Saturday 30 August 2008

Google Code page for the widget

Well, instead of just having a zip file containing the source code, I decided to put it up on google code. The page is here and I've updated the homepage to include a link to it. The releases will live there, also, and I think I'll look into getting the widget to autoupdate or something, with the files on google code I think I can get an rss feed to the releases.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Buxfer widget

If you follow my twitter feed, you may have noticed that I’ve created and published a small widget to use with buxfer here. Right now it’s just two forms, one to submit and one to configure, and it isn’t all that smart at what it does.

My intent is to keep the interface simple, but to improve on three points:
- Usability-wise, I want to be faster at adding the transaction, and perhaps have some suggestion or completion for the tags. Right now it is a bit dumb, and doesn’t provide much help besides being a form.
- As far as the interface goes, I want it to occupy a bit less space, and to be prettier. As you can see on the screenshot, the widget uses the standard parts and the labels have the default size. I think I can do better than that and still keep it usable.
- The configuration is stored on the preferences cache for widgets Apple provides, which isn’t quite the best choice as far as storing sensitive data. I should put it in the keychain, and perhaps even use the same as Safari.

I was quite impressed with the ease with which you can produce widgets. Having Dashcode helps a lot, both with the layout of the forms and the debugging of the code. Widgets being based on javascript and html gives them a low entry cost if one is already used to client-side web programming, and opens up the opportunity for some rather interesting moves, such as using JQueryUI or Moo on the widget.

If you’ve tried the widget and want to leave feedback, please, feel free to contact me or to drop a comment here :)