December 14, 2005 11:21 AM PST

Google home pages get even more personal

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Google on Wednesday released tools developers can use to create small applications modules that can be added to people's Google home pages.

The Google Homepage API (Application Programming Interface) page has information and software that developers can use to create modules, or "widgets," that people can then use to spice up their personalized home pages on Google.

Currently, it's possible to add to a Google home page content such as news, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, recipes, stock quotes, movie times and quotes of the day.

The Google Homepage Content Directory shows staff picks of new modules, including a weather map, date and time, and customized Google logo.

"With the Google Homepage API, developers can now create modules for the personalized homepage. It's designed to be flexible and easy to use, and you don't need to download anything to create a module," the official Google Blog said.

"Widgets are based on the XML file format, with additional JavaScript and HTML hosted on your own server, or--if you don't have a server--at any other public place, including Google Base," blogger and Google watcher Philipp Lenssen wrote in his in his blog that the service seems to run counter to Google's trademark clean and uncluttered interfaces.

"For many users (the ones that help make Google a verb), keeping it bare bones is one of the things that makes Google Google and makes simply gaining mind share (forget market share) a challenge for others," he wrote.

Earlier this week, Yahoo renamed its rival Konfabulator service Yahoo Widget Engine 3.0.


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Reading the API specs it looks like it is really easy to create these widgets. If you know some basic XML, HTML and JavaScript you can be up and running in no time.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by mysqlrocks (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The widgets are good
I think it must be stressed that these widgets are NOT being forced on anyone's Google page. They are there for people who want them on their personalized home page.

I, for one, like the widgets (especially the big clock and calendar widget).
Posted by BlueLaser (32 comments )
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Google copies MS
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Thought I'd throw that out there for all the whiners who post the MS copies Google stories..
Posted by J_Day (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Interesting placement
Konfabulator, for me, was less than perfect because it demanded a program layer of its own. I hated searching my dock for the icon, or the dopey menu. The latest Yahoo widget engine, though, makes me wonder if I was right. Still, the desktop in OS X is getting pretty tired.

It sure might be better to locate the widgets on your home page. You'd know where to find them, and it's easy to hide them.
Posted by swift2--2008 (197 comments )
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Business Model
Microsoft Gadget, Google Homepage API and Yahoo's Widget are almost same. Btw, I want to ask them what would be the business model of them. Are they going to sell in the future the applications or to add ad on them? Users can enjoy it but I am just curious about BM.
Posted by ysrang (5 comments )
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This is cool! Here is a neat word of the day module for Google
I added it to my <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> page <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>. I would like to see more cool modules created.
Posted by AlexBest1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag more creative
MS and Google keep providing standard layout and contents. I prefer decide what I want on my personal page and how, and I use
Posted by look3r (2 comments )
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