How-To: Keeping multiple dashboard widgets on the desktop...

Andy C

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2004
29
0
Farnborough, UK
As a few people, including myself, were asking how to do this I thought I would post a solution which I found on another site.

You need to enable dev mode by opening a Terminal and typing:

defaults write com.apple.Dashboard devmode YES

then press Return, logout and log back in again.

To get a widget off of the Dashboard and onto your desktop, just do the following:

- Activate Dashboard by pressing F12 (or whatever key you've assigned to Dashboard).
- Begin dragging the widget.
- Press F12 again, before letting go of the mouse button and drop the widget wherever you want.

You can repeat this for as many widgets as you like.


-A
 

daveL

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2003
2,425
0
Montana
Good catch, Andy. From reading a several of other queries on the subject, I'm sure you have just made a number of folks very happy.
 

Andy C

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2004
29
0
Farnborough, UK
I've found a bit of a problem with this... the widgets stay in the foreground, on top of any open apps. Methinks apple needs to give us more Dashboard options!


-A
 

Hugin777

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2003
102
0
Copenhagen
Super cool ! Thanks !

I found a bug, though:

If you have a widget on the desktop layer, press and hold the mouse on it, then press F12 - the widget will now follow the Dashboard but belong to the desktop :p That is, you can't close it or move it anymore !

NB: after doing the "defaults write com.apple.Dashboard devmode YES" you have to close Dashboard by killing the Dock (e.g. with Activity Monitor, or "killall Dock") for the changes to take effect.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Andy C said:
I've found a bit of a problem with this... the widgets stay in the foreground, on top of any open apps. Methinks apple needs to give us more Dashboard options!


-A
You're requesting more features from a hack?
 

Einherjar

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2003
115
0
gekko513 said:
You're requesting more features from a hack?
No, he's asking for Apple to make Dashboard more like Konfabulator, or more like their old DAs. It'd be nice to have some widgets on the desktop layer, or perhaps embedded into the desktop background.

In this sense, Apple made Dashboard a bit different from Konfabulator, as it does neither of those things without a hack that hardly works reasonably well.
 

titaniumducky

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2003
593
0
gekko513 said:
You're requesting more features from a hack?
It's actually not a hack. It's part of the official method for developing widgets (hence "devmode YES"), so it's quite conceivable they could give you konfab-like options for displaying the widgets.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Devmode is still buggy. Apple probably didn't want to release it as a feature until they could figure a way to make it easier to drag widgets between desktop and Dashboard. (although I find the process seamless). Maybe 10.4.5 we'll see expanded Dashboard capabilities. ;)
 

sparkleytone

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2001
2,307
0
Greensboro, NC
One of the main reasons that Dashboard is better than Konfabulator is that it doesn't clutter your desktop. Apple took the idea of widgets and put them in their own separate space. Almost another 'virtual desktop' of sorts. This leaves the information right at your fingertips, but leaves your desktop alone.
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,229
293
Saint Augustine, FL
sparkleytone said:
One of the main reasons that Dashboard is better than Konfabulator is that it doesn't clutter your desktop. Apple took the idea of widgets and put them in their own separate space. Almost another 'virtual desktop' of sorts. This leaves the information right at your fingertips, but leaves your desktop alone.
I use Konfabulator and I don't consider my desktop cluttered. It should be up to the user! The Weather widget, for example, should always live on my desktop.

This is why I'm still using Konfabulator, for example. Dashboard is nice and gimmicky and all that, but K just works better.

(and I still find I use Quicksilver over Spotlight, since Quicksilver lets you perform more than the default action of a found item)
 

piracy

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2003
22
0
Hugin777 said:
If you have a widget on the desktop layer, press and hold the mouse on it, then press F12 - the widget will now follow the Dashboard but belong to the desktop :p That is, you can't close it or move it anymore!
Actually, if you hold the option key and mouse over the widget, the close button appears.
 

Hugin777

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2003
102
0
Copenhagen
piracy said:
Actually, if you hold the option key and mouse over the widget, the close button appears.
Normally, yes, but I tried to describe a bug I found. Please read it again.

The widget will NOT be visible outside Dashboard, but will be darkened when Daskboard is active and impossible to close or move. A sort of widget limbo :)

Edit: the point is: press and hold DO NOT MOVE the mouse.
 

piracy

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2003
22
0
Hugin777 said:
Normally, yes, but I tried to describe a bug I found. Please read it again.

The widget will NOT be visible outside Dashboard, but will be darkened when Daskboard is active and impossible to close or move. A sort of widget limbo :)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand the problem. If you want to close or move the widgets that are at desktop level, you can do it outside of Dashboard-land. The widgets on the desktop *aren't in* Dashboard any more; they're on the desktop, so this behavior is perfectly consistent.

