dash _this_

I’ve been trying to figure out all week how I feel about OS X 10.4’s “Dashboard” feature (and no, this isn’t a Konfabulator rant, I couldn’t care less about Konfabulator).

As a DHTML guy, I think it’s incredibly wonderful that my discipline is getting pushed ever further into the fabric of everyday life. For that I thank Apple. But (would I irascible bastard if there weren’t a “but”?) here’s what gets me: Dashboard shares one fatal flaw common between it and Konfabulator; no SVG support.

Frankly, I don’t want much from SVG support, and for “gadgets”, it can be very minimal. Filters are a time-sink to implement, and “animation” isn’t even a requirement. All I really, really want is the ability to draw non-straight lines, style them, fill areas with gradients and do all this with script. Oh, and I want it as mixed-document friendly (HTML+SVG, no boundaries). That’s it.

Think about how much more compelling it would be to export your “gadget” design directly from Illustrator and then just add some behavioral scripts to elements to get effects. For things like desktop components, HTML puts designers in a lame little square box where they have to hack things to itty bits to get anything to look compelling. Apple still has a chance to get there by adding basic SVG support to Konq/Safari sooner rather than later. It is a bona-fide chance for Apple to really beat MS to the punch. I hope they take it.