Creating Windows Live Gadgets with Atlas

With the launch of the new Windows Live portal at http://www.live.com, the term “live” is omnipresent in Microsoft sites—even the Passport ID service has been renamed Windows Live ID. The Windows Live portal itself is full of Ajax, being one of the first Atlas-enabled web applications to use Gadgets, which are self-contained components that users can add to their Windows Live portal. Examples of Gadgets are a weather map, a stock-price feed, a sports summary, and so on. Windows Live is one site that can host Gadgets; http://Start.com is another.

There are several gadgets available at http://microsoftgadgets.com (there’s a whole gallery of them at http://microsoftgadgets.com/Gallery), and using Atlas, you can create your own Gadgets. You can add your Gadget to your own Windows Live home page, and you can make your Gadget available to other Windows Live users as well.

In this section, we will create a simple Gadget and show how to incorporate this in your (or someone’s) customized home page at http://Live.com. For the Gadget, we reuse the Timer Atlas control from Chapter 1 to print out the current time, once per second. This small component will then be used on http://Live.com.

The main differences between creating a Gadget and “ordinary” Atlas controls are that the content of the Gadget must be contained within an <atlas:Gadget> element, and that no server-side components are allowed. So you have to rely on HTML, JavaScript, and ...

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