OMG Dashboard! You killed Sherlock!

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Dashboard is COOL!



From David Hyatt's Blog(emphasis added)



Quote:

wanted to blog briefly to clear up what the widgets actually are written in. They are Web pages, plain and simple (with extra features thrown in for added measure). Apple?s own web site says ?build your own widgets using the JavaScript language?, but that?s sort of misleading. The widgets are HTML+CSS+JS. They are not some JS-only thing.



Wow! Almost anything that can be viewed on a webpage can be a Dashboard Gadget.



Quote:

In other words, each widget is just a web page, and so you have the full power of WebKit behind each one? CSS2, DOM2, JS, HTML, XMLHttpRequest, Flash, QuickTime, Java, etc. I?ll have a lot more to say later on, but I thought it important to clear that up right up front, since a lot of people were asking me about it in email and such.



Drool



Gruben continues



Quote:

Konfabulator is not a lightweight or small-footprint environment ? every Konfabulator widgets runs as a separate process, with its own runtime environment in memory. Most Konfabulator widgets use more memory than typical full-blown Mac OS X applications. Not just Konfabulator as a whole ? but each widget. Install it, fire up Process Viewer, and see for yourself. (Ironically, the Konfabulator ?CPU Portal? widget seems to leak memory.)



Read the rest of the article. It is enlightening. I'm more impressed with Apple's efforts after reading this article. Initially I felt that Dashboard wasn't worthy of inclusion with the other technologies. It just didn't seem that special. I was wrong and so are a lot of the people calling it a Konfabulator ripoff.



In fact after reading this article it makes no sense for Apple to continue Sherlock in it's present form. Everything Sherlock can do can and will be eventually made into extensibe Gagets that we can customize to our liking. Movies, Recipes, and whatever else you find on the web can be integrated into a Gaget and set to pop up with a tap of the "F12" key. Lightyears beyond Sherlock and even Watson. I'm hearing Dashboard takes up alot of CPU power but I'm sure more optimizations are coming and quite honestly since it's meant to be accessed briefly the CPU consumption means nothing because I'm immediately focused on my Gagets.



It's unfortunate that Dashboard will forever be called a Konfabulator rip when it's intentions are far more benign that ripping Arlo Rose off.



There is no IDE for Konfabulator. Basically you're "rolling your own" using whatever tools. Dashboard Gadgets can be programmed with a plethora of tools since any web tool should work.



I'm sorry to Sherlock pass(my conjecture) ..he's done us well and here's hoping for the best for Arlo but Dashboard vs Konfabulator equals an emphatic Checkmate for Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    (Crossposting from Macnn, sorry)



    More than anything this Dashboard is more akin to QuickTime Media Skins (but of course far more powerful since it uses WebKit which can even tap into Quicktime. It's a pyramid, compared to Konfabulator's rope ladder).



    It's not as if Apple hasn't pursued custom/irregular window shapes before...



    QuickTime Media Skins



    (I won't go back to Gizmo days since I think Arlo did them while at Apple)



    So Dashboard is not merely "Exposé for widgets" (which was a dumb, too-limiting tagline) but more "WebView in a custom window shape". Konfabulator is "merely" JavaScript controlling PNG and text. No comparison really.



    Visually, that Arlo's widgets are glossy and Aqua-fied hardly means Apple can't also be playful and use glossy Aqua-like themes - it's theirs to do with what they will.



    Can't wait for this to die down.



    To paraphrase Howlin' Wolf:



    Well the users don't know, but the developers understand.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Something else:



    The process of adding a media skin to a QuickTime movie in five easy steps: -src-





    This is Apple's implementation of QuickTime Media Skins. Konfabulator is highly similar. Window resource as separate picture files. Document to tie it together. File with content and/or logic. (GUI for unix programs have been made using PNG this way for a lonnnnge time).



    Substitute the above with a package (folder) that is bundled as a double clickable widget...presto. A Konfabulator widget.



    If "Video.mov" was a Flash movie that had some logic built into it and could display data, say the weather, or a calendar, then you'd have in essence, a widget - a mini-app in an irregularly shaped window. In 2002 or whenever media skins were introduced.



    That you rarely saw this done is only due to the relative complexity of making it and developer disinterest (plus QT Flash support is notoriously one step behind the current Flash).



    Does a widget need to have an umbrella app above it to make it a widget? Perhaps. Perhaps not. "Widget" is not set in stone remember - in fact it explicitly means an ambiguous/unknown/irrelevant implementation.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    hmurchison, that was great, thanks for posting that link. Being built on Web Kit brings so many more possibilities for Dashboard gadgets/widgets. I am much more excited about seeing Dashboard now!



    Couldn't help but laugh when I saw this too...

    "Do you believe reasonable engineering opinions can be drawn by looking at screenshots?" .

    Some here (including me) guilty of doing that.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    hmurchison, with the recent avalanche of threads about Tiger, I missed this one. I came to the same conclusion in an Ars thread (I think) a few days after you made this revelation. Now the order is: screw Watson => screw Konfabulator => go Dashboard!



    While I think Dashboard will need to handle some complexities or scalability (and special cases (for example, having the calculator work along side a document at times), it's real potential is just showing for me. I wish I read this earlier.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,220member
    Yeah I think Dashboards concept is superior to Konfabulator. With Konfabulator you are limited to showing your wares to those who've paid 25 buckaroos. Dashboard Gadgets can be run almost anywhere web pages exist.



