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Encyclopedia > Dashboard (software)
Dashboard

Dashboard widgets running under Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard.
Developed by Apple Inc.
Latest release 2.0 / October 26, 2007
OS Mac OS X v10.4 and v10.5
Genre Widget engine
Website Apple.com

Dashboard is an application for Apple's Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard operating systems, used for hosting mini-applications known as widgets. It is a semi-transparent layer that is invisible to the user unless activated by clicking an icon on the Dock or pressing a hotkey, which can be set to the user's preference. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Dashboard_Widget_icon. ... For other uses, see Software developer (disambiguation). ... Apple Inc. ... Code complete redirects here. ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ... Mac OS X version 10. ... Mac OS X version 10. ... In computer software, a widget engine is host software system for physically inspired applets on the desktop (desktop widgets). ... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... Apple Inc. ... Mac OS X version 10. ... Mac OS X version 10. ... In computer software, a widget engine is host software system for physically inspired applets on the desktop (desktop widgets). ...


When Dashboard is activated, the user's desktop is dimmed and widgets appear in the foreground. Like application windows, they can be moved around, rearranged, deleted, and recreated (so that more than one of the same Widget is open at the same time, possibly with different settings). New widgets can be opened, via an icon bar on the bottom of the layer, by dragging a widget icon out into the layer. After loading, the widget is ready for use.

Contents

Creation of widgets

Dashboard widgets are created using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript. Because the same programming languages are used for creating websites, many web developers can already build them. Widgets themselves are, at the core, simply HTML files that are displayed within the Dashboard layer; they use the WebKit application framework that is also used in Apple's Safari web browser, meaning even users running earlier versions of Mac OS X — where Dashboard is unavailable — can build them. In computing, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a browser. ... In web development, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. ... JavaScript is a scripting language most often used for client-side web development. ... A website, Web site or WWW site (often shortened to just site) is a collection of webpages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents accessible via HTTP on the Internet; all publicly accessible websites in existence comprise the World Wide Web. ... For other uses, see Software developer (disambiguation). ... WebKit is an application framework included with Mac OS X v10. ... Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. ...


When a Dashboard widget is built, it usually consists of six files:

  • The widget's HTML file, which is the actual file that will be displayed in the Dashboard layer
  • The widget's CSS file, which is used for styling the widget (but is called on from the HTML file)
  • The widget's JavaScript file, although it may be implemented directly within the HTML file if the developer desires
  • The widget's Property List (called “Info.plist”), which is what Dashboard uses to load the widget’s properties (i.e.: name, version, HTML file, etc.)
  • The background image of the widget, in PNG format
  • The icon that is displayed in the menu bar

Once all of these files are in the root of a directory, it is given a name and the extension ".wdgt", and then it can be opened up in Dashboard as a widget. More complex widgets may also include a Cocoa widget plugin (for platform-specific functionality), one or more JavaScript files (for text scrolling, preferences, etc.) or multiple images (for personalized select menus or buttons). The term background can have any of the following meanings: Background (computer software) refers to software that is running, but not being displayed. ... Look up icon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A Cocoa application being developed using Xcode. ...


Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" includes an application called Dashcode, which is a more user-friendly way of creating widgets. Another new feature of Mac OS X Leopard is called "Web Clip" which lets users easily create widgets from parts of a webpage. During the WWDC 2007 keynote, Steve Jobs made widgets out of the following: the features news headlines on Yahoo.com, the top ten most searched terms on Google, the Photo of the Day on National Geographic, some comic strips, and the box office information from Rotten Tomatoes. The user can also customize the border to further personalize the widgets. Mac OS X version 10. ... Dashcode is a software application created by Apple Inc that will be included with Mac OS X Leopard and will facilitate the development of widgets for Dashboard. ...


Widget functions and capabilities

Dashboard widgets, like web pages, are capable of many different things, often to perform tasks that would be tedious or complicated for the user to access manually. One example is the Google Search widget, which simply opens up the user's browser and performs a Google search. Other widgets, like Wikipedia, grab the contents of webpages and display them within Dashboard. Some widgets can also serve as games, using Adobe Flash (or another multimedia authoring program) to create games just as if they were in a browser. This article is about the corporation. ... Adobe Flash, or simply Flash, refers to both the Adobe Flash Player, and to the Adobe Flash Professional multimedia authoring program. ...


