Windows Sidebar

The Windows Sidebar is a lockable panel on the Windows Vista desktop, similar to the Windows Taskbar, that is able to host and manage mini-applications known as "gadgets".

Introduction to Gadgets

A gadget is an HTML and script-based application designed to present the user with a limited set of information or functionality obtained from other applications, controls, or Web sites and services. Gadgets, although hosted by the Sidebar, are not confined to the Sidebar area; the user can undock and move them onto the desktop as desired.

A gadget is distributed as a .gadget file—a renamed .zip archive—consisting of a collection of XML, HTML, Microsoft JScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files. Installation consists of downloading the .gadget file and allowing the download process to install the gadget or saving the .gadget file to the local system and double-clicking to start the installation process.

Users can run multiple instances of a gadget simultaneously. For example, if users want to know the time in different time zones, they can run multiple instances of the clock gadget, setting each clock to a specific time zone. A user might want to view slideshows of pictures from two or more different folders at the same time. This is possible because the gadget platform provides methods to store settings and automatically associate settings with the correct instance of each gadget. All current gadget settings are saved when the user logs out or restarts. If the Sidebar is on by default, then all gadget instances will run automatically upon startup, and each gadget instance will run with the correct settings.

Gadgets for Windows Sidebar Developers Guide

Gadgets for Windows Sidebar Manifest describes the gadget manifest.

Developing a Gadget for Windows Sidebar Part 1: The Basics details the steps necessary for creating a basic gadget for the Sidebar.

Developing a Gadget for Windows Sidebar Part 2: The G:BACKGROUND, G:IMAGE, G:TEXT Presentation Elements and GIMAGE Protocol details the Sidebar presentation object model.

Developing a Gadget for Windows Sidebar Part 3: Settings and Flyouts details the Sidebar Settings and Flyout functionality.

Gadgets for Windows Sidebar Updating and Refreshing describes the best methods for installing, updating and refreshing a gadget.

Windows Vista Sidebar Security details gadget security.

Gadgets for Windows Sidebar Accessibility and Localization details gadget accessibility and localization requirements.

Windows Sidebar Reference Guide

Gadget API reference.

For More Information

For Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines, see Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines for the Sidebar

To read posts from the Sidebar team, including gadget authoring tips, links to gadget information, and news about the platform, see the Gadget Corner blog.

To download Sidebar gadgets from the Microsoft developer community, see the Windows Live Gallery.

To participate in developer community discussions on writing gadgets for the Sidebar, see the Sidebar Gadget Development forum.



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Build date: 2/24/2010

Build type: SDK

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