As you may have been able to read here in my weblog, I have been using Yahoo! Widget Engine (a.k.a. Yahoo! Konfabulator) for some time now and having upgraded I just couldn’t help but to weblog about it as I have been enjoying the upgrade ever since it first came out. However, a colleague from work pointed me to a weblog post over at Scobleizer where he mentioned a couple of days ago Goowy, a relatively new desktop application that works with widgets as well, amongst other things.
And, of course, I had to try it out and see how it would be matching the expectations that I have placed already for Yahoo! Widget Engine. But not without checking out first Scobleizer’s weblog post where there are some interesting comments about people’s experiences. And so far they don’t seem to be very positive. Mine either.
After having installed Goowy and played around with it during the last couple of days, it has got some interesting options like access to other different offerings like del.icio.us, Flickr, IceRocket, Technorati, weather forecast, quotes, games, etc. etc. but it still doesn’t cut it for me, as far as I can see. Apparently, the RSS newsfeeds seem to get stuck themselves on the top left of the desktop and it will not allow you to drag them anywhere unless you close them down. That seems to be consistent every time I start the application and so far I haven’t found a way to get rid of that issue. Still looking …
Also it looks like Goowy seems to be a US only application because the weather forecast does not seem to be working for locations out of the US. I just cannot understand why applications are provided for a worldwide audience and then they are restricted to provide US only information. Like the rest of the world does not exist. I know that this seems to have happened to Google in the past, but I was not expecting that from, supposingly a Web 2.0 application. Hopefully, that will be addressed at some point, like the folks at Google have done already, at least, for some of the applications.
However, the main issue that I seem to have been experiencing with Goowy is actually its performance. Starting it up seems to be taking some time despite the fact it is based in Flash but the main problem is when trying to update some of those widgets. Like, for instance, the Stocks one, where it would take me several minutes to enter the different symbols I would want to follow up on. And at that point it is where I have decided it is time to wait for an updated version and see if those performance issues would be addressed soon enough, because I doubt I would be able to wait minutes in order to have different widgets updated, whereas with Yahoo! Widget Engine things have been running smooth and haven’t noticed any performance issues, not even a single crash, like it has happened with Goowy a couple of times.
So, in short, a good attempt towards providing some really good functionality to get so much more from your desktop but then again may be not ready just yet for prime time. I will have to wait for a little while and see if they would be addressed and fixed in upcoming versions. Time will tell.