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Pixel2Life Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget V1.0


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#1 MetalSkin

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

G'day all,


Adam inspired me to write a gadget for Vista's sidebar. Of course I had to improve on what was available for iGoogle, otherwise how could I justify spending all that money on Vista?

As a result the search gadget that I have written lets you choose the category as a part of the search criteria.

To have a gander at it in action then feast your eyes on this lil ripper:

Attached File  Action_Shot_02_Sidebar.jpg   22.12KB   134 downloads

To obtain this rip snorta of a gadget just choose the following link to download it:

Pixel2Life.gadget

Note that this is via my own domain so please do not link to this file outside of Pixel2Life. Once I get to the next version i'll submit it to Microsoft so it can be browsed via the online gallary.

Now to install, all you need to do is open it. Vista will ask you if you wish to install it, and you choose yes (if you wish to that is, you can choose no). Vista will add it automatically to the sidebar for you, but in case you remove it, you can find it in your Vista Gadget Gallary as per the following pic:

Attached File  Action_Shot_01_Gallary.jpg   63.37KB   92 downloads

In case you havn't noticed, the one entitled Pixel2Life Search is the gadget in question.

Please leave feedback. Note that I have some plans to improve on the gadget but I will leave that for this weekend. Hopefully the next version will be out next week. If you want any particular background colour/image then reply in here and I should be able to accomodate you.

Btw, please rate the gadget, only if you have vista and have tried it out please.

#2 beaverpoutine

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:35 PM

Had a runtime error... :S Know anything for that?

#3 MetalSkin

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:48 PM

Had a runtime error... :S Know anything for that?

Do you have the runtime error? Also what Vista do you have, 32 bit, 64 bit, home, home premium, ultimate, etc?

Does the runtime error happen when you install it, or when you add it to your sidebar or when you click on the button to perform the search?

:edit: I uninstalled my local version, downloaded it from my web site, installed and tested and appears to work okay. I'll need to know a bit more about your system to figure out what's going wrong.

Edited by MetalSkin, 05 July 2007 - 10:50 PM.


#4 Archangel

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:01 AM

I'm going to have to check this out tonight!

#5 Bug

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:13 AM

You'll have the Mac people screaming at you before long :P

I'll check this out when I reboot my pc into Vista lol

#6 MetalSkin

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 08:31 AM

Waiting to hear how it went archangel and bug :P

#7 Donna

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 09:23 AM

This is NOT a critiquing forum and should of been fully tested before sharing, so I'm moving this topic until it's fixed.

I did try to install this but it doesn't install like the ones you can get from here http://gallery.live....fault.aspx?pl=1 it just opens a zip file.

#8 fiv3isaliv3

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:09 AM

I'll try it out on a Vista machine in a bit and let you know how it works out.

#9 Donna

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 11:33 AM

Ok tried with Firefox to download and install because it does not install with IE7 it only gives you the zip file and source files.

Installed, this doesn't work correctly for me it won't even search.

I'm using Vista Ultimate, 32bit OS btw.

#10 MetalSkin

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:41 PM

Ok tried with Firefox to download and install because it does not install with IE7 it only gives you the zip file and source files.


I tested this fully under my version of Vista, which is Vista Ultimate 64 and it works perfectly.

What the problem appears to be is how the different browsers treat the url. If you right mouse click and save the file to your local drive it should present the file with the following icon:

Attached File  gadget_icon.jpg   3.39KB   53 downloads

If it doesn't then it means you have changed the application association from the default windows vista association to your own. In your case Donna it sounds like you have associated the .gadget extension with winzip or similar.

If you have the above icon then when you double click you get the following dialog box:

Attached File  sidebar_dialog_box_security_warning.jpg   30.46KB   77 downloads

You have too choices, either install or don't install. I think both actions are obvious.

If when you double click it tries to open it up in winzip or a similar archive program then you can manually unzip it into the correct directory so you can browse to it. The directory to unzip into is:

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

And the directory to put it under is the name of the file, which is Pixel2Life.gadget.

There is a big difference between untested and not working on specific user's system due to unknown or undiscovered reasons. If you look to my previous posts you will see that I have stated that I tested it. If I say I have tested it then beleive you me, it's been as fully tested as possible on the systems that I have available. So please do not say that it hasn't been tested when it has, just because you cannot get it to work.

To check what occured, can you go to your

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

directory and tell me if there is a directory called "Pixel2Life.gadget" please.

