Widgets To Watch

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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the governing body that determines Internet standards, has a working draft proposing a specification for online widgets.

Also known as gadgets or modules, widgets are small programs like clocks, stock tickers, news casters, games and weather forecasters that display and update remote data and run on the Web browser environment. The specification defines the packaging format, manifest file and scripting interfaces for downloading and installation on client machines.

The proposal covers “small client-side applications for displaying and updating remote data, packaged in a way to allow a single download and installation on a client machine.” The standard covers widgets that run on the desktop as well as in the browser.

The W3C says widgets include “clocks, stock tickers, news casters, games and weather forecasters. It also notes that widgets go by many names, including “gadgets” or “modules”.

The W3C is calling for comments on the draft. This should be an interesting development to watch.

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