Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Widgetized Applications! (for most html based browsers)

Well I have been working on polishing some applications that are designed to make life easier here at the library. We found some active library widgets at Widgetbox and I decided to try and work with it. Here is an example of what I came up with:

Constructing the widget was a bit difficult at first as there were no real instructions on how to start. In effect an html based widget requires html and can also take javascript. There was an issue with the way some of the components interacted and it took a bit of tinkering with the scripting and code to get the widget working correctly.

The problems I experienced were related to the straight searching of the catalog. It required that I create a new window in the browser, shift the focus to the window, and load the page. Rather than using a normal form, action command. The code also required javascript for the construction of appropriate urls.

On the plus side hosted widgets localizes the location of files and allows for a singular location where everything for the construction of the file is located. Say for instance that someone came in as a freelancer and created widgets for us then we would know where they were located and could easily access the code. Which could have been a problem with flash, or flex based widgets.