Graphics

With the click of the mouse or the press of a hotkey, the Dashboard is activated and the Widgets "fly" onscreen. They disappear in a similar way.

Dashboard uses a variety of graphical effects for displaying, opening, and using widgets. For instance, a 3-D flip effect is used to simulate the widget flipping around, by clicking on a small i icon in the right bottom corner, the user can change the preferences on the verso side; other effects include cross-fades from icon to body (when opening widgets),a "spin cycle effect" when a widget is focused and the user presses Command-R or a suck-in effect when they are closed. On sufficiently powered Macs, widgets will produce a ripple effect when they are opened, like a leaf falling onto water. Some users believe that these effects are taxing and superfluous, consuming CPU resources, but with the help of OS X’s Quartz Extreme and Core Image graphics architectures, sufficient computing power to render them in real time is available. As with Exposé, Front Row and the minimise effect, holding shift down while calling the Dashboard or opening the Dashboard menu bar will display the effect in slow motion. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Dashboardanim. ... Image File history File links Dashboardanim. ... Core Image is a pixel-accurate, non-destructive image processing and rendering framework for Mac OS X. As part of the QuartzCore framework, it extends the rendering capabilities of Quartz with its plugin-based architecture for applying filters and effects. ... It has been suggested that Real-time computing be merged into this article or section. ... Mac OS X 10. ... This article is about the Macintosh computer application. ... The Aqua GUI in its original version in the Public Beta of Apples Mac OS X operating system. ... Slow motion is an effect resulting from running film through a movie camera at faster-than-normal speed. ...


Dashboard vs. Konfabulator

Many people have made comparisons between Konfabulator and Apple's Dashboard, especially after Apple announced the feature while Mac OS X v10.4 was in development. It was a subject of debate on the online community following the few months before Mac OS X Tiger's official release. Screenshot of Konfabulator Screenshot of Konfabulator for Windows with Konsposé enabled. ... Mac OS X version 10. ...

When a widget is added to the dashboard, it appears with a ripple effect.
When a widget is added to the dashboard, it appears with a ripple effect.

One school of thought came to the conclusion that Dashboard was a "rip-off" of Konfabulator. They point out the visual and functional similarities between Dashboard has been widely compared to Konfabulator (now Yahoo! Widget Engine) and sometimes called a copy of it, due to the similarities between their graphical aspects and the fact that they both use the term “widgets” to describe the objects in their environments. Konfabulator may in turn have been based on Apple’s Desk Accessories [1], first released in 1984 with the original Macintosh. Desk Accessories, similar to widgets, were small mini-applications that operated on a user’s desktop. After the introduction of System 7 and cooperative multitasking the necessity of creating Desk Accessories was removed and developers were encouraged to create applications instead. The OS continued to support them, for backward compatibility, until the switch to Mac OS X (In fact, the Calculator desk accessory remained in the Mac OS through version 9, 17 years without a significant update). Yahoo! Widgets running under Windows XP with Heads Up enabled. ... Yahoo! Widgets running under Windows XP with Heads Up enabled. ... Early Macintosh Desk Accessories In the operating system for the Apple Macintosh computer, a Desk Accessory (DA) was a piece of software, originally written as a device driver, conforming to a particular programming model. ... This article is about the year. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... System 7 (codenamed Big Bang) was a version of Mac OS, the operating system of the Apple Macintosh computer. ... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ...


The code bases for Konfabulator and Dashboard are also different: whereas Konfabulator uses XML and JavaScript to generate Widgets, Dashboard uses HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Objective C. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose markup language. ...


Included widgets

At first, Apple included 14 widgets with Mac OS X v10.4 - v10.4.3. They consisted of:

After the Macworld 2006 keynote, however, Steve Jobs also announced four new widgets (Ski Report, People Finder, Google Search, and ESPN), as well as significant updates to the Phone Book and Calendar widgets. All of these are available through the Mac OS X v10.4.4 update. An address book or a name and address book (NAB) is a book or a collection of data storing contact details (for example: address, telephone number, e-mail address, fax number, mobile phone number). ... The Dictionary application, developed by Apple for its Macintosh computers, was introduced with Mac OS X v10. ... This article is about the iTunes application. ... Stickies is a Macintosh application for putting Post-it note-like windows on the screen, with short reminders, notes and other clippings. ... Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. ...


