Steampunk Widgets - Elements of the past and the future combining to make something not quite as good as either

Steampunk Desktop Widgets

This site is dedicated to provide interesting downloads, mainly Steampunk widgets for Xwidget, Rainmeter, Yahoo Widgets and KDE Plasma engines as well as wallpapers and icons. Please feel free to download and use any of these on your Windows or Linux system. Simply download the widgets for the widget engine of your choice and have fun. They are all entirely free.
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Steampunk Volume XWidget finally out... PDF Print
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I've just completed the Steampunk Volume XWidget and dropped it into my gallery, submitted it to a few groups. Now time to sit back and see if anyone likes it. It is a straight conversion from the Yahoo widget code keeping the two as similar as possible so they can both be updated/debugged in parallel. The code is remarkably similar and the two widgets work in a very similar fashion, though the code I have written is not necessarily the correct way of doing things for a Xwidget.

http://lightquick.co.uk/downloads/steampunk-volume-xwidget.html?Itemid=264 The main problem seems to be that the Xwidgets lack any real documentation so it is a real pain to figure out how to do things. Also a lot of nice functionality is missing in Xwidgets that I am used to in the Yahoo Widget Engine/Konfabulator. The GUI for Xwidgets is slick in parts and bleedin' awful in others. I often found that the GUI simply got in the way and I ended up using my text editor of choice 'Context' to make the changes I needed. In my opinion the GUI has a long way to go before it can be considered usable for serious development of widgets.

These are some things that Xwidget engine currently lacks the ability to do:

Creating modifying menu items within javascript
Forcing a widget to reload in code
Including external script - not possible
Changing the dock icon dynamically
Making the GUI code editor fonts much smaller/configurable
Playing a sound continuously and asynchronously is not possible
Transparent areas of PNGs have no mouse click-through
Highlighting long lines causes phantom code duplication in the IDE

xwidget-popup.pngIn reality though, I am really impressed with the amount of work that the two (?) developers have done. The product works - it creates real desktop widgets and provides an environment in which to create them. The list of functions that the language supports goes on and on, and you can use VBscript or Javascript notation in the code. I may have sounded critical but I am in awe of the quality of the product that they have delivered. It is usable - it just needs a lot of tidying up.

The Xwidget engine is under continuing development so it feels nice to be working with a tool that isn't out-of-date and obsolete for a change.

My only concern with Xwidget development is that the documentation has been created as a an afterthought and due to this there are great big gaps in the user group's knowledge that can only be filled by getting responses from the developers. While the devs are out coding for new platforms they don't always have the time to answer all the many questions on the forums, often leaving us poor users in the lurch when we have questions to be answered... Hopefully things will improve here.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 June 2015 )
 
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