Put IE8 WebSlices on your Vista SideBar or desktop ? * not an april’s fool *

Yes you can, as IE8 WebSlices are based on Windows RSS Platform.

Sean Lyndersay has released a very early version (alpha 0.3) of his WebSlice Viewer Gadget:

Here is a WebSlice on my desktop:

The gadget settings allows you to choose an existing WebSlice and configure the refresh rate and size :


Yes… I’m looking for a Boogaboo Frog stroller or Bebecar Raider AT+, anyone help ??

Are you a Microsoft MVP ?
Are you running Vista ?
Planning to go to the Summit ?

Then download my MVP Global Summit Countdown Gadget for Vista!!

MVP Global Summit Countdown

This new release supports 3 languages (english, spanish and french) and the flyout window shows latest entries from the MVP Summit event rss.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.

Tim Heuer has done a really nice Sidebar Gadget Template for Visual Studio.

The structure you get when creating a new Web Site/VistaSidebarGadget from VS :


Note that it creates one local folder (en-US) so you can easily add some more later, and it comes with lots of comments on the code (html and js). You also get a nice utils.js file full of JavaScript functions!

The link to the vsi template is on his post:

For a tutorial on creating Popfly mashup, read my previous post :
Building a simple mashup step by step with Popfly.


So now that you have a mashup, what can you do wih it ?

Your mashup is private by default.

First thing to do is switching it to public by clicking on “Share” :

Mashup private


Now that the mashup is shared, you have several new options :

Mashup shared

You can :

  • Embed it in a web page
  • Export as Gadget for Vista Sidebar
  • Add it to your Windows Live Space


Embed it

Click on “Embed it” to get the HTML code needed to embed your mashup in any web page.
Note the options to publish your mashup in a new entry of your blog (requires MetaBlog API), also TypePad, and probably more to come.

Embed it


Download as Gadget

Click on “Download as Gadget” to install your mashup directly in your Vista’s Sidebar, like any Gadget from the Live Gallery. A mashup is just HTML, Javascript and Silverlilght, so there are no problem to host it in Vista Sidebar, but users will have to install Silverlight.

Mashup in Vista Gadget 

Mashup as Gadget

For now (beta…) export is not perfect (specially for the size) but you can easily tweak it by going to your local folder :
%userprofile%appdatalocalmicrosoftwindows sidebargadgets


Popfly Mashup as Gadget 
Better now!

In fact the exported gadget is just an iframe with a link to your content in Popfly, for my sample :

If you point your browser to http://www.popfly.ms/users/pluginbaby/Blaugh Carousel.content you’ll see that the entire content of the mashup is there, the exported gadget act like a wrapper for the Sidebar.


Add to Windows Live Space

I don’t have a Live Space but I assume you just have to specify which account to publish and it will create a new entry with your mashup embeded.

Is it friday Vista gadget

Just a little update on my Is It Friday? incredible gadget for Vista :

  1. Now you have a setting to change your preferred day (what about monday… you love your boss?).
  2. The gadget is now localized in 3 languages, depending on your system’s regional settings, it will translate well in english, french and….. french canadian (quebec ostie)!

The new version is available free to download in Windows Live Gallery.

And you, what is your bloody day ?

You have created a Vista Sidebar Gadget, but when you try to install the gadget on your system nothing happens and in your directory(C:UsersUserNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows SidebarGadgets) there’s a folder named : mygadget.gadget.~0000

2 possible problems :

– The Zip package: don’t zip your gadget root folder directly, instead go inside it and zip up all its contents (files and folders) with right-click / Sent To / Compressed (zipped) Folder.

– Special chars in manifest file: you must encode special chars like accents in gadget.xml.

Sample chars to replace:
é by é
è by è
, (comma) by ,
! by !
? by ?
@ by @

You can find a good list of special chars codes there :

Here is my contribution to the Gadget vs Gadget competition : Is It Friday?

Is it friday? Vista Gadget

Story: one day Guy Barrette told me that it will be nice to have www.isitfriday.net as a gadget. So here it is! This gadget sits on your Vista Sidebar and notify nicely if today is the day you have been waiting for… friday!

Admit that it is completely useful, now I’m sure to win the competition!

Download it for free on the Windows Live Gallery.

Please read the requirements and note that one of them is “sens of humour”… so don’t bother with comments like “Your gadget is a crap, you made it in 15 min.” You’ll be right, worst than that I made it in 1 hour… and the idea is not even from me!

Update: removed link to www.isitfriday.net as it appears that the website is no more live.


MSDN Canada runs a Gadget VS Gadget competition.
Create a great Windows Vista Gadget and you have the opportunity to win great prizes such as a Samsung 40” WideScreen LCD HD TV, Xbox 360 Pro, and a Dell UltraSharp 24-inch Flat Panel LCD Monitor!

Competition closes July 16, 2007 5:00 pm EST.

Register your gadget in the Windows Live Gallery and submit it there:

If you plan to participate, here are some links to resources that might help to distinguish your gadget: 

Call a .NET class from a Gadget (without regasm.exe):


Write your gadget in C# !


To push things further you could add a spice of Silverlight in your gadget!
Gavin Gear has a great tutorial on how to create a Silverlight-enabled gadget:


Good Luck!