In addition, Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" released in late 2007, includes new widgets. One of these is Web Clip, which allows any user to turn a rectangular section of any webpage into a widget (This, however, only works with Safari). The widget updates as the website does, and all links and other interactive material in the widget's selection of the webpage works as if the website is being accessed from Safari. This feature will also be available in IE 8, but it will be placed within the browser, not in a widget. Another new widget is Movies, which allows users to find currently playing movies at local theaters, view trailers, and purchase tickets directly from Dashboard. Mac OS X version 10. ... Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. ...


Widgets on the desktop

Although by default widgets are confined to the Dashboard layer, a widget can be dragged to the desktop by selecting the widget in the Dashboard shelf, dragging it, and then switching back to the desktop, from the Dashboard, before dropping the widget. (By default this is accomplished by pressing F12 on the keyboard to switch from desktop to Dashboard.) The widget will remain floating on the desktop until the next time the Dashboard is opened.


To keep one or more widgets on the desktop in a more permanent fashion, the Dashboard "devmode" must be activated. Enter the following into the Terminal, or Terminal.app (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app): Terminal in OPENSTEP. The Terminal is an application included with Apples Mac OS X operating system, and is also present in OS Xs progenitor, OPENSTEP and NEXTSTEP. On Mac OS X, Terminal is located in the Utilities folder. ...

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES

and then restart the Dock (and Dashboard):

killall Dock

After the devmode has been set, widgets dragged from the Dashboard will remain floating on the desktop, even after log out or shutdown. To move a desktop widget back to the Dashboard, simply reverse the process used to move it onto the desktop.


Another option is to use Amnesty Singles or Amnesty Widget Browser, shareware utilities that also allow the user to select which level (desktop, standard or floating) a widget occupies while it resides on the desktop.


See also

This article or section is incomplete and may require expansion and/or cleanup. ... Dashboard is a term now being used generally to refer to a web-based technology page on which real time information is collated from various sources in the business. ... In computer software, a widget engine is host software system for physically inspired applets on the desktop (desktop widgets). ...

