Konfabulator as an application is great. I'm not thrilled with their implementation of Konfabsposé, or the small performance hit some Macs get (they have been continually improving it with every release, however) but it does have some useful widgets.
That being said, I just don't see any advantages that work for me personally, yet. I can control iTunes from the dock, I use a calculator when I need it, I don't need to know the weather at every waking minute, I don't have any stocks to bother watching, and I definitely don't need a Haiku generator, either.
Honestly, I think some people crave distractions -- why the need for web cams, picture windows that refresh, gamelets, or little animated animals?
Personally, I like it. I just use a few small widgets tucked neatly into a corner. The "Weather" widget being one as well as "what to do" widget. I also prefer the tiny "nuclear jellybean" battery indicator for my laptop.
Konfabulator is most definitely not a "must-have" utility in my opinion but I was impressed so I bought a license.
Generally, the only add-ons I use are ones that help me be more productive or make my mac work the way I want it to work.
Drag Thing, Default Folder X, Windowshade, Fruit Menu are system add-ons that I would easily put ahead of Konfabulator.
I find a couple of the widgets helpful -- and that's the thing: there are HUNDREDS of them, and you'll stumble across some gems that might be of use. Widgets I use are:
Drop FTP: set some server info, and it provides one-stop drag-and-drop to that destination, automatically overwriting any identically named items. Fast.
iTunes Radio Lover: great for listening to streaming radio and you want to know the name of a song playing. It provides the artist ad song name as well as pulling up the album artwork.
Multisearch widget: provides comprehensive searching of Google (normal mode, image. group and news searches), Yahoo (never use that one), Versiontracker and Internet Movie Database.
Those are the main ones I use, although there are others that I found would be handy for other needs.
As for Dashboard "taking up space" or cluttering your workflow, you'll surely be able to disable it by setting NO action keys or other activation methods... just like Exposé. That's fairly standard with pretty well all of the Finder's functions, too, such as turning of the location sidebar and toolbar in Finder windows, giving you that old time OS 9 Finder window look.
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I personally like it, don't think it's a waste of space at all. I only use 3 widgets tho: the iTunes controller, the weather one, nice to know , and the great ehMac one (courtesy of Chealion). I just put them in the upper left corner of my screen, and their there for conveinece
Personally I stopped using Konfabulator a while ago, just simply because I was finding that even with only 3 or 4 widgets open (this was before the "mini" series and the improvements with Exposé) it was just a little cluttered.
I can't take all the credit for the ehMac widget. jfpoole did much of the behind the scenes work (regular expressions the main one), and I just spiffed up the UI, and added a few features.
Personally I like the idea of Dashboard more and more. What I like is that it is what we did with Konfabulator but out of sight, out of mind until I want it. That is always something I wanted but didn't know the fix for it until I watched the keynote.
Konfabulator is a great program, but can easily be a waste of space depending on what widgets you are using, and where you have them placed.
For example, if you find most of the original widgets too big, check out the "mini" series. Those are much better when it comes to screen space.
I know when I made the latest incarnation of the ehMac widget (which I haven't changed in months), I had the posts and search bar hide themselves when people wanted, meaning that the widget could be stuck in a corner somewhere and ignored until it was wanted.
I'm really interested in knowing how different it is to develop for Konfabulator and Dashboard. As Dashboard is supposed to use WebKit, while Konfabulator uses it's own engine.