ambient dashboard widgets?
there has been a bunch of talk on the interweb about designing ambient display widgets for the mac os x dashboard. the locket displays the online status of a single buddy on iChat, open if your buddy is online, closed otherwise. clicking the locket starts up a conversation. pileup is a visualization of how much trash is rotting away in your trash can, each file is represented by a photo of some refuse, displaying a maximum of 10 pieces. flores is a vase with up to four flowers, each one indicating a new message in the inbox of your gmail or apple mail. finally anti-mega has has set about trying to copy some physical ambient displays, including the ambient dashboard, and web are you.
great. just a few things...
first, aren't we trying to get computation off the desktop? there is the argument that the dashboard and cocoa provide a quick way to get your ambient display up and running and then you can throw it on that spare powerbook you have [btw, since you aren't using that...do you think you might loan it to me? thanks]. okay fine, that is useful for prototyping, but does not an ambient display make. second, the amount of email in my inbox, the online status of my friend and the number of things in my trashcan are already [surprise!] displayed on my desktop! hitting F12 everytime i want to get a little ambient display action seems a bit... wrong. although these widgets are kinda cool, and there's some benefits to be had, i think people are missing the mark on what an ambient display really is. bummer.