Monday, 23 April 2007

Programming a Student Rep Vista Sidebar Gadget


As you might not have guessed I am a Microsoft Student Rep, and I take part in their website http://www.studentpartner.com/rep

One part of this is their Star Rep Prize Competition in which you complete Microsoft based activities to gain points. There is a score board however I thought it would be a cool idea to create a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget to list the top 10 along with the latest points awarded.

Well basically a Vista Gadget consists of a XML file for settings and configuration and a HTML file to house the actually visual UI. Scripting is done for the most part by Javascript.

There is an excellent tutorial to get you started on the MintSource blog, I used this as a base and added to it. Basicly as there is currently no RSS feed or plantext file to store the data the webpage had to be parsed. However the page containing the scores doesn't get parsed because it automatically redirects because it thinks a user isn't logged in. To test I copied the source and parsed it from a local source. Ok, this is my first use of Javascript but it was a great learning experience and I can't wait to make more Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget.
It may not look that good at the moment, I've never been that good with graphics or web design but that can be sorted in time. I will post a link to the download when its finished.

2 comments:

Ben Hall said...

That's nice!! I like it... looks very cool

Ben
Microsoft Student Partner

Darren said...

Love it! :D

By the way thanks for joining the Microsoft Student Partner Group on Flickr! :) Let's see if we can get more student partners and reps to join! :)