Today I will cover Part 3 of this excellent (so far) book, Desktop Platforms. The first chapter talks about Windows Vista, Windows 7. Alas the author failed to cite that it can also be used for Windows Server 2008 if you do a ‘little adjustment’ see this how to. The rest of the chapter is nicely done – covering debugging, publication on Microsoft’s Gallery as well as how to add it directly to your own website (often a better way of promoting an web gadget to your readership). The non-web extensions (i.e. showing CPU usages, critical event log entries, etc) is described but since this is off-topic, he provides the appropriate link and did not get distracted.
The second chapter dealt with Windows nemesis – Mac OS X. He points out key features that could frustrate Windows types, like case-sensitivity of files. For testing the appearance, he points out Mac widgets are always rendered with the Safari browser. Issues like widget bundle is required to include a background image named Default.png do cascade into how you should build the generic version. He explains all of the gotcha because Apple’s requirements will necessitate more code than you’ve needed for other platforms – so much that it likely not wise to common source the code. The chapter provided all of the details that an experienced web and Windows developer needs to create working gadgets for the Mac.
The last chapter in this part deals with Opera. Why? “Opera is an excellent place to port your own widget. There is no other API that natively supports so many hardware and software platforms, so it’s a natural fit with cross-platform development.” The problem is that Opera is not a significant installed based (approximately 2.2% in 2011). The chapter covered the same material in excellent depth of critical items like it did with the prior ones. Although it does not deal with a major player, the W3C specification originated with Opera so I would expect with the formal adoption of the W3C standard (and implementation in various OS) it is an excellent chapter for the future…
That’s it for today, next is mobile platforms.