Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

Cat versus Mouse…Pointer?

Meet Maukie, the Virtual Cat:

Maukie is one of a bazillion-and-two widgets now available for sites such as iGoogle, NetVibes, and FaceBook.  Generally, you’ll embed them from widget galleries such as Widgipedia (, SpringWidgets (, WidgetBox, which is where I got Maukie (

A couple of coworkers and I got into an amusing conversation about Maukie, and what would happen if she could walk among widgets on your portal page, or even better, leave you dead presents when you go away and come back.  What would it be like if you had to re-install your Squeaker-The-Virtual-Mouse widget because Maukie got ahold of him one night after you had gone to bed.

It was an amusing dialogue, but it got me thinking about widgets in general.  Can/could widgets interact with one another in new ways?  Web parts on SharePoint sites have been able to consume other web parts, but you have to manually hook them up.  Could we make widgets do that, too?  It’s funny to think of the Maukie widget “consuming” the Squeaker widget, but could we create a widget that consumes information from Amazon, Flickr, and your vacation planning checklist widgets, and come up with mashup that gives you suggested purchases for your vacation, and recent photos that someone else took of your holiday destination?  Are there already widgets doing things like this?

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January 8, 2008 - Posted by | General

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