Apple: Widget writers wanted

Apple Computer is hoping the possibility of winning a free iPod will prompt developers to start writing widgets--small Mac programs that will run in the next version of Mac OS X.

The Mac maker has launched a contest for developers who create programs in Dashboard--a part of Tiger, the update to Mac OS X that will debut in the first half of next year. The idea behind Dashboard, as well as a similar third-party program called Konfabulator, is that computer users want easy access to small programs that do things like showing stock quotes or displaying photos.

Though Dashboard won't be available until Tiger arrives, the company wants to jump-start development of the widgets that work with Dashboard. Apple is hoping that the prospect of creating widgets will appeal to more than just the usual crop of Apple developers, given that only standard Web site skills are needed. "It's really critical that we get this technology out to people beyond our traditional developer base," said Ron Okamoto, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple. "You are gong to see people who never thought about programming for the Mac."

News source: C|Net News.com

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