| Comments

I’ve had a couple things sitting in my inbox for a week or so and rather than call them out individually and take up your precious aggregation space, I’ll summarize them here.

3rd Party Silverlight Controls

Got a note from Valentin about the roadmap for the Telerik Silverlight controls.  As they’ve previously noted, they are planning a set of controls: Window, Menu, TreeView, TabControl, PanelBar, Cube, ComboBox, Upload, Calendar, DatePicker, NumericUpDown, MediaPlayer, Range Slider, ProgressBar, WrapPanel, DockPanel, UniformGridPanel.  Right now it looks like they are incorporating the feedback provided and doing some polish work like adding Blend tool support for skinning, etc.  They also announced a Grid and Carousel control for Silverlight as well.  I particularly thought their mention of working on something similar to their RadDock for Windows for Silverlight sounded particularly interesting.

Silverlight Sidebar Gadget Template

Microsoft has a program called Student Partners.  These are individuals still in higher education and have shown their enthusiasm toward Microsoft technologies.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of these individuals and appreciate their energy around geekness.  Ioan Lazarciuc is one such Student Partner and took one of my previous samples of a Vista Sidebar Gadget Template for Visual Studio and Silverlight-ified it…enabling a template for creating Silverlight content-enabled Vista Sidebar Gadgets.

Ion’s got a great post about the work and the known issues that he still faces and had to get used to.  Go check it out and give some feedback on the work!

Deep Zoom and Mosaics

Creating Deep Zoom applications seem to be all the rage these days :-).  Another tool is making it more fun (and easier) to create some pretty cool visualizations with Deep Zoom and images.  The tool is Andrea Mosaic and is a tool to take a set of images and make a mosaic picture out of the images.  Then taking those mosaic collections and Doom Zoom-ifying them.  One hilarious implementation is the DeepLOL, using the various LOLCat phrases/images.  Take a look at what Rob Burke did (via Silverlight Streaming – hint: move your mouse and zoom in with the scroll wheel):

NBCOlympics.com

Of course you’ve probably heard of the Olympics on NBC.  The NBCOlympics.com by MSN site is serving over 3,600 hours of online content live and on-demand for your viewing pleasure.  If you install Silverlight you’ll get to enjoy the enhanced player experience that will deliver HD-quality content to your computer in the comfort of your own home.  I’m pretty excited to see some of the Olympics this year and will have to check out this experience for some of the live events.  I already like the HD experience I’ve seen so far…check it out!

That’s a few I had in my queue…more to come!

| Comments

Ah, the joys of using non-API APIs :-).  I say that in jest because essentially my first stab at the MSDN search gadget wasn't using any *real* API, but rather just formatting queries correctly and hoping that the format would stay the same.

Well, when you do this you run the risk of things changing.  For MSDN (and TechNet) search, things have changed 3 times now.  Mike Ormond points out that another change breaks the default MSDN gadget that I had created.  He's posted a fix that works for him (until the next change) and should for others.

Thanks Mike for posting the fix!

| Comments

thanks to for prodding me about updating the msdn search sidebar gadget.  i had found this issue as well myself when i realized it wasn't working anymore.  well, it was because msdn went through a redesign and their urls changed...so much for scraping :-)

well, i updated mine and i'm sure is swamped and may not have a chance to update his (and i didn't want to redist his code, but here's what i did).

on mine you can just download the new one here: MSDN Search Sidebar Gadget

when i say "mine" it is just a basic typical gadget.  nikhil's was written using his which is fantastically awesome.  he also has some UI updates.  which one is better?  they both yield the same result...i actually use nikhils because his UI is better...i'm merely updating mine here for the masses (same download link).

on to nikhil's changes required.  if you want to just update the currently installed one, go to C:\Users\<youruserid>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets and look for the installation point.  on my machine it is called "MSDNSearch.gadget" and open that folder.  in there you will find an MSDNGadget.js file.  go to line 26 and change:

http://search.msdn.microsoft.com/search/data.ashx?&query={0}

to

http://search.msdn.microsoft.com/search/Feed.aspx?query={0}&feed=rss

boom, then you are done.  if you want to modify the script# project, then open the MSDNSearch.cs file and make the same change to the SearchUrlFormat private string on line 13.  then you can recompile and all is well.

hope this helps...and thanks for the nudge mike!

| Comments

check it out --  is an online environment to easily (and in a fun way) create apps, mashups, gadgets, etc.  the "ide" is built on too!

there is also a plugin for visual studio to look at the community submissions.

view the overview and sign up for the waitlist.

| Comments

someone asked if would work in an ...interesting thought i felt.  after all, the dashboard widget concept is similar to the sidebar gadget feature in vista in that it is essentially a packaged file with html, javascript, images, etc.  so i went to task and tried it out.

i first started with a media player that i had been working on and it didn't go so well...more on that at a later time (startup javascripts, etc.).  after that i just dumbed it down to a simple sample that had some animation and stuff.

packaged it up, deploy to dashboard...and...

nothing.

hmm...what is going on here.  ah, yes, there is a setting in the dashboard widget that requires you to turn it on to allow internet plugins to work...modify to enable, redeploy.

nothing.  blech.  actually, not "nothing" but the default install prompt for silverlight -- which upon clicking did nothing.

with some pointers, i started realizing that the dashboard is likely not registering as "safari" or "firefox" or anything of the like.  it's built using , but perhaps that is the problem.  some others pointed me to that it is likely a conflict with the detection script in silverlight.js and not being able to figure something out.

so i changed to hard-code in the embed/object tag and then was able to get it working like this:

<div id="SilverlightControlHost" class="silverlightHost">

    <object type="application/ag-plugin" id="SilverlightControl" height="100%" width="100%">
        <param name="source" value="Scene.xaml">
        <param name="onError" value="default_error_handler">
        <param name="onLoad" value="javascript:_sl0">

    </object>
    
</div>

i wouldn't necessarily recommend using the object tag as the detection script works perfectly in typical browser situations (typical meaning != dashboards or other hosted models).  i'm going to take a look at the detection script next to see if hacking it up might make this work easier.

i can't figure out how to take a screenshot of a dashboard gadget working (capture doesn't work in the dashboard view), so you'll have to take my word for it.  if you want to try it out on your osx dashboard yourself, the test file is at the end of this post.  I also did a quick and dirty wrapper of lutz roeder's digger to see if it would work.  the keyboard interaction doesn't, but again i suspect that is some javascript hacking that needs to be modified in the engine script (of digger) to enable it working in webkit.

File: SLDash.zip
File: Digger.zip