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Is it The End of Yahoo! Desktop Widgets? On the Yahoo widget site and on the forum is states that the Yahoo widget gallery and support for the widget engine will be closing down on the day before the 1st april. I don't think it is an April Fool's trick but what does it mean?  It means the gallery where you have been able to upload and download your widgets will be gone, so you will lose the ability to popularise your widgets (mine have been downloading at 1,000 per day) so for me this is a complete pain...

The good news is that the widget engine won't stop working, it will work on Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and probably Windows 9 + and for the forseeable future, we shall see... So, there is no immediate danger of your widgets stopping working. As for support from Yahoo? it has been crypt200.pngnon-existent for years, no changes, no improvements, no sign of the linux version, support was all but non-existent. All it means for now is a loss of the gallery but more importantly the loss in the future of the widget platform as a Rapid Application Development tool. This is a real pity as Yahoo widget engine was probably the best and the easiest of the widget platforms to develop for.

What a pity Yahoo took over the Konfabulator engine as they seem to have killed it stone dead. Yahoo's note on the subject stated that Konfabulator is not dead and it lives on in the Yahoo! Connected TV widget engine for Yahoo TVs. They invite developers to take part in the development of widgets for this new tool.

"The Desktop Widgets website will be shutting down on April 10, 2012. Developer uploads of new Widgets will end on April 3, 2012. Due to this, consumer downloads of new and updated desktop widgets will end on April 3, 2012. Desktop widgets will continue to work for the foreseeable future with a new Consumer Terms of Use: http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/konfa...terms-1821.html

Now the good news. Konfabulator is certainly not dead. Konfabulator is what powers more than 8 million TVs running Yahoo! Connected TV Apps. Yahoo! TV Apps are extremely easy to develop. The TVs run Linux and use a specially modified version of the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth generation application platform derived from the legendary Konfabulator desktop widget platform. We have further extended and simplified widget development by building a JavaScript framework which abstracts most of the complexity from Konfabulator.

How to get started:
1. Get the Yahoo! Connected TV Widget Developer Kit (WDK)
2. Build something awesome!
3. Submit to Yahoo!
4. Your will go live and become available to millions of TVs around the world"

I personally wouldn't touch the Yahoo! Connected TV widget development kit as it makes no logical sense to do so. Yahoo have just shut the multi-platform yahoo widget engine down and that is quite obviously the most massive hint that the yahoo TV engine is also on the way out. No-one in their right mind would shut down such a wealth of development experience if they believed their new platform would succeed. I should think any TV widget developer will be packing their bags and looking for a new platform to work in.

In my opinion Yahoo have totally failed to capitalise on the Konfabulator engine. If they had created a linux version right from the start instead of the closed Yahoo widget version for TVs, if they had then had implemented the same engine on Yahoo widget TVs, kept the marketplace open to all and sundry instead of locking it down, if they had prodiuced the developer kit for windows instead of linux then there would by now have been a wealth of widgets and a thriving community of TV widgeteers to support it. As it is it will be dead within a year or two.

The writing is on the wall and Yahoo just wrote it!

The only good thing for Yahoo to do would be to release the Konfabulator engine code as open source and let the world finish the job properly, the way it should have been done from the outset.

-oOo-

News:

Word is that the Yahoo widget gallery has been closed due to server upgrades and changes. The servers that supported the gallery are due for replacement and there needed to be a business case for the new servers. There wasn't a good one. I suppose that if Yahoo sees there is no cash return from the widget service then there is no reason for Yahoo to continue it.

More News: 

Yahoo has confirmed that they are in fact focussing on the TV Yahoo widget engine and they believe the release of resources from supporting the desktop yahoo widget engine will have a positive effect on their development.

-o0o-

The widget engine itself will continue to be available here:

http://desktopwidgets.zenfs.com/4.5.2x10a50/widgetsus.exe
and the Mac version here: 
http://desktopwidgets.zenfs.com/4.5.2x10a50/yahoo_widgets_4.5.2.dmg
For the moment the Windows SDK is still available here:
http://desktopwidgets.zenfs.com/4.5.2x10a50/ywidgets_sdk_setup.exe 

The reason for downloading and installing the SDK rather than the normal Windows download is that this version of the engine comes with none of the bundled widgets, just the runtime engine by itself.

Should you as a user worry about it? - No not really, Yahoo widgets will continue to work, the engine will be downloadable for the forseeable future, the widgets will work on current and future versions of the Windows operating system and Mac Os/X.

Keep an eye on this space, there will be some developments that will be reported here giving you an idea of life after Yahoo widgets.

 

 

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Comments (2)Add comments
Michael Simpson wrote on January 21, 2013
 
Title: Users need to worry
I just bought a new Xantrex Gateway device from Schnieder Electric. The device requires the download of Yahoo Widgets in order to work. It took me 6 hours to find this site just to get my device working. Thanks by the way.
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Wiliam C wrote on April 30, 2012
 
Title: Should users worry about it
Should you as a user worry about it?

Do you know where I can download widgets now?! I'm looking for "Wedding Countdown" http://www.widgetgallery.com/?author=1868 . Thank you.
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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 April 2012 )
 
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