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Monday, March 12, 2007

Netvibes’ Universal Widget API

Netvibes released the “Universal Widget API” (UWA) with the claim “Write once, run everywhere” (ouch, I’m reminded of an old unfulfilled Sun/ Java promise!). The idea is that you create gadget code only once, and then have it run on the Google Personalized Homepage, the Apple Dashboard, the Netvibes widget platform and others. If I understand Netvibes’ Hello World example correctly, then they decided to just add a widget namespace to XHTML 1.0 Strict documents instead of reinventing the (whole) wheel.

I’ll add some caveats:

In any case, trying to standardize gadgets cross-platform is a good move for Netvibes. They probably realized that they’d lose when trying to make developers decide between Netvibes versus the Google Personalized Homepage, simply due to Google’s reach. With the UWA, they’re now telling developers: if you go for us, you can create gadget for both Google and Netvibes.

[Thanks Netvibes team and Alex K.!]


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