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Mac

A dashing konflagration

So it seems that just about everyone has weighed in on the Dashboard vs Konfabulator issue. I happen to firmly echo the sentiments of John Gruber, and, like Michael, feel the bigger picture is getting lost in the melee.
I have tried Konfabulator and its many widgets. I was initially impressed, but in the end, I feel the widgets are nothing more than extra eye candy that, as Gruber points out, takes up even more memory from my system. I fooled around with Panic’s Stattoo, which seeks to provide the same sort of feedback that most of the widgets available for Konfabulator do. Stattoo, however, is an application running different “capsules” within its environment, whereas each Konfabulator widget is running as a separate app, each loading the Konfabulator runtime engine. If I were going to use one over the other, I would go with Panic’s offering, based on the types of capsules vs widgets involved.
In the end, the point is moot, as neither will find a permanent home on my systems. I just don’t see the point. I can tell the time and date because it’s already up in the menu bar. I can tell how much battery charge is left on my PowerBook because it’s already up in the menu bar. I can tell my iChat status because it’s already up in the menu bar. I can tell what the weather is, and what it’s going to be, because I already have WeatherPop Advance running–you guessed it–in the menu bar. I keep iTunes minimized, and position the window where I can always tell what song is playing, so I have no need for that particular widget, either. For that matter, I use Synergy as my alternative iTunes controller, because the buttons reside–drumroll, please–in the menu bar. If I have new mail, the bouncing Mailsmith icon in the Dock is sufficient to warn me.
I realize there are many other widgets out there for Konfabulator that do other things, but after looking through the gallery, there are some that are cool, but none that I cannot live without. I would rather have my system resources back.
Which brings us back to Dashboard, and how it differs from Konfabulator in that regard. Gruber has an excellent summary of this, and I see that the impact on system resources will be less when using Dashboard gadgets than Konfabulator widgets.
Like Michael, I personally am more inclined to fool around with building my own Dashboard gadget, because I already know some HTML and CSS, and can build on that knowledge. There is a greater reach toward the hobbyist market with Dashboard, versus Konfabulator. It will be fun to play around in.
Of course, the Dashboard gadgets are going to have to evolve beyond the typical widgets and capsules I have already mentioned. I’m not about to go with eye candy that replicates what the system, or another app, is already telling me in another format.