In the forthcoming version of Leopard which is set to arrive almost any day now, a new control will be making an appearance alongside the Web browser control, and that is the Web control.
What’s the difference? Well, with the Web browser control, you can display Web pages just like you would in your Web browser, but the Web control allows you to embed content from the Internet directly in your program. If you’re familiar with blogs and social networking, then you can vouch for the existence of a wide array of widgets that can do any number of things. With the Web control, you’ll be able to use these widgets in your Leopard programs, and this opens up a variety of interesting possibilities.
Do you want to display a list of YouTube videos in your program? No problem. Are you interested in developing a custom application for your stock portfolio that includes a widget that keeps track of how your stocks are performing? Easy – just use the Web control.
In terms of a WeatherBug example, I created a program that includes a camera image and the weather details for Stone Mountain here in Georgia, however, in order to enhance a user’s understanding of what the area is like, I added a Google Maps widget that encourages navigation of the local terrain.
The Web control also accepts HTML input, so you can display images, create links, and practice your HTML coding from within Leopard. Thanks to the Web browser and Web controls, you can now literally use any piece of content that you find on the Internet in your software.
You’ll be seeing real samples of this functionality soon enough, but just know that I’m very excited about the inclusion of these features because the possibilities truly are endless.