Chumby Yahoo! Widget

I’ve run into a few snags regarding my Chumby Yahoo! Widget.

I added preferences to it so that one could specify the UUID that specifies a virtual profile (thus allowing the user of the widget to view any virtual chumby).

I also felt it was a good idea to allow various sizes that matched those specifiable on the chumby site itself.

Apparently the flash object in the Yahoo! Widget Engine is a bit finicky. It throws exceptions periodically that I don’t have the ability to catch, which interferes with the smooth updating of my widget after the preferences are saved.

I also added a context menu item to refresh the widget just in case the preferences don’t work correctly, but this is rather hackish, and that means that, unless I find a way to modify the flash object without having exceptions thrown, I will not be submitting this widget to the YWE gallery, since it obviously isn’t ready for primetime.

Which is a shame, really.  It was almost a really cool widget.

I’ll try a few more things that I’ve thought of, and then I will post a message on the YWE forums (which is rather hit or miss regarding matters like these), but I’m not holding my breath.


As Usual, I Blame John Hattan.

Today, I was checking out the Chumby site, and decided to make a virtual Chumby.  After getting the embed tag from the generator, I realize that my virtual Chumby is nothing more than a swf file pretending to be a device.

And I remember that the Yahoo! Widget Engine can embed flash into it.

Two minutes later….

I have a Yahoo! Widget that loads up my virtual Chumby, which tells me that my life is 42% over.

Yes, the absurdity of a flash widget running inside of a virtual device created as a flash applet running as a widget on my desktop is not lost on me.

It runs quite well, actually.

The only issue I have found is customization.  Ideally, I’d like for anyone anywhere to be able to take my Yahoo! Widget, set a preference, and look at their own virtual chumby.  In fact, I think this could be a useful developer tool for chumby widget makers.

In my initial examination, it looks like the only information that identifies *MY* virtual chumby rather than somebody elses is the flashvars, which reads something like:


I’m guessing that *MY* virtual chumby is identified by the GUID after the virtualprofiles part of the above.

so, i guess I could make a preference that allows the user of my widget to grab that information and plug it in to show their own widget, but I wish there were a more read-friendly way.


Busy Week

This was a busy week for me, meaning I didn’t get a lot of time to work on my “extra stuff”.

I can certainly say, however, that the Pipes! Widget is coming along nicely.  I’m not certain when it will be complete, but I will say that everybody will be in for a special treat.

Also, I need to mention a really great place called Assembla.com, which is a collaborative environment, but allows for “closed” projects and supports agile process.