Widget Storage -- AKA: Dashboard's Horible Install/Uninstall Model

in macOS edited January 2014
After only a week of Tiger in the wild, I've already been asked by a few people, "How do I uninstall dashboard widgets?"

This got me thinking, and my conclusion was that dashboard's intall/uninstall process is... absolutely horrible, for lack of a kinder but accurate description.

Average users are completely oblivious to the contents of library directories. All of their other "programs" are in an applications folder to which they are accustom to dealing with.

Safari's automated widget installation procedure is also partly to blame. If average users don't manually copy new widgets into the widgets folder, how are they going to know how to remove the widgets? I suppose it would be somewhat acceptable if dashboard had a gui for uninstall. Why doesn't dashboard have an interface for removing widgets?

Perhaps the library directories aren't the most logical place to store what are basically "programs" that users will want to install and uninstall. I vote for a widgets folder in the applications directory. Widgets are more akin to programs than the type of data typically stored in a library directory.

( * This feedback already submitted to apple )

[edit: damn, i spelled the thread title wrong ]


  • Reply 1 of 8
    geekdreamsgeekdreams Posts: 280member
    I agree. You should be able to CRTL-click a widget in the Dashboard dock to move it to the trash. (CMD-click moves it to the center of the Dashboard.)
  • Reply 2 of 8
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    someone should create an uninstaller widget.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    someone made a widget manager. check versiontracker.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    rhythmrhythm Posts: 16member

    Originally posted by O4BlackWRX


    There you go.

    That's more like it. Thanks for the link.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Eh it's consistent with install/Uninstall for the rest of the OS. Have an AppleScript, copy it into the scripts folder. Have an app, copy it into the Applications folder. Have a widget, you get the idea. Want to get rid of these things? Just go delete them. And, if you can't find them, you can use the sporty new Spotlight.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    sissyfuzzsissyfuzz Posts: 9member
    Things are actually NOT so funny:


    This poses a real threat to the average joe user. And not only them.

    The combo of Safari and Dashboard makes a good trojan infiltration mechanism. Too bad Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    There's another thread completely devoted to dashboard security... Let's keep this one about widget installation/removal issues.

    Mr Beardsley, that is a good point about applescripts going into the applescripts folder. But I think that typical users are still going to have significant difficulty with the storage scheme apple has chosen.

    Most users don't directly use applescript and perhaps never will. However, I suspect that at least a fair number will be using dashboard. I'd bet that 99% of users wouldn't know how to install an applescript into the correct folder. The reason why this didn't get much attention is that most people don't use applescript directly.

    For most, the library folder is black magic, something only to be messed with if specifically instructed to.

    I think it makes more sense for widgets to go in /Applications/Widgets/*.wdgt or ~/Applications/Widgets/*.wdgt

    The applications folders are where users install things that they "run". The library folder is where... well, where things go that you don't mess with. Granted, most of us here have a good grasp of OS X's directory structure and know what/where nearly everything is. But we aren't the typical user.

    Apple either needs to change the install location to something guessable by typical users ... or ... finish a GUI such that nobody ever has to go to the current widget directories.

    Ask joe-six-pack where their applications are stored and he can tell you. Ask the same guy where widgets are stored and you get "uh... in the dashboard?"
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