Build a [Mac OS X - Tiger] Dashboard Widget - part 1

Dashboard is a new environment that allows users to run mini-applications called widgets. These widgets, while able to use all of the advanced features of Tiger, are simple to use and simple to develop. This is the first in a series of two articles that gives an introduction to developing Dashboard widgets. This article will focus on the basics of widget development and then go over the steps required to develop a widget that displays *nix man pages.

Dashboard Overview

Dashboard widgets are a lot like web pages. They use HTML markup for user interfaces and JavaScript for programming tasks, and are written and saved as text files. On the face of it, this makes Dashboard sound like a glorified web browser, but two things make Dashboard much more than a web browser. First are the additions to JavaScript that support interaction with many of the underlying features of Tiger, and second is the ability to isolate widgets from each other and display them in a visually appealing and consistent manner.

Chris Charlton

Chris CharltonChris, Los Angeles' CSS & ActionScript guru, successfully cannonballed into web development in the late 90's. Always caught up with the latest in Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and XML, Chris authored premium articles for the largest Dreamweaver/Flash community ( and produced WebDevDesign (iTunes featured), a popular Web Design & Development Podcast. Somewhere, Chris finds time to run an authorized Adobe user group focused around open source and Adobe technologies. Being a big community leader, Chris Charlton remains a resident faculty member of the Rich Media Insitute and lends himself to speak at large industry events, like JobStock, NAB, and FITC Hollywood.

Brain cycles from Chris are always Web Standards, Flash Platform, and accessibility.

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