September 19, 2005
Dashboard/konfabulator for Linux and firefox

The 'killer feature' in Dashboard and konfabulator is (IMO) the ability to integrate a web-like interface with the OS. This opens the way for a lot of ideas in making Linux easier to use - for 'regular users' but also for advanced users who feel more comfortable using the browser than typing ( and remembering ) complex command lines.

The implementation for firefox of a 'system/exec' feature similar with dashboard and konfabulator is not trivial, but not that complex. As I mentioned in a previous post, the async execution is the tricky part, but it has a reasonably straight solution. I'll try to find a server and post the sources - I'm sure there are better implementations using the event queue, but it works well enough for me.
Now the remaining part is dealing with installing and running 'widgets' in firefox - and exactly emulating the interface. I'm not expecting Dashboard widgets to work unmodified, but with small changes.  Konfabulator has an simpler interface, but it's not HTML-like, I'll only see if I can implement a similar API for simpler transition.

This has been a very interesting mini-project for me - I found a lot about how firefox works, and I hope it'll serve it's purpose and I'll be able to reduce my use of CLI and have a nicer interface for the linux commands I use. Even if some already have a kde/gnome interface ( some are even available as rpm or easy to compile ) - I am more comfortable in the browser. Well, this is what MSFT has said from a long time - that the browser can be the platform, they got this right.
 

Posted by costin at September 19, 2005 09:09 PM
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