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A thingamajig

Posted at 3:46pm on 04 Jun 2008

Widgets 2.0

Has anyone noticed now that the term "widget" has become a catch-all phrase for describing more or less any software component? I now hear the term used to describe any of

  • A user interface component or control
  • An application built using some nonstandard technology, e.g. JavaScript
  • A plugin for a web site
  • A panel or sidebar on another window
  • A web service for providing any or all of the above

As far as I can tell, "widget" basically means "something I haven't got a name for", like doohickey, or thingamajig, or whatchamacallit. So why is it that Yahoo can announce a "widgets API" and we are supposed to know what that means?

Coming soon: Google doohickeys and Microsoft thingamajigs, for all your unspecified software needs.


Posted at 10:50am on 04 Jun 2008


Interesting new Open source JavaScript mapping API aims to break the coupling between the implementation and the data provider.

As a framework, OpenLayers is intended to separate map tools from map data so that all the tools can operate on all the data sources. This separation breaks the proprietary silos that earlier GIS revolutions have taught civilization to avoid. The mapping revolution on the public Web should benefit from the experience of history.