September 18th, 2007
Desktop software is messy. Install, update, and uninstall are hard problems for both developers and consumers. I can’t imagine anyone’s happy with the status quo, and it’s even more challenging if you’re delivering software via the Internet (and who isn’t nowadays?). But now, we’ve taken a big step in improving things for Yahoo! Widgets authors and users with our brand-new Widget Badges, which enable users to download a Widget and all the required components directly from a snippet of code embedded on any web page.
You may have already noticed some improvements in the Yahoo! Widget Gallery with the release of Yahoo! Widgets 4. Instead of those plain old download links, each Widget now has what we call an in-page installer. There’s a button for each Widget that just works, no matter what components a given user requires – it opens the Widget if the user’s already got it, installs the Widget and even the Yahoo! Widgets application if needed, or updates the Widget if the user has an old version.
This new functionality has gotten rave reviews from both users and authors since it launched back in March. And the number one request we’ve had from authors is to be able to offer this kind of “it just works” experience directly from their own sites. Now we’re answering that call by empowering you to seamlessly deliver Widgets right from your own page. Your users can install, update, and open your Widget without ever leaving your site – whether or not they already have the Yahoo! Widgets application installed.
We’re very proud to have worked with GirlSense, one of our leading Widget authors, to deploy the first implementation of the new Widget badges. As you can see from the GirlSense site, the new Widget badges let anyone show off their own (or just their favorite) Yahoo! Widgets on their own page. And of course, the badges can be customized to match your site using our handy badge-o-matic. So, go check it out!
My team works on desktop software distribution across Yahoo!, and we’ve delivered hundreds of millions of copies of hundreds of versions of different apps over the years. We’re excited to be partnering with the Yahoo! Widgets team to put that experience to good use in improving the author and end-user distribution experiences for the thousands of Widgets in the Yahoo! Widget Gallery. The goal for all this in-page installer magic is to reduce the barriers that Widgets face as desktop software and increase your reach to a wider audience. Konfabulator™ is the leading platform for delivering web services to the desktop, and the distribution team is excited about finding new ways to make the Widgets you develop as easy for your users to get as possible.
- Derrick Whittle
Yahoo! Distribution Platform