References

For other uses, see October (disambiguation). ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... An address book or a name and address book (NAB) is a book or a collection of data storing contact details (for example: address, telephone number, e-mail address, fax number, mobile phone number). ... Automator is an application developed by Apple for Mac OS X that implements point-and-click (or drag-and-drop) creation of workflows for automating repetitive tasks. ... This article is about the calculator application bundled with Mac OS X. For the calculator application bundled with Windows, see Microsoft Calculator. ... Chess is a chess game for Mac OS X, featuring a high quality graphical display and support for chess variants such as crazyhouse and suicide chess. ... The Dictionary application, developed by Apple for its Macintosh computers, was introduced with Mac OS X v10. ... This page relates to Apple software. ... The Finder is the default application program used on the Mac OS and Mac OS X operating systems that is responsible for the overall user-management of files, disks, network volumes and the launching of other applications. ... This article is about the Macintosh computer application. ... Grapher is a software program bundled with Mac OS X v10. ... For the Tcl calendar package, see Ical (Unix). ... This article is about the Mac software. ... iSync 1. ... This article is about the iTunes application. ... Mail (aka Mail. ... Photo Booth is a small software application for taking photos with an iSight camera by Apple Inc. ... Preview is Mac OS Xs application for displaying images and Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. ... QuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. ... Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. ... Stickies is a Macintosh application for putting Post-it note-like windows on the screen, with short reminders, notes and other clippings. ... A screenshot of Apples TextEdit. ... Activity Monitor is the name of a utility for performing different tasks to a computer process in the Mac OS X operating system. ... The AirPort Utility (formerly AirPort Admin Utility until the release of Mac OS X 10. ... Archive Utility (BOMArchiveHelper until Mac OS X 10. ... The Audio MIDI Setup utility is a program that comes with the Mac OS X operating system for adjusting the computers audio input and output configuration settings and managing MIDI devices. ... Bluetooth File Exchange is an aptly-named utility that comes with the Mac OS X operating system, used to exchange files to or from a Bluetooth-enabled device. ... ColorSync Utility is an interface for Apples ColorSync specification on the Mac OS X operating system. ... Console is the default log viewer in Mac OS X. Categories: | ... DigitalColor Meter is a utility for measuring and displaying the colour values of pixels displayed on the screen of a Macintosh computer. ... Directory Access is a Mac OS X utility for connecting to network services. ... DiskImageMounter is the utility that handles mounting disk images in Mac OS X, starting with version 10. ... Disk Utility is the name of a utility created by Apple for performing disk-related tasks in Mac OS X. These tasks include: the creation of disk images; mounting, unmounting, and ejecting disks (including both hard disks, removable media and disk images); enabling or disabling journaling; verifying a disks... Apples Font Book includes fonts, and dividing them into groups. ... Grab is an application by Apple Computer used to make screenshots of the users computer. ... Help Viewer is a WebCore based HTML viewer aimed at displaying help files and other documentation. ... Image Capture, first introduced in Mac OS X version 10. ... Installer is an application included in Mac OS X which extracts and installs files out of . ... The Internet Connect in Mac OS X serves to allow the user to activate connections to the internet via an ISP or VPN. It also provides a simple way to connect to an AirPort Network. ... Keychain Access in Mac OS X serves to allow the user to configure keychain passwords - unlocking, locking and displaying passwords saved by the system which are dynamically linked to ones login password. ... NetInfo Manager is a utility that comes with Mac OS X. It is found in /Applications/Utilities/NetInfo Manager. ... Network Utility is a an application included with Mac OS X that provides a variety of computer network information. ... ODBC Administrator is a utility in the Mac OS X operating system for administering ODBC. Category: ... The Printer Setup Utility in Mac OS X serves to allow the user to configure printers physically connected to the computer, or connected via a network. ... Screen Sharing is a VNC client by Apple Inc. ... Software Update is a software tool by Apple Computer that install the latest version of Apple software on computers running Mac OS X (there was also a Software update tool for classic Mac OS). ... System Preferences is the application used by Mac OS X to set user preferences. ... System Profiler is a software utility that has been bundled with Mac OS since Mac OS 7. ... Terminal in OPENSTEP. Terminal (also referred to as Terminal. ... Universal access to education is the ability of all people to have equal opportunity in education, regardless of their background or physical disabilities. ... VoiceOver is a feature built into Apple Computers Mac OS X v10. ... X11. ... The Command key The Command key, known as the open-Apple key in documentation previous to the Apple Macintosh family of computers, is a modifier key present on Apple Keyboards. ... The Option key The Option key, known to PC users as AltGr or Alt key, is a modifier key present on Apple Keyboards. ... The Apple menu in Mac OS X Tiger. ... Apple Computer has been attentive to the typefaces used in its marketing, operating systems and industrial design. ... AppleScript is a scripting language devised by Apple, Inc. ... The Aqua GUI in its original version in the Public