I got the idea of these windows like gadget when I tried Installing ArchBAng Linux, a rolling Linux Distro based on currently popular Arch. I said it is similar to windows cause it stays on desktop. It has the ability to display different useful items such as memory usage, time, date, system processes, internet speed, total upload and download, hard disk and cpu temperatures, checking emails and displaying weather forecasts.
I got excited and installed one on my Xubuntu customized desktop. It took me long hours of work but I was very satisfied with the result. A nice looking, very simple and lightweight desktop tools.
I used windows desktop widget before but trashed it few days after. It was bloated and slowed down my Window installation significantly. On the other hand, I think I gonna stick to my hard coded conky gadget for while.
The pros and cons of conky.
Easy installation. It can be installed via terminal using sudo apt-get or equivalent commands. And or gui based installation managers like Synaptics and Software Center. Few clicks and very short waiting time.
Lightweight. There has been no slowdown in overall system performance after installaion. Everything seems to work like as before. I have been monitoring the cpu load, it rarely go beyond 0.75%.
Versatile. It can be very simple, just 2D images and plain text to graphical 3D illustrations. The taste depends upon the user or the configuration encoder.
It is not fit for newbies. Anyone who wants to implement it needs a programming experience or willing to read thick of tutorials.
Wrong code compilation often do no harm but can still cause system crash which needs reinstallation and possible data loss.
Harder to move around the desktop. The gadget positioning is hard coded too. Edit file and test… edit file and test until the right positioning is achieved.
Good news. Many good hearted people are willing to share their work for free. However, implementation is not easy either. Different works by different people usually requires different implementation procedures.
The sofware is free and not encrypted. Anyone is free to edit deep to core files.