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Am I the only person who finds Konfabulator to be useless? Even Gruber seems to like it, or at least the idea behind it.

Konfabulator's list of widgets is full of Airport signal monitors, battery monitors, to-do lists, and more. Says the description of one widget, "Useless, but fun!" (View all modules here.)

Guess what? I've already got things that do these things. The menu bar (Airport, Volume, etc.) and dock (CPU Monitor, etc.) all handle these tasks. They're always available unlike Konfabulator's windows, which can easily be obscured by other apps' windows.

I've said it before: I like form to follow function, not the other way around. Konfabulator - and most of its widgets - are all form. $25 is way too high a price for that.

12 Responses to "Konfabuseless"

  1. I agree that, at $25, it's about $15-$20 too expensive for what it does, but I give them credit for putting together a widget engine that's at least theoretically accessible to anyone who can write a Javascript and work with Photoshop. There hasn't been a revolutionary Widget yet, but the tool is still new.

  2. Exactly what I found with this little program. I played with it a bit, then deleted it from my system. Somehow multiple 2-4 megabyte applets in memory don't even begin to compare with using a web browser or netnewswire to get the same info in a much better way.

  3. I haven't looked at the API it presents, but I don't see why Konfabulator would be better than any of a number of other applications that do the same thing. People who want a tiny exposure to programming can just as easily use AppleScript or REALbasic.

    Since I'm not in Konfabulator's target market, I can't say if the price is too high. Its users will determine that. I'm just not sure how many long-term users it will have, regardless of price.

  4. I know people that swear by it, but on my 1024x768 iBook it's frellin' useless. Canned it due to

    * General uselessness

    * Specific uselessness

    * Too big

    * Too ... gooey

    * Too hyped

    Wake me when it does something.

  5. I'd have to disagree - there arent' any other applications that can quite do the same thing. Konfab is the only I know of that takes advantage of the Quartz rendering engine to allow alpha transparency, shadows, etc. Granted, there are many useless widgets - the one I use the most is the one I wrote: an RSS aggregator. I also use the to-do list, but that's about it.

  6. A tool to easily write menu extras would be a lot more useful.

  7. It's eyecandy. Don't overestimate the market for such things. I like the look of many of the orginal widgets, but the price is too steep for the functionality. What a pity, it could really take off (even more than it has) if they made the engine available for free then charged a couple of bucks for each widget. In the end, they'd net more, I think.

  8. Konfabulator has been making the rounds at work and I continued to be baffled by it's popularity. As someone said above, "It's eye candy". That's exactly right. Some art person sat down with someone good programming and had a great weekend.

    My assumption has always been that it's extensibility was the reason people liked it, but based off hallway conversation and rumor... it's not that useful.

    Widgets clutter my desktop and I despise clutter.

    Thanks for bringing this up -- it's been bugging me.

  9. What did you expect from the descendants of Kaleidoscope? (Which I use to this day with a Very Unapproved Aqua scheme for OS9, but.) Of course 99% of all widgets are useless, just as 99% of all K-schemes were ugly abominations.

  10. I think it is Konfabulous.

    People talk about clutter. You can organize. It does not need to be cluttered. There are 297 widgets as of this writing. I regularly use 5 widgets. You do not have to use all of them. I also have others that I use occasionally.

    This image is just the right hand side of my desktop.

  11. The real power of Konfabulator lies in the simple scripting. At my company, we're talking about building custom 'executive dashboard' widgets for our newspaper publishers so they can track real-time sales data. Sure, I could build a RealBasic app or a Web page in PHP but Konfabulator is much prettier and simple to build with.

  12. Question: What Dashboard apps do you want? My Answer: I'm not sure I've come around to the proper way of thinking yet. I wrote several months ago in an article called "Konfabuseless: Konfabulator's list of widgets is full of Airport...