Konfabulator — Now With 100% More Yahoo!

General 5 Comments

I might not have mentioned this free software package before but I use it every day. It was called Konfabulator. Then a couple of months or so ago Yahoo! bought them out. Luckily they didn’t screw it up (yeah, I’m looking at you AOL and what you did to Nullsoft) and the package is still free and still useful. Before Yahoo! seized ownership there used to be a cool history of the Konfabulator in the form of a comic book–alas, it is gone.

What’s a widget? I’m glad you asked. I don’t know of a specific definition but I would say it’s something that looks good visually and does something. Usually just one thing. Like a virtual button or stock ticker, or weather report, calendar, Wi-Fi signal strength meter, battery meter, world clock, sticky note… stuff like that. Wikipedia has a decent explination.

You can download the Konfabulator Yahoo! Widget engine at http://widgets.yahoo.com/.

Now for the real power. Let’s say that as a system administrator you are constantly needing to keep tabs on some process. Maybe you keep a terminal window open or have some cron job always looking at a message queue or something. Now you can just slap together an XML interface and create a widget that will display that information graphically right on your desktop. It looks good. It feels good. It is good.