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Windows 7 – Your own Desktop gadget

The fancy UI of Windows 7 has been around for a while now and its goodies makes it fun to work with. While there are lot of goodies you can play with, gadgets seems to be most useful component. Be it checking your system status, a world clock or weather update gadget, all of them are quite handy and useful. But have you ever thought of developing your own gadget, may be useful to track information from various sites (RSS feed). Well its not so difficult to develop one, if you know little bit about HTML and JavaScript. Yes that is all you need to create your gadget, no compilation, no special IDE, no need to learn any cryptic programming language. Just get started with Simple Text Editor and thats all you need as tool to develop one. (Well, to make it fancy you will need graphics.)

So here are the steps to develop a basic version of Windows 7 gadget.
1. Locate a folder “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets” in Windows Explorer (You can also locate using Run dialog, just enter above text in Run Dialog and press enter).

2. Create a folder “MyShell.gadget” (Note you can name this folder anything).

3. Create a manifest file “gadget.xml” inside the folder you just created now. This is the file which gives metadata about your gadget to Windows 7.

4. Add the following text to “gadget.xml” file.



  MyShell
  1.0.0.0
  
    
      
      Full
      
    
  

5. Create new file “MyShell.html” in same folder And then add the code of your choice. You can include scripts from remote location or you can create your own. I just used JQuery and its RSS plug-in to create a simple RSS gadget. Refer following code.

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    
        
        Carbonrider Feed
        
		<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.0/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
		<script src="http://www.zazar.net/developers/jquery/zrssfeed/jquery.zrssfeed.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
        <script type="text/jscript" language="jscript">
            // Initialize the gadget.
            $(document).ready(function () {
			   $('#rssFeed').rssfeed('https://www.carbonrider.com/feed/', {
				 limit: 4,
				 titletag: "span",
				 content: false
			   });
			 });
        </script>

    </head>
    <body>
		
</body> </html>

6. That is all you need to do. Now save all the files and Right click on desktop and choose “Gadgets”. You should see your gadget in the list.

Here is the preview of My Gadget.

For more information about creating Gadgets, visit following site.
1. Microsoft
2. JQuery
3. JQuery RSS Plug-in

By Carbon Rider

Hi this is Yogesh, welcome to my world. Being passionate about learning new technologies and building frameworks, I end up spending most of my time in front of computer. But over last few months, I realised apart from being good coder and designer (Yes I am) I have something hidden in me. And thats called ART.

6 replies on “Windows 7 – Your own Desktop gadget”

Somebody essentially help to make critically posts I might state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual publish extraordinary. Excellent process!

Hi, I am trying to make a gadget for window 7 which use my dll ( and call a simple add function ) , i am using activeXobject for this purpose and i have registered my dll using regasm, i am getting “Object Error” , Please guide

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