I’ve had www.live.com as my homepage for a while now and one of the things that I’ve found is that I get a regular urge to create my own “gadget” (in case you’re not into live.com, a “gadget” is a bit like a sharepoint web part that can be added to your live.com page). I’ve taken a look at how this is done and while it’s a bit tricky to do something significant, it’s fairly easy to do something simple so I’ll have a go at it as soon as I can clear some head space.
In the interim however, my colleague Mike Ormond has created a really useful gadget that I recommend you take a look at: It displays a categorised list of MSDN Nuggets. What are nuggets? Short (generally around 10 minutes in length) webcasts on a specific technical topic. For example, there’s a nugget on “Generics in .NET Framework 2.0” or “ASP.NET 2.0 Master Pages”. The idea being that you can get a quick tutorial on a very specific subject by watching a video of how to do it.
The problem with nuggets is that the nuggets page (here) has become a bit long and unwieldy. Mike’s gadget makes it much easier to find the nugget you need.
It’s worth giving it a try. Head along to live.com and select Add Content” -> “Advanced Options” -> “Add a Gadget by URL” and enter the URL: http://www.mikeo.co.uk/gadgets/msdnnuggetfinder_mikeo.xml. You’ll see that the gadget displays a list of nugget categories for easy reference, which of course can appear anywhere on your live.com page.
Mike has recently blogged about it, and also about how he created the gadget. It’s worth a read to get more info.
Oh and one other thing: All gadgets that appear in the live.com gallery have full source code for you to look at, so you can see how Mike – along with other gadget authors – created the gadget.