All posts in Vista Gadgets

myFacebookIt’s been a while since my last post but that’s only because I’ve been working on my Gadget competition project. Some may already know what this was, the rest of you must probably have already figured it out from this post’s title, yes it’s a Facebook gadget.

The myFacebook gadget allows you to bring Facebook right into your windows vista desktop. With it you’ll be able to change your status, see your friends statuses, groups, notifications, albums and events without even having to open your web browser.

It’s probably the largest and certainly the most challenging gadget I’ve created (so far 😉 and it’s all written with JavaScript and DHTML. To retrieve facebook data, I’ve created a JavaScript wrapper of Facebook’s API that I’m also planning on releasing (its source code).

Once you’ve installed it you will have to authorize the gadget to see your facebook data just as you would for any other facebook application, before being able to interact with it. Extra authorization is needed though (from the facebook API) if you wish to be able to change your status as well.

In some cases you might have to login more than once (only the first time), as some (Patrick) noticed sorry for that but my intention is to avoid storing usernames and passwords and let Facebook handle authentication and authorization.

Note also that in some cases a javascript error may occur on the facebook login form preventing you from logging in. In such a case try changing your browser security settings to overcome the error or add http://login.facebook.com to your trusted sites zone.


Once the Greek elections 2007 Silverlight graph was ready, it was really simple putting it to a sidebar gadget. So I’ve built one and upload it to live gallery (in http://gallery.live.com). The approval process though will take some time and my guess is that it won’t be approved in time for the elections this afternoon, so I might as well post it here…

Gadget Thus if you’re looking for a way to have one or more election result graphs right in your Vista desktop you can download the Greek elections 2007 from here, just rename it to Election2007.gadget and install it on your sidebar.


I usually check my email boxes before leaving home to see if something interesting is there and today there was. The popfly invite, I had to wait for a couple of weeks, had finally arrived. Unfortunately I had to wait again in order to get to work before being able to give it a go. Once I’ve started playing with it though,I found out that it was worth waiting after all.

Popfly is indeed a great tool for developing cool mashups and gadgets quickly and easily. And although it’s rather unstable at the moment (a couple of my mashups did not work with no apparent reason and the mashup designer did not always start), I believe that it will play a vital role in building web Next.

I can’t wait until I build my first real popfly gadget using my new popfly account.
If only I had a cool idea to start with…


I’m a huge fan of dilbert cartoon so when I found out that there is a Daily Dilbert Vista Sidebar Gadget I raced and installed it.


Why isn’t this posted on http://gallery.live.com?


Kudos to Quartz


I recently developed two gadgets for my employer, a Newspaper Stand (gadget showing the front pages of Greek newspapers) and a Custom Calendar that displays information about TV Shows, currently playing shows, events etc. from the Greek portal www.in.gr.


The problem I faced during development was that I had no way of daily refreshing the content assuming that the user didn’t turn off the computer e.g. computer was put into sleep or hibernation mode during inactivity. The MSDN gadget development reference did not mention anything that could help me resolve these issues, so I ended up checking manually for date changes each time a timer’s interval was met. Even this way thow when the user opened the computer on the morning though, he/she had to wait for the first timer’s interval to see the current content.


Looking around for a while I finally found the information I was looking on the Sidebar Gadget Blog. There is actually an event System.Gadget.visibilityChanged which occurs when:



  • The gadget is docked to the sidebar and has been scrolled off-screen.

  • The gadget is docked to the sidebar and the sidebar has been minimized.

  • The workstation is locked or the user has “fast-user-switched” to another session on the console.

  • The power management timeout for the monitor has elapsed and the monitor is turned off.

And a property System.Gadget.visible which returns true if the gadget is visible. So using a simple code like:
function onload()
{
  System.Gadget.visibilityChanged = checkVisibility;
}
function checkVisibility()
{
  if(System.Gadget.visible)
  {
    updateFunction();
  }
}

you can update the content of your gadget the moment it becomes visible.


P.S. Anyone knows a reason or have a good explanation for this information not being in the Gadget Development Reference?