Mac applets coming soon to Windows

A Web site that offers desktop applets for the Macintosh desktop is gearing up to provide similar gadgets for Windows.

A Web site that offers desktop applets for the Macintosh desktop is gearing up to provide similar gadgets for Windows.

The site, called Konfabulator, launched in February and has attracted a wide following of Mac users drawn to its JavaScript applets, or "widgets," that tell the time, predict the weather, monitor battery or central processing unit usage and track the phases of the moon.

In less than a year, the software has garnered more than a million downloads, along with an undisclosed number of people paying $25 for use of the shareware product.

"It's a lot more than we'd ever anticipated," said 31-year-old Silicon Valley native Arlo Rose, who with his business partner, Perry Clarke, cooked up the idea during long lunch breaks when they were both employed at Sun Microsystems. "The idea behind it was to come up with a little utility to let you do whatever you wanted to with little or no programming experience."

Perry and Rose devised an application that used the JavaScript scripting language, along with the World Wide Web Consortium's Extensible Markup Language, to hook into Apple's Quartz windowing system.

That means that Konfabulator widgets have the look and feel of the Mac OS, which Rose describes as "slick."

Konfabulator comes with 15 widgets, and the site's widget gallery offers more than 450 made by Konfabulator enthusiasts.

Now, Perry and Rose are at work on a version for Windows. That version goes to beta testers Tuesday night and is scheduled to be complete within four to six weeks.

Rose once worked for Apple doing user interface design and was co-creator of the Kaleidoscope shareware for manipulating pre-OS X Apple user interfaces.

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