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well, apparently there is a new browser in town for windows ;-).  if you haven't heard (then shame on you if this is your only source of information!), apple released a beta of safari for the windows platform.

my initial reaction was..."hmmm"

like any card-carrying geek member, i downloaded and installed.  yep, looks like safari.  so what.  on my mac i don't even use safari.  i'm not a fan of it.  people don't extend it very often.  (extend means different things to different people, what does it mean in the context of your situation tim? -- good point, i'm talking here in the sense of consumer-based plugins; i'm fully aware of safari extensibility other places.)

hanselman posted some first impressions and asked "what's the point? was this browser needed?"  it is a good question.  (note: i did not see the amazing speed that scott posted about in my simple, completely unscientific test, but my human sniff test didn't notice anything that made me say "holy crap!?"

so, what about it?  was this needed?  i don't think so.  now i've seen people all over criticize (and have been in rooms full of these people as well) internet explorer/microsoft and make suggestions that the world just love firefox.  so, what gives here...where are all the rants of yet another browser to apple?  i just find that interesting in my little conspiracy theory minded brain.  after all, is the mother-in-law focus audience going to go out and install this?  i doubt it.  (but if they do, rest assured apple succeeded in getting bonjour and other defaults installed as that audience will not pay attention to those options.)  but perhaps it isn't the browser that is important here.

with the release of the iphone weeks away, apple has made it clear that safari will be the programming platform there.  their taglines even state 'Safari makes the web work on iPhone.'  this is where i think their move was important to them.  they recognize that there is a huge developer base on windows.  they need those developers.  get the tools in front of them.  is safari important?  i don't think so as a browser...but look what safari brings to windows once installed...the base of webkit, apple's html rendering engine.  i think that is the key play here.

anyhow, i've already stated i'm not a safari user on mac...why would i be one on windows...it just isn't a great browser to me.  but to each his own...

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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...


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">


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