Posted by Shane
I wished I used widgets. Why havn’t it? Because the coding around them is mostly hardcoded. Lets take a common scenario that I see all the time and from other people:
User A downloads Plugin A. Plugin A has a widget which has hardcoded data output. User A has a custom theme (or a downloaded theme.) and Plugin A does not conform to the theme’s design making User A scramble for help. They check the WordPress.org forums for help in getting Widget of Plugin A changed. User A gets no help. Uninstalls the Plugin A and then is one less user that Author has their plugin installed.
Now my way of what might be coming to a WordPress enabled site soon (3.x.x would be the earliest):
User A downloads Plugin A. Plugin A has a widget. User A has a custom theme (or a downloaded theme) and that theme has a class that extends Walker_Widget called My_Walker_Widget. User A enables that Widget and it looks nice and pretty with their theme. They smile.
When the theme author updates their theme, all User’s A widgets will look like they belong there.