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Comparison of widget engines

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Title: Comparison of widget engines  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Widget engine, WidSets, Screenlets, Adesklets, DesktopX
Collection: Software Comparisons, Widget Engines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Comparison of widget engines

This is a comparison of widget engines. This article is not about widget toolkits that are used in computer programming to build graphical user interfaces.


  • General 1
  • Operating system support 2
  • Technical 3
    • Languages 3.1
    • Formats and Development 3.2
    • Development Tools 3.3
  • References 4


Widget engines that are discontinued are marked in a different color.

Engine Creator Current Version License
adesklets Sylvain Fourmanoit 0.6.1 GPL
Adobe AIR Adobe Systems 1.5 Proprietary
AveDesk Andreas Verhoeven 1.3 Proprietary
Dashboard Apple Inc. 1.8 (July 20, 2011 (2011-07-20)) Proprietary
DesktopX Stardock 3.5 Proprietary
gDesklets Martin Grimme and Christian Meyer 0.36 GPL
Google Desktop Gadgets Google 5.0.0701.18382 Proprietary
Kapsules Andrew Powell 0.9.9 Proprietary
KlipFolio Serence 5.0D Proprietary
Kludgets Marvin Sanchez 1.0 Open Source LGPL
Microsoft Gadgets Microsoft ? Proprietary
NetFront Access Co. Ltd. 3.5
Netvibes Netvibes 1.0 Proprietary
Opera Opera Software 33.0.1990.43 (October 27, 2015 (2015-10-27)[1]) Proprietary
Plasma KDE (Aaron Seigo, main developer) 4.14.6 (March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03)) [2] GPL
Screenlets Rico Pfaus (AKA RYX) 0.1.5 GPL
Serious Samurize Gustaf & Oscar Lundh 1.64 Proprietary
SuperKaramba Hans Karlsson 0.39 GPL
WebKit Apple Inc. ? BSD+LGPL
WidSets Nokia ? Proprietary
XWidget XWidget Studio 1.90 Proprietary
Yahoo! Widgets Ed Voas, Michael Galloway, and Sam Magnuson [Note 1] 4.5.2 Proprietary
Engine Creator Current Version License
  1. ^ The Yahoo! Widgets was originally released by Arlo Rose and Ed Voas as Konfabulator. The name was changed several months after Yahoo! acquired the software in July 2005.

Operating system support

Engine Mac OS X Windows NT5 (XP) Windows NT6 (Vista, 7/8/10+) Linux Android
adesklets No No No Yes ?
Adobe AIR Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
AveDesk No Yes Yes No ?
Dashboard Yes No No No ?
DesktopX No Yes Yes No ?
gDesklets No[Note 1] No[Note 1] No[Note 1] Yes ?
Google Desktop Gadgets Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Kapsules No Yes ? No ?
KlipFolio No Yes Yes No ?
Kludgets No Yes Yes Yes ?
Microsoft Gadgets No No Yes No ?
NetFront No[Note 2] No[Note 2] No[Note 2] No[Note 2] ?
Netvibes Dashboard bridge Using browser Using browser Using browser ?
Opera Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Screenlets No No No Yes ?
Serious Samurize No Yes Yes[Note 3] No ?
SuperKaramba No No No Yes ?
WebKit ? ? ? ? ?
WidSets No[Note 4] No[Note 4] No[Note 4] No[Note 4] ?
XWidget No Yes[Note 5] Yes No Yes
Yahoo! Widgets Yes Yes Yes No No
Engine Mac OS X Windows XP (NT5) Windows (NT6) Vista+ Linux Android
  1. ^ a b c As for the next major version the gDesklets' developers are planning to support Windows XP and Mac OS X.
  2. ^ a b c d NetFront is a Mobile browser, which is also preinstalled on the PSP, and on the PlayStation 3.
  3. ^ The current version of Samurize (1.64.2) runs on Vista but there are a few minor issues that need to be worked out, such as security dialog prompts.
  4. ^ a b c d WidSets is for mobiles and runs on the Java MIDP 2.0 platform
  5. ^ XWidget also runs (giving a subset of the standard functionality) on the Android platform.



What programming languages the engines support. Most engines rely upon interpreted languages.

Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable VBScript
adesklets No No No No No Yes Yes No No No ?
Adobe AIR[Note 1] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? ?
AveDesk[Note 2] No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ? ?
Dashboard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[Note 3] Yes[Note 3] ?
DesktopX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ?
gDesklets[Note 4][Note 5][Note 6] No No No Yes No No Yes No No No ?
Google Desktop Gadgets ? ? ? Yes Yes No No No No Yes ?
Kapsules[Note 7] ? ? ? ? No Yes Yes No ? ? Yes
KlipFolio No No Yes[Note 8] Yes Yes No No No No No ?
Microsoft Gadgets Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes (as ActiveX) Yes Yes
NetFront[Note 9] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No ?
Netvibes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No ?
Opera[Note 9] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No ?
Plasma Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ?
Screenlets Yes Yes Yes ? No No Yes No ? ? ?
Serious Samurize[Note 7][Note 10] No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SuperKaramba ? ? Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes ? ?
WebKit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes ? ?
WidSets ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Xwidget No No No Yes Yes[Note 11] No No No No No Yes
Yahoo! Widgets[Note 12] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No[Note 13] No
Engine HTML XHTML CSS XML JavaScript Perl Python Ruby C++ Executable VBScript
  1. ^ Widgets for Adobe Air can also be programmed in Adobe Flash, and Actionscript.
  2. ^ AveDesk can be extended using AveScripter, which supports plugins written with XML and Javascript, extended using CSS.
  3. ^ a b Dashboard uses a technology called Cocoa Plugins.This allows for Objective-C code to be used through the plugin. The plugin is written with Cocoa and is compiled.
  4. ^ gDesklets will provide some CSS like dialect in the next major version.
  5. ^ The next major version of gDesklets will support Yahoo! Widgets. Thus, JavaScript support will be included, too.
  6. ^ gDesklets might support Perl scripting through PyPerl [2] in the next major version.
  7. ^ a b Widgets for Kapsules and Serious Samurize can be written in any scripting language for which there is an ActiveScript engine, including PHP, JScript, VBScript and Ruby.
  8. ^ KlipFolio supports custom styles using CSS syntax.
  9. ^ a b This is only relevant for Opera's and NetFront's extensions; the web browsers themselves support HTML, CSS and others.
  10. ^ Samurize supports DLLs compiled with C++, Delphi, PowerBASIC, and FreeBasic, among others. HTML/XML/CSS support can be added by using certain plugins.
  11. ^ Xwidget can be programmed in VBscript as an alternative option to javascript.
  12. ^ Yahoo! Widget Engine supports Perl and Python indirectly through the use of the shell, provided that the interpreters are installed on the machine (on Mac OS X, they are by default).
  13. ^ Yahoo! Widgets can interface with COM (windows) or AppleScript (Mac OS)

Formats and Development

Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
adesklets ? ? ?
Adobe AIR Flex Builder 3, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4 ZIP application/vnd.adobe.air-application-installer-package+zip
AveDesk AveScripter ZIP ?
Dashboard Dashcode ZIP application/x-macbinary
DesktopX Desktop X Pro EXE ?
gDesklets No Tar.gz ?
Google Desktop Gadgets Google Desktop Gadget Designer ZIP app/gg
Kapsules ? ZIP ?
KlipFolio No Proprietary XML Format ?
Microsoft Gadgets No[Note 1] ZIP application/x-windows-gadget
NetFront No ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Netvibes No Online ?
Opera Opera Dragonfly ZIP application/x-opera-widgets
Plasma No ZIP, with plasmoid as extension instead of zip ?
Screenlets No Tar.gz ?
Serious Samurize Serious Samurize Config Editor ZIP ?
SuperKaramba No Tar.gz ?
WebKit No ? ?
WidSets ? ? ?
XWidget Xwidget Integrated Form Designer and Code Editor ZIP, with XWP as extension instead of zip ?
Yahoo! Widgets No[Note 2] Proprietary Format, ZIP application/
Engine IDE Widget Container Widget MIME Type
  1. ^ Microsoft Gadget have documentation, but no IDE to aid development.
  2. ^ Yahoo! Widgets have documentation, but no IDE to aid development. A script was provided to allow Photoshop to be used as the Graphical Designer, the script created a widget whose objects were based upon photoshop layer sets or groups

Development Tools

As widgets are largely combinations of HTML or XHTML, CSS, and Javascript in most cases, standard AJAX tools, such as Eclipse ATF, can be used for development. Specialized tools may give access to additional capabilities supplied by frameworks such as Dojo or Openrico.


  1. ^ "Opera 33 and our contribution to Chromium". 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  2. ^ "KDE Ships KDE Applications 14.12.3".  
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