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This article was published on June 6, 2008


    Netvibes starts website dedicated to open source projects

    Netvibes starts website dedicated to open source projects


    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    Netvibes’ chief architect François Hodierne announced the opening of netvibes.org, a website dedicated to Netvibes’ Open Source projects: “By giving away our technology, we hope to foster innovations in the widget and personal-page space, and launch a discussion about their wide implementation.” Netvibes widgets are based on UWA, the Netvibes Universal Widget API. ‘Universal’ since UWA-based widgets run on any platform that supports common Web standards (HTML/JavaScript/CSS). That means iGoogle too.

    Netvibes.org is basically a sneak-preview of what’s really coming as the Netvibes developers need some more feedback before the project officially launches. Developers who want to give UWA a try, can work on three projects now:

    • The UWA JavaScript Runtime: JavaScript libraries that make it possible to run UWA widgets
    • The PHP Exposition libraries: make it possible to parse and compile UWA widgets
    • The Exposition widget server: makes it possible to serve widgets to users, notably within an iframe.

    I love the paradox of open source. Netvibes says it “gives away” their technology, yet they will probably never turn the personalized homepage into a open source project. Thus what Netvibes (and most other web companies do), is giving away little pieces of the technology – almost everything but the core technology -, so more service-related widgets will flood the web. That gives them a) a better image and b) more functionality.