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Windows Vista Gadgets

, 24 Sep 2011 CPOL
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This article explains how to create a Windows Vista Gadget
AddGadget_small.jpg

Sidebar.jpg

Introduction

In this article, I have described the steps to create a Windows Vista Gadget. I have demonstrated the article with an example of a digital clock gadget.

Background

Windows Vista Gadgets are small applications which are hosted on the Sidebar. Windows Vista Gadgets are simply made up of HTML and JavaScript code.

User-created gadgets are stored in the following folder:

C:\Users\<current user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

Every gadget is stored in its own folder under the above mentioned folder. The folder name should be the same as the gadget name followed by the .gadget extension.

Every gadget has two files associated with it. One is an HTML file with embedded JavaScript code to define the functionality of the gadget. The other file is an XML file called gadget.xml and is also known as the gadget manifest.

Using the Code

In the HTML file, the style element is used to specify the layout and format of the gadget. The script element is used to specify the content and working of the gadget. Finally a span element is used to display the gadget.

Following is the HTML/JavaScript code for our digital clock gadget (DigitalClock.html):

<html>
<head>
    <title>Digital Clock</title>
    <style>
        body
        {
            margin: 0;
            width: 130px;
            height: 65px;
        }
        #gadgetContent
        {
            width: 130px;
            top: 24px;
            text-align: center;
            position: absolute;
            font-family: Verdana;
            font-size: 10pt;
        }
    </style>
    <script language="javascript">
        function showtime()
        {
            var now=new Date();		// Find current date
            var h=now.getHours();	// Find current hour
            var m=now.getMinutes();	// Find current minute
            var s=now.getSeconds();	// Find current second
            h=(h<10)?"0"+h:h;		// Convert hour to 2 digits
            m=(m<10)?"0"+m:m;		// Convert minute to 2 digits
            s=(s<10)?"0"+s:s;		// Convert second to 2 digits
            gadgetContent.innerHTML="<h2><font color='red'>"+h+":</font>
		<font color='lime'>"+m+":</font><font color='cyan'>"+s+"</font></h2>";
					// Set time on the span element
            setTimeout("showtime()",1000);	// Display time after every one second
        }
    </script>
</head>
<body onload="showtime()" bgcolor="black">
    <span id="gadgetContent"></span>
</body>
</html>

The gadget manifest file is an XML file which describes the properties of the gadget.

Following is the code of the gadget.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<gadget>
    <name>DigitalClock</name>
    <namespace>Example.Azim</namespace>
    <version>1.0.0.0</version>
    <author name="Azim">
        <info url="www.example.com" />
    </author>
    <copyright>Azim</copyright>
    <description>Digital Clock</description>
    <hosts>
        <host name="sidebar">
            <base type="HTML" apiVersion="1.0.0" src="DigitalClock.html" />
            <platform minPlatformVersion="1.0" />
            <permissions>Full</permissions>
        </host>
    </hosts>
</gadget>

Perform the following steps to add the gadget to the sidebar.

  • Create a folder called DigitalClock.gadget in the following folder:
    C:\Users\<current user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets 
  • Copy the files DigitalClock.html and gadget.xml into the DigitalClock.gadget folder.
  • Right click on the sidebar and select Add Gadgets... option.
  • Select the DigitalClock gadget.

Points of Interest

This was a very simple gadget. But more complex gadgets can be created as your knowledge of JavaScript becomes better.

History

  • 24th September, 2011: Initial version

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Azim Zahir
Instructor / Trainer NIIT, India
India India
I am a trainer by profession. Currently I am working with NIIT (Mumbai, India) as a Senior Faculty. I enjoy programming as a hobby. My favorite technologies are Flash, Flex and Silverlight.
 
Of late I have developed keen interest in WPF and Windows Mobile programming.
 
Apart from computers, my favorite pastime is bicycling.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermanoj kumar choubey7-Nov-12 1:34 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberAzim Zahir7-Nov-12 19:08 
QuestionThanks PinmemberAryandev24-Sep-11 23:57 
AnswerRe: Thanks PinmemberAzim Zahir25-Sep-11 0:17 
GeneralGadgets PinmentorDaveAuld24-Sep-11 21:04 
GeneralRe: Gadgets PinmemberAzim Zahir24-Sep-11 23:36 

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