Su: Squeak/Spoon Konfabulator Anyone?
sswerling at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 31 00:58:09 UTC 2005
I noticed a neat product called Konfabulator which lets you create small
desktop "widgets" that get placed on the desktop and display information
downloaded from the web (see http://www.konfabulator.com). You can use
Konfabulator, for instance, to create a little widget on your desktop
that displays the local weather, or a shot of the traffic from a web
cam. There a lot like WindowMaker/NextStep tiles, but of arbitrary shape
and size. And Konfabulator provides a simple way to make widgets using
takes up (usually) around 4-8 megabytes of memory.
Are there any takers out there for adding the following to Spoon:
1. Change the VM so that the window displays without a window frame, ala
Konfabulator. Allow for transparent portions of the display (also ala
2. Have the ability to display text and images with hotspots. The mvc
framework is enough of a UI for allowing the user to alter the applet's
Since it's Spoon, you've got the Flow already built in for downloading
images and data. So the technical aspects of this don't seem overly
ambitious. Just with the framework above, most Konfabulator widgets
would be quite easy to do. An optional FFI-type package could be
provided for the class of applets that monitor other programs and system
attributes (ie. The ITunes trackers, the wifi reception gauge, etc).
Of course, there's already an app that does all that -- Konfabulator.
But by starting with Spoon, you could probably get little applets to run
in just a couple megabytes each, beating Konfabulator. Startup and
execution speed would be faster. Small devices could be targeted. And
Konfabulator costs $25. Of course, the scripting language would be
Smalltalk. All good reasons for an applet developer to choose a
There have been all kinds of attempts to jump start parcelling of the
image. But it might be a good idea to expend a little bit more energy
into approaching things from the other direction, and start small. As I
understand it, that's the point of Spoon. This just adds a clearly
defined target application (a squeak Konfabulator) which might provide
some clarity and impetus for the initial development of packages/modules
for Spoon. The developer that wants a simple zip tool would port the
zip/archiving classes. The developer that wants a slide-show widget
would port the ImageReadWriter classes. Someone might want to replace
MVC with a compact and skinnable widget set for deployed apps. You get
So is it worth trying?
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