Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Say Goodbye to Yahoo! Widgets
Yahoo! Widgets represent everything I like about computers. Widgets were not protected, so you could learn techniques by examining the code of other authors. They were free so you could download and test them out on a whim. They were tiny and consumed very little system resources. They were cross-platform so it didn't matter whether you were running on Windows or Mac. They did not require any expensive IDE or tools to create. They did not require purchasing a library of books just to create "Hello, World." And now, like Apple's similar product HyperCard, they are being discarded into the waste basket. It is a shame when products that have these features are discarded when there is no similar product to take their place. Writing iPhone or Android apps is certainly possible, but the entry point is far higher. Writing Windows Widgets or Google Gadgets or Mac OS X Dashboard Widgets can be done, but they are platform specific, and therefore subject to the whims of one company.
Time marches on, but it is a tragedy that repositories of knowledge are discarded in the wake.
Photos from Konfabulator Developer Day 2007 at Yahoo! HQ