Then check in that directory, you should have the files:

gadget.xml
main.html
images

images is a folder not a file and in it should be:

arrow.png
background.png
background1.png
background2.png
background3.png
background4.png
background5.png
background6.png
background7.png
background8.png
background9.png
logo.png
search.png

You have to click on the green arrow for it to search. when it does you should get IE7 open up, it will breifly say that your going to blank:about and then it will take you to pixel2life.

Can you tell me the answer to the following questions please:
  • are the files in the correct location
  • does the pixel2life search logo appear in the sidebar add gadget browser
  • is the gadget rendered correctly as shown in the first post
  • does clicking on the text box allow you to type in text
  • does the pull down list for the category work
The more information you provide the more I can help. Comments of 'it doesn't work' or 'it just crashes' are not very helpful. Please describe what your doing when you believe it doesn't work and if it crashes what the crash is, how it occurred and is it reproducible. Also please tell me if the install part worked correctly.

People who have installed and it does work please post a response so I know if it is actually working for people.

#11 NGPixel

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:55 PM

Installs fine but does absolutly nothing.
iexplore.exe is in my process list but doesn't show up.

You should test it some more before posting it here. Send to some friends with different versions of Vista, you alone isn't testing.

#12 Donna

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 07:02 PM

I tested this fully under my version of Vista, which is Vista Ultimate 64 and it works perfectly.

What the problem appears to be is how the different browsers treat the url. If you right mouse click and save the file to your local drive it should present the file with the following icon:

If it doesn't then it means you have changed the application association from the default windows vista association to your own. In your case Donna it sounds like you have associated the .gadget extension with winzip or similar.

If you have the above icon then when you double click you get the following dialog box:


I run 32, dunno if that makes a difference or not but not a lot of things are fully supported for Vista 64.

I changed nothing and have not changed any file assocaitions either, in IE7 it saves a zip file if I go to http://gallery.live....fault.aspx?pl=1 and try with IE they work no problems, so I used firefox to download yours and it showed as you have http://www.pixel2lif...-1183764011.jpg

It installed it does not work, it doesn't search you cannot click the green arrow.

You have to click on the green arrow for it to search. when it does you should get IE7 open up, it will breifly say that your going to blank:about and then it will take you to pixel2life.

Can you tell me the answer to the following questions please:

are the files in the correct location
1. does the pixel2life search logo appear in the sidebar add gadget browser
2. is the gadget rendered correctly as shown in the first post
3. does clicking on the text box allow you to type in text
4. does the pull down list for the category work
The more information you provide the more I can help. Comments of 'it doesn't work' or 'it just crashes' are not very helpful. Please describe what your doing when you believe it doesn't work and if it crashes what the crash is, how it occurred and is it reproducible. Also please tell me if the install part worked correctly.


It's in the correct place all the files are there and yes it appears all you can do is type into it.

yes to all of your questions but it does not open any browser windows, the only thing it's not doing is if you type a word it won't search on clicking the arrow. Tried this on my PC and laptop I have not run into any problems like this with any other gadget I've downloaded.

I suggest you go to the help forums on this or re read http://msdn2.microso...y/ms723694.aspx incase you missed something.

I have also tried several search applications from http://gallery.live.....aspx?c=39&bt=1 I use the ebay one with no problems, I have tried reinstalling yours 4 times it will not search or open a browser for me, which I find a bit weird since all the others I've tested open browser windows no probs at all.

Installs fine but does absolutly nothing.
iexplore.exe is in my process list but doesn't show up.

You should test it some more before posting it here. Send to some friends with different versions of Vista, you alone isn't testing.


glad I'm not the only one but all my other sidebar gadgets work with no probs

#13 l3lueMage

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 07:37 PM

Works just fine for me.

Attached Files

  • Attached File  g.jpg   48.74KB   51 downloads


#14 MetalSkin

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:07 PM

I have also tried several search applications from http://gallery.live.....aspx?c=39&bt=1 I use the ebay one with no problems, I have tried reinstalling yours 4 times it will not search or open a browser for me, which I find a bit weird since all the others I've tested open browser windows no probs at all.


Hmm okay, the only problem that it can be is that you have your security set on IE to not allow VBScripts.

Vista Gadgets has a bug where you cannot do a post, you can only do gets. The workaround is to use VBScripting to perform a post. If you look in the main.html file you will see what I mean.