    I think Apple realized that Sherlock was YAA(yet another app) and that people who want web services want them quickly. I'm looking forward to see the explosion of Gagets next year. Once I create my setup of Gagets I'll never touch Sherlock.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    I have to admit that I never found Sherlock (or Watson, for that matter) all that terribly useful, but Dashboard looks like it's going to blow Sherlock's model away.



    Very cool.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    While I think Dashboard will need to handle some complexities or scalability (and special cases (for example, having the calculator work along side a document at times), it's real potential is just showing for me. I wish I read this earlier.



    You know, I'm not sure widgets ever will (or even should?) break out of their seperate Exposé layer. I suspect that's why Apple is keeping Calculator (with expanded Programmer functions, to boot) and Stickies as seperate individual apps in the OS.



    As long as you can copy and paste the info you find out of widgets, I think it'll work out OK.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    rackhamrackham Posts: 2member
    why is sherlock (or watson for that matter) being related to dashboard? sherlock services are internet related. dashboard is a collection of utilities. sherlock will never be replaced by dashboard.



    flame away.



    red
  • Reply 8 of 25
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Think of it this way: each Sherlock channel could be a widget.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Remember that each widget/gadget is just a web page. So it's trivial to make a movie times widget, a translation widget, a yellow pages widget, etc. just like what's in Sherlock now.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    medialabmedialab Posts: 19member
    dashboard will also be a great boon to porn-viewing at work: one click and you're back in Excel.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Remember that each widget/gadget is just a web page. So it's trivial to make a movie times widget, a translation widget, a yellow pages widget, etc. just like what's in Sherlock now.



    Oh and then, maybe the channels/widgets/whatever-it-is will be localized too...! Hurra!!!
  • Reply 12 of 25
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by medialab

    dashboard will also be a great boon to porn-viewing at work: one click and you're back in Excel.



    Right and instead of flip-to-change-options we could have flip-to-look-like-an-innocent-calculator.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    reichgreichg Posts: 2member
    I am suprised that you use sherlock at all, i have had my mac for 1.5+ years and i never used sherlock besides testing to see what it was and i didnt think it was that great at all
  • Reply 14 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by reichg

    I am suprised that you use sherlock at all, i have had my mac for 1.5+ years and i never used sherlock besides testing to see what it was and i didnt think it was that great at all



    I agree : Sherlock channels actually are the crappiest thing Apple invented (or ripped-off or whatever-you-want) for years. Finding the very same infos than the ones from Sherlock on the web takes less than it takes to actually launch Sherlock on a slow Mac (haven't launched Sherlock since my G4/350 time!) and it never got localized!



    Dashboard is way neater : the same informations are here in front of you in a blink of eye, and since it is incredibly easy to code widgets, we'll see localized widgets (or if we don't, I'll write some!)...
  • Reply 15 of 25
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    The Sherlock movie times channel is really handy, given that I cant even find the website for the local theatres. Sherlock just works.



    The Sherlock yellow pages seems to be excellent, there are at least two phone companies here, and Ive got no idea which one I should try to use for looking up phone numbers. And it gives you a map of where you need to go, how easy.



    The other channels, not so useful. Of course, both those channels will be just as good, if not better as widgets.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    I agree Sherlock was pretty much a lose. Watson, on the other hand, was highly cool and I use it quite a bit. It's unfortunate that Apple created an inferior product that almost killed the better one. Fortunately, Watson is being reborn as a (platform independent) Java application after being bought by Sun.



    As for Dashboard, the only saving grace of this ripoff is that, for once, Apple appears to have done the knock-off better than the original. As a product to customers, it's identical to Konfabulator-- not much argument there. But the underlying technologies draw on a lot of existing Apple technologies that should let it surpass the original work. So I guess it's only a "ripoff" if you think that "look and feel", "product design", and "UI metaphors" have any inherent value.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    reichgreichg Posts: 2member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mmmpie

    The Sherlock movie times channel is really handy, given that I cant even find the website for the local theatres. Sherlock just works.



    The Sherlock yellow pages seems to be excellent, there are at least two phone companies here, and Ive got no idea which one I should try to use for looking up phone numbers. And it gives you a map of where you need to go, how easy.



    The other channels, not so useful. Of course, both those channels will be just as good, if not better as widgets.




    if you want something different than sherlock for looking up movies just go to yahoo and click on the movies link and type in zip code and bang movie times at local theaters. as for yellow pages use soople.com its google but easy to use extras and it has a map of how to get there. so there now you never need to touch sherlock again!
  • Reply 18 of 25
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Remember that each widget/gadget is just a web page. So it's trivial to make a movie times widget, a translation widget, a yellow pages widget, etc. just like what's in Sherlock now.



    ...and the inevitable porn, adware, and spyware widgets...wait...

    Dashboard doesnt run on windows?!?



    so much for that...

  • Reply 19 of 25
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    Some speculation about Gadgets being more than the appear... http://www.creativemac.com/articles/...e.jsp?id=26671
  • Reply 20 of 25
    I think that Dashboard does replace Sherlock in many ways, which is a great pity. Sherlock is a great technology, XML based (unlike Watson!) which makes it extendible, and able to query across web services/sites to deliver something like Yellow pages. Getting people to use it is different - the browser is always open, Sherlock isn't.



    Dashboard is always open too - looks great - and is even easier to create gadgets for than channels for Sherlock. Sherlock isn't really that relevant anymore (although should be), but then neither is Watson. It's difficult to replace something that works "well enough" - which is why Windows is difficult to replace with OS X.
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