Beta of Apples Mac OS X operating system. ... The Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging (ATSUI) is the Mac OS set of services for rendering Unicode-encoded text. ... AU Lab, a developer application included on Mac OS Xs installer CD Audio Units (AU) are a system-level plug-in architecture provided by Core Audio, a set of application programming interface services provided by Apple Computers Mac OS X operating system. ... Mac OS X v10. ... Bonjour, formerly Rendezvous, is Apple Inc. ... For other uses, see boot camp. ... Carbon is the codename of Apple Computers API for the Macintosh operating system, which permits a good degree of forward and backward compatibility between source code written to run on the classic Mac OS, and the newer Mac OS X. The APIs are published and accessed in the form... A Cocoa application being developed using Xcode. ... ColorSync is Apples color management API for the Mac OS and Mac OS X. // Apple developed the original 1. ... Core Animation is a data visualization API used by Mac OS X 10. ... Apples Core Audio interfaces Core Audio is a fairly low-level API for dealing with sound in Apples Mac OS X operating system. ... Core Data is part of the Cocoa API in Mac OS X, first introduced in Mac OS X 10. ... Core Foundation (also called CF) is a Mac OS X framework and API. CF provides: Primitive types for data (raw bytes, Unicode strings, numbers, calendar dates, UUIDs) and collections (arrays, sets, dictionaries) Application preferences management (CFPropertyList, Preferences Utilities) XML parsing Bundle handling File system I/O (CFReadStream, CFWriteStream, CFURL) Network... Core Image is a pixel-accurate, non-destructive image processing and rendering framework for Mac OS X. As part of the QuartzCore framework, it extends the rendering capabilities of Quartz with its plugin-based architecture for applying filters and effects. ... Core OpenGL, or CGL, is Apple Computers Macintosh Quartz windowing system interface to the Mac OS X implementation of the OpenGL specification. ... Core Text is part of the Cocoa API in Mac OS X, first introduced in Mac OS X 10. ... Core Video is a new pipeline model for digital video in Mac OS X. Partitioning the processing into discrete steps makes it simpler for developers to access and manipulate individual frames without having to worry about translating between data types (QuickTime, OpenGL, and so on) or display synchronization issues. ... The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a modular computer printing system for Unix-like operating systems that allows a computer to act as a powerful print server. ... Darwin is a free and open source, Unix-like operating system first released by Apple Inc. ... Comparison of docks in Avant Window Navigator on Ubuntu, Mac OS X Leopard, and Suns Project Looking Glass The Dock in Mac OS X is an application; this is its icon. ... Mac OS X 10. ... FileVault in the System Preferences under Security FileVault is a system that protects files on a Macintosh computer. ... The Apple Icon Image format is the icon format used in Apple Computers Mac OS X. It supports icons of 16×16, 32×32, 48×48 and 128×128 pixel icons, with both 1- and 8-bit alpha channels and multiple image states (example: open and closed folders). ... Inkwell, later renamed Ink, but still mostly referred to as Inkwell by Apple is the name of the handwriting recognition technology built into Apple Computers Mac OS X. It was introduced in version 10. ... The I/O Kit is an open-source framework in the XNU kernel that helps developers code device drivers for Darwin-enabled operating systems (one popularly known as Apples Mac OS X.) The I/O Kit framework was originally introduced at the release of Mac OS X along with... Linux kernel panic under QEMU. Mac OS X kernel panic alert. ... Keychain is Apple Computers password management system in Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. ... Mach-O, short for Mach object file format, is a file format for executables and object code. ... A Menu extra, menu item or status item in Mac OS X is a small icon or sometimes a word that appears at the right of the menu bar. ... Preference Pane icon A Preference Pane (often abbreviated as prefpane) is a special dynamically loaded plugin in Mac OS X. Introduced in Mac OS 10. ... In the Mac OS X Cocoa, NeXTSTEP, and GNUstep programming frameworks, property list files are files that store serialized objects. ... Quartz is the marketing name of the proprietary graphics layer that sits on top of the open source Darwin core of Mac OS X. Quartz is part of the Core Graphics framework. ... QuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. ... Quick Look is a new preview feature in Mac OS X v10. ... For other software named Rosetta, see Rosetta (disambiguation). ... In computing, a virtual folder generally denotes an organizing principle for files that is not dependent on their physical location in a folder. ... Spaces is a virtual desktop feature developed by Apple to be included in Mac OS X v10. ... The Speakable Items window, executing the Tell Me a Joke command. ... Spotlight is an as-you-type, system-wide desktop search feature found in Mac OS X v10. ... Stacks are a new feature found in Apples latest operating system, Mac OS X Leopard. ... For other uses, see Time Machine. ... A Uniform Type Identifier (UTI) is a string that uniquely identifies the type of a class of items. ... Universal Binary Logo A Universal binary is — in Apple Computers parlance — an application bundle that runs natively on both PowerPC- and x86 (Intel)-based Macintosh computers. ... WebKit is an application framework included with Mac OS X v10. ... In computers, Xgrid is software (Apple Computer, Inc. ... XNU is the name of the kernel that Apple acquired and developed for use in the Mac OS X operating system and released as open source as part of the Darwin operating system. ... For other uses, see ZFS (disambiguation). ...

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