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June 30, 2004

Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine for Mac OS X that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to. Widgets can be alarm clocks, calculators, can tell you your AirPort signal strength, will fetch the latest stock quotes for your preferred symbols, and even give your current local weather.

What sets Konfabulator apart from other scripting applications is that it takes full advantage of Apple's Quartz rendering. This allows Widgets to blend fluidly into your desktop without the constraints of traditional window borders. Toss in some sliding and fading, and these little guys are right at home in Mac OS X.

The format for these Widgets is completely open and easy to learn so creating your own Widgets is an extremely easy task.

For the "skinning" crowd, Konfabulator is a dream come true. You can easily change the look, feel, layout, even functionality of a Widget so that it matches your lifestyle, your desktop, or the pants or skirt you have on that day.

The idea took years from concept to desktop. It started with using XML to structure images but blended to a scriptable language. The goal was that these mini-applications would just sit around on your desktop looking pretty, while providing useful feedback. Perry Clark suggested that JavaScript would be easy to rig for this task and he's right!

Posted by Bernie Goldbach after seeing Konfabulator screenshots