Can you try the following please and tell me how it differs to my behavour please:

Open the following file in IE:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Pixel2Life.gadget\main.html

<username> will be the name of your windows vista account. You should get the following:

Attached File  testing_01.jpg   47.24KB   74 downloads

You need to click on the yellow bar. This will give you the following context menu:

Attached File  testing_02.jpg   53.33KB   70 downloads

Select the "Allow Blocked Content..." option. You will now get the following dialog box:

Attached File  testing_03.jpg   61.94KB   64 downloads

Choose the 'Yes' option. Your IE browser should now look like:

Attached File  testing_04.jpg   41.14KB   59 downloads

If you type something in and click the green button you should see an ActiveX dialog box:

Attached File  testing_05.jpg   51.42KB   60 downloads

Answering Yes will open a new IE browser and take you to Pixel2Life:

Attached File  testing_06.jpg   91.49KB   72 downloads

Now the gadget is basicaly just a web page, as per the main.html. I've had to put VBScript in to get around the issue of the post. The only thing I can think of is that your security for your IE is preventing the script to run. The xml states that the permissions is full, and I don't beleive that windows can change this. have a quick gander in

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Pixel2Life.gadget\gadget.xml

Check if the following is still in there:

<host name="sidebar">
			 <base type="HTML" apiVersion="1.0.0" src="main.html" />
			 <permissions>full</permissions>
			 <platform minPlatformVersion="1.0" />
		 </host>

At the end of the day my Vista Gadget is purely a html page, it wont work in Firefox purely because of the Script in it. If I could do a GET with Pixel2Life then I could remove the vbscript and it would run as html in Firefox as well (and I suspect that its the vbscript that is causing the problems).

:edit:

oops, buggered up that first image, it should have a yellow security bar on it, just like the second image.

Edited by MetalSkin, 06 July 2007 - 10:10 PM.


#15 albinoAZN

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 04:53 PM

I want a Dashboard widget :)
But with a better design. Who knows how to make widgets?! :)

anyways. The gadget is a good idea, but it looks like it's really buggy from person to person.

#16 MetalSkin

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 07:21 PM

I want a Dashboard widget :D
But with a better design. Who knows how to make widgets?! ;)

anyways. The gadget is a good idea, but it looks like it's really buggy from person to person.


As explained above mate, the problem appears to be with the vbscript. gadgets in of themselves are not buggy. The problem is with the POST vs the GET.


What about the design do you not like? How would you like it to look? Suggestions are welcome. Donna made a link previously to a msdn page that shows you how to make one, I can provide other links to other resources if you would like to make some. What version of windows are you running?

#17 albinoAZN

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 07:41 PM

I was actually talking about a widget for OS X (mac) Dashboard.

As for design, I meant something a little more Traditional P2L.
Attached File  p2lwidget.png   27.44KB   83 downloads

#18 MetalSkin

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 07:52 PM

I was actually talking about a widget for OS X (mac) Dashboard.

As for design, I meant something a little more Traditional P2L.
Attached File  p2lwidget.png   27.44KB   83 downloads

Well don't know whats involved for OSX sorry mate, but I imagine it's not hard. I know the one for vista is basically raw html (except for the VBScript to get around the POST bug).

As for the image you show, interesting but a tad wide. Vista sidebar runs along the side of the window and is about 150px wide. You have 415px there, so the layout you have just wouldn't work it would be over double the width of every other gadget.

The reason I chose black was to match most of my other widgets, but I actualy made about 10, one of them the same blue as the Pixel2Life background. Just havn't added the option to be able to configure which background a user desires. Here's how they look:

Attached File  example_of_backgrounds.jpg   86.43KB   76 downloads

I was going to add the change the background option if enough people enjoyed the gadget, currently it's not looking good as it doesn't appear that many people are using it. But then people are more likely to respond when they have a bad experiance than when they have what they consider to be the expected experience.

Edited by MetalSkin, 07 July 2007 - 07:54 PM.


#19 _*Creative Insanity_*

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 08:13 PM

If Mac members want a widget similar to this I would be happy to make one along the design lines of what albinoAZN suggested. But I would need permission from Dan before I use or copy any of his graphic styles or logos.
Also I would also not post this in public until it has been tested by at least 2 P2L team members who use a Mac.
Saying it will work for me on my iMac does not mean it would work for someone else using a PPC system.

#20 MetalSkin

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 08:18 PM

Also I would also not post this in public until it has been tested by at least 2 P2L team members who use a Mac.


Is that a subtle hint? ;) If it is then yes in hindsight I would have got some P2L people to test.. problem is when people complain of a problem, they don't seem that eager to assist in problem solving. ahh well... :D




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