND THE SCENES. You bring it up when you need to see something, and then ship is back to nowhere when you're done. There isn't any screen real estate taken up by these things. Have you ever even used dashboard??

There are plenty of usees of these widgets for many different people. I've never heard such an uproar over an option/upgrade to something. It's like adding an attenea to a car when there are a few people who don't listen to the radio!! Grow up

Reply Score: 2

by korpenkraxar on Thu 12th Oct 2006 08:19 UTC
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These gadgets have been around for a long long time, perhaps with less bling though in the form of Windowmaker dockapps. I usually run a few on my fluxbox desktop and some are really quite useful. My clear favorite is: . Somehow this little app has been more useful to me than any other calendar or notes program I have found to date.

Reply Score: 1

Desktop widgets?
by WereCatf on Thu 12th Oct 2006 09:07 UTC
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I have tried gdesklets before, but I found after a while that it wasn't what I thought it'd be. The animation effects were stuttering, it crashed often, and I couldn't really find any useful desklets...Well, the only ones I used were network bandwidth meter and e-mail checker, but I can just as well live without those. I doubt Jackfield is much different. I might use it if there existed any widgets worth using, but from what I have seen, that's not the case.

Reply Score: 1

What about the use of direct GL/Cairo
by JCooper on Thu 12th Oct 2006 10:13 UTC
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While I think it is a good idea to play with this sort of functionality (imagine the top section of the XGL/Compiz cube being your widgets) I don't think the author has really thought about how they are displayed.

If you have a look at MacSlow's Cairo Clock [*], the visual attractiveness is on a different scale. I think these sorts of widget displays, while following the "support Apple/Opera/Yahoo etc" mentality, really should be written as next-gen applications that fully make use of the up and coming technology.

Perhaps the engine could support plain-GTK, and super-snazzy-rendering for those that can?

Disclaimer: I haven't had a chance to look at Jackfield's code yet ;)


Reply Score: 1

This is good.
by cptnapalm on Thu 12th Oct 2006 14:36 UTC
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This is a good idea. Forget the Apple and Microsoft stuff that this thing can run. The Gnome and KDE stuff can both be run in one *single* program. This eliminates an admitedly small area of duplication, but nonetheless, it does eliminate at least a little.

Jackfield, if it works as advertised, can be *the* Linux (and BSD?) widget application.

While many of us may not use it, myself probably included, it does unify what otherwise would be yet another Gnome/KDE duplication of functionality.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is good.
by elsewhere on Thu 12th Oct 2006 19:22 UTC in reply to "This is good."
elsewhere Member since:

While many of us may not use it, myself probably included, it does unify what otherwise would be yet another Gnome/KDE duplication of functionality.

Well, KDE 4 will have native dashboard compatibility; not so much as a feature, but simply an extension of it's design. Much of the interface in KDE 4 for apps, applets, desktop etc. will be based on CSS files anyways, and much of the work from Webkit has been backported to khtml, I think the cavas tag was the big obstacle prior to this.

Personally, I think that a widget engine might be better off being DE-specific to best take advantage of the native drawing libraries etc. and better create an integrated effect.

What would be more useful is having standards-based widgets that were DE/engine agnostic. I think Apple's are a step in the right direction since they're simply html/css/javascript. Some of them have hooks into application libraries, but those would be more specific to OSX applications anyways. The general use widgets should be useable by almost any standard html engine. I believe Opera widgets are pretty much designed under a similar principle. Not sure about Yahoo widgets, haven't used them, but I think they use an XML format for defining them, could just be a case of coverting or interpreting that.

I've yet to find widgets all that useful, but mostly because they're a bit intrusive. If they can be integrated in a non-intrusive way (and I'll admit that OS X has a good approach with their implementation from what I've seen), I may be more willing to use them. I'm not so sure I'd go to the trouble of running a seperate application for them, in particular Opera's implementation seems almost pointless to me.

Of course, that's just my 2c. No doubt others would feel differently.

Reply Score: 1

My idea of a Widgets Interface
by Gadget on Thu 12th Oct 2006 15:40 UTC
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I have tried a few of Opera's widgets, but feel that widgets based off a browser are actually worthless. What good are they when I close my browser? In my humble opinion, here is how I feel widgets should work.

They should either be driven by the OS or a startup app. I don't get having widgets that are always on top and yet don't have a transparency setting. Widgets that are on top and take focus away from the app I am working in when I mouse over them are a bother to me. In my perfect widget world, there are three presentations for widgets.

One are the widgets I want to reside on the desktop. They can never be on top of other apps and are just a layer above the wallpaper. They are directly accessible by clicking on them with the mouse. They are either dockable or anchored to a desired spot.

My second presentation is the always on top layer. These widgets float above everything and each can have its transparency set always to 50% or more. They are also dockable or anchored. While they reside always on top, they never get focus from the mouse alone. To access them, you would have to mouse over them with a combination keystroke, something like CTRL-SHIFT/MouseOver. That would bring their opacity up to 100% and allow direct manipulation. This keeps these on top layer widgets always visible, but not interfering with my other apps, until I need to access them directly. Actually, I would like their transparency to gradually increase up to 90% the longer I mouse over them while working on a different app, until I move off them. That gets them out of the way while you are working and they come back when you move on.

Lastly, I can see having a widget interface that is built off of a task/tool bar. I don't see why Windows/Linux/OS X doesn't allow the user to create more than one task/tool bar. The user would specify which taskbar would house the "start" menu button and which would house tasks buttons. I like having my taskbar on the bottom of the screen, but I would like a toolbar up top where I could drop widgets that display their information wholly in the task/tool bar area only under normal situations but may drop down to provide more interface area when desired. What I envision for these task/tool bars are mini applets such as calculators and the like; Resource graphs such as CPU/Disk/Network activity graphs, Stock tickers, RSS Headline tickers, etc.

I would love to implement something like this, but I realized long ago that I was not God's gift to the programming world.

Reply Score: 1

by CaptainPinko on Thu 12th Oct 2006 16:15 UTC
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Why not aim for Karamba compatibility too? Unify the desktops even more so we don't have to create every widget twice for Gnome and KDE

Reply Score: 1