[whatwg] Browser-as-Desktop: Widgets in the browser

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jun 7 14:16:09 PDT 2012

On Wed, 1 Feb 2012, Brett Zamir wrote:
> The idea is to bring the desktop view to the browser--for web pages to 
> contain instructions indicating they were to be treated as widgets 
> (though browsers could allow any page to be so converted as well). Note 
> that this idea is NOT for widgets to be installed or displayed via an 
> artificially separate mechanism from browsers, but rather for different 
> tabs loaded in the browser to share a common user-determined canvas 
> (though the browser might let the user drop the need for maintaining 
> independent tabs, instead allowing them to be collapsed and allowing 
> right-click to give options to remove or replace a widget). [...]

My recommendation would be to build this feature in a browser to 
demonstrate its utility and to see if site authors are interested in using 
it. There has been some past work in features similar to what you 
describe, e.g. Apple's Dashboard widgets can be built from arbitrary 
snippets of Web pages, and even before that, Microsoft's ActiveDesktop 
feature allowed widgets made from Web pages to be embedded on the desktop 
or in Windows shell bars.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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