Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)
Dashboard widget detection coming to Safari?A forthcoming version of Apple Computer's Safari Web browser may automatically detect the presence of Dashboard widgets on a website, according to developers who've located evidence of such a feature in an unreleased version of Mac OS X "Tiger."
Although it's unclear in which build the evidence first appeared, developers have uncovered a set of Dashboard-skinned interface buttons in a version of Safari under development as part of the yet-to-be-released Mac OS X 10.4.3 system update.
As of the latest Mac OS X 10.4.3 pre-release — build 8F28 reportedly seeded last week — the buttons appear inaccessible from the Safari application and instead lay idle and hidden in the application's resources. Therefore it's also unclear whether Apple plans to enable Safari to detect widgets in the same fashion it does RSS feeds, or allow the browser to interface with Dashboard in some other way.
Judging by the buttons, which are designed to be placed in Safari's address bar, developers speculate they will eventually let users to add widgets to the Dashboard without leaving their browser window. The icons sport the dashboard logo and color scheme, as well as plus sign.
The popularity of widgets has been on the rise ever since Apple built the functionality into the Mac OS X operating system as Dashboard in late April. Yahoo liked the idea so much that they following suit by acquiring Konfabulator, originally a Mac OS X widget application and undeniably Apple's inspiration for the feature.
Both Apple and Yahoo now host galleries containing over a thousand authorized and tested widgets for their respective widget applications.
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