Googly Gadgets Come to Linux

When Google Desktop — the widely popular desktop search software with a host of other shiny features — came to Linux in June of last year, it lacked one particularly shiny feature of the Windows version: Google Gadgets. A year later, Google is finally ready to gadgetize Linux — but they want you to have a look at their code first.

For those in the dark, Google Gadgets is a application that allows users to place widgets that perform a variety of useful functions anywhere on their desktop. Among the vast array of available gadgets are email trackers, weather applets, photo galleries, and news aggregators. An available Software Development Kit allows third-party developers to create their own gadgets, and even compete in a "Hall of Fame" competition. Until now, however, the functionality has been missing from the Linux version of Google Desktop.

Google software engineer Jim Zhuang announced the addition on Tuesday, but went further, inviting Linux developers to get down and dirty with the Google Desktop source code. "We don't just want to simply release the final offering, but we also want to give everyone a chance to tinker with the code powering the gadgets....fostering a transparent and lively developer community is just as important as serving our users." The announcement went on to say that the Linux version of Google Gadgets is compatible with the Windows version and Google's "universal gadgets," giving users a wide choice of ready-to-go gadgets, as well as providing developers with a well-developed jumping off point.

The project — which is distributed under the Open Source Apache license — is available in both GTK+ and Qt versions, though no Zhuang's announcement did not give a date for the final release of the new version.

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