Edit: the point is: press and hold DO NOT MOVE the mouse.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Pressing and holding, but not moving, the widget and then exiting Dashboard does nothing. The widget must begin to be *moved* in order for it to remain outside of the Dashboard environment.

And then, yes, the widget is only available outside of Dashboard, but not in Dashboard itself any longer. I doubt this is a bug, as this is merely a widget development mode, not an end-user feature.

Nonetheless, expect a third party tool, soon, that allows you to manipulate widgets any way you see fit, including in "Konfabulator-like" fashion.

EDIT: Ahh, yes, I reproduced what you're talking about: if you press and hold the mouse, but do not move it, on a widget that is already on the desktop and then activate Dashboard, it goes into this limbo state. Interesting.
 

Mlobo01

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2003
318
0
Weehawken New Jersey
Can someone check Dashboard with Activities Monitor...

Can someone check Dashboard with Activities Monitor and compare the CPU-sage versus Konfabulator? I dont have Tiger yet, and I was wondering if Dashboard is more economical when it comes to using System Resources. and please post the results or a pic of it. Thanks
 

Hugin777

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2003
102
0
Copenhagen
Mlobo01 said:
Can someone check Dashboard with Activities Monitor and compare the CPU-sage versus Konfabulator? I dont have Tiger yet, and I was wondering if Dashboard is more economical when it comes to using System Resources. and please post the results or a pic of it. Thanks
The problem seems to be memory usage, not CPU usage. And RAM usage is hard to determine as it will swap out when necessary.
 

Mlobo01

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2003
318
0
Weehawken New Jersey
which would be better?in the long run...

Hugin777 said:
The problem seems to be memory usage, not CPU usage. And RAM usage is hard to determine as it will swap out when necessary.
So in the long run which will affect system performance? would you consider one better than the other?
 

Hugin777

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2003
102
0
Copenhagen
Mlobo01 said:
So in the long run which will affect system performance? would you consider one better than the other?
If you have enough memory it's ok. Otherwise don't use Dashboard (you can kill Dashboard when you need all available memory).

I know nothing abount Konfabulator.
 

reedm007

macrumors member
Mar 17, 2002
85
0
Mlobo01 said:
Can someone check Dashboard with Activities Monitor and compare the CPU-sage versus Konfabulator? I dont have Tiger yet, and I was wondering if Dashboard is more economical when it comes to using System Resources. and please post the results or a pic of it. Thanks
The answer you're looking for...

Both Dashboard and Konfabulator launch each widget as a separate application. Some quick comparisons on memory usage:

Dashboard Calendar: 16.43MB RAM
Konfab Calendar: 15.1MB RAM

Dashboard Weather: 25.61MB RAM
Konfab Weather: 19.30MB RAM

So Dashboard seems to use up memory. NOW, that said, Konfab eats your CPU. Konfabulator widgets I've seen eat up to 10% of your CPU *each*, depending on the widget, and a modest set of Calendar, weather, airport, to-do, stocks eats up between 3% to 17% of my cpu at any given time.

Dashboard works a bit differently since it doesn't keep updating when you're not using it. It updates when you bring it forward. Sometimes this can lead to a delay when you bring dashboard forward, but it saves CPU cycles otherwise.

So... There's my somewhat initial analysis. :) Hope that helps a bit.
 

faroutfive

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2004
2
0
Putting the Widget Away After Placing on the Desktop

Thank you for this widget desktop tip. Here's another way to get widgets off your desktop without using the Terminal.

After I was finished trying it out having the Calender widget on the desktop, I grabbed it, pressed F12, and dropped it back in the dashboard. Now I had two calenders, so I pressed the large plus button in the lower left, adding the close icon to all the widgets so I could close my extra calender.

Thanks!
 

dirtymatt

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2005
36
0
sparkleytone said:
One of the main reasons that Dashboard is better than Konfabulator is that it doesn't clutter your desktop. Apple took the idea of widgets and put them in their own separate space. Almost another 'virtual desktop' of sorts. This leaves the information right at your fingertips, but leaves your desktop alone.
Konfabulator gives you this option too. Just set the widget level to Konspose only and it will only show up when you press F8.

Konfabulator just gives you more options on how you want the widgets displayed.
 

Mlobo01

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2003
318
0
Weehawken New Jersey
that explains really well H777,Thanks!

Im not a big widget user, I usually check some once in a while and then quit Konfab, for myself I think Im gonna like Dashboard when Apple gives it more options. But I can really see the diifference between them now. I think it all depends on what kind of user are you. I usually do a lot of PS and GB, between them both my time is consumed and have little time for widgets on the desktop, I can see how it would be useful to me if I want to check something quick then make it go away.
 

TEG

macrumors 604
Jan 21, 2002
6,570
49
Langley, Washington
This "HACK" does not work on my machine. I don't know why, except maybe it is that I have an original TiBook 500 with 8MB VRAM, and I don't have enough for it.

Any Ideas??

TEG