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Issue 3.6

COLUMN

Throw it on the Dash, Part I

Write your own Dashboard Widget

Issue: 3.6 (July/August 2005)
Author: Toby Rush
Author Bio: Toby Rush is a music instructor, consultant, freelance programmer, web designer, husband, and Dad in Greeley, Colorado.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 9,925
Starting Page Number: 44
Article Number: 3621
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

The Dashboard

One of the most apparent and anticipated interface-related features in the latest version of OS X, "Tiger," is the Dashboard. The Dashboard is a separate interface layer that, once summoned, floats over the rest of the items on the screen and contains small programs called Widgets.

These widgets are reminiscent of Apple's old Desk Accessories, and they mirror them in function. They are not treated as full-fledged applications, and Apple's guidelines recommend that a widget address a single function and stick to it. If you, as a widget developer, have the impulse to add unrelated (or even loosely related) functionality to your widget, consider designing separate widgets and specify only the functionality the user needs or wants.

Widgets are actually fairly easy to create: the interface is specified as an HTML file; in fact, widgets can be opened and tested to a limited degree in Safari or another web browser. Coding for widgets is done in JavaScript, a language which is very similar to REALbasic.

How to be a Widget

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