Monday, February 1, 2010

Stoplight Gadget 1.2

This week, we keep working on the Stoplight Gadget project. This time, we made some remarkable progress and release the version 1.2( Version 1.2 basically has four enhancement.

First of all, I add three user inputs (Data source URL, threshold for green light, and threshold for red light) in the Stoplight Gadget, and the gadget is able to read and use the inputs. All of these input fields are created by "user pref". Google has a pretty detail documentation of it. However, I am still not sure how to create Google Visualization Query from the user pref.

Second, I modified the Google Visualization code, so that it displays a stoplight image instead of the actual data. This time, we simply add a few "if" statements in the JavaScript for the value comparison. Also we use a image tag to display the stoplight image.

Third, Jarret embedded the our Stoplight Gadget to our Google Project Hosting website. Also he fixed my Visualization Code so that adjust the image size.

One more thing, Paul figured out a way to use the URL in Google Project Hosting in the Gadget. He found two ways: either use the raw file URL in Google Project Hosting or set the MIME type property of the Visualization JavaScript and modify the SVN configuration.

So basically this is what we had so far. The lesson I learned from Google Gadget development so far is that debug in Google Gadget is not very easy. Google Gadget Editor is the tool that I mostly use in coding. However, it does not provide a preview if the gadget requires a user input. So I have to add it to the iGoogle all the time. Also it seems the page caches the gadget code. Sometimes I made some changes and click save, but the changes are gone when I load the file again. Anyway, I think the IDE is really a serious issue for Google Gadget Development.

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