Report: Gadget Development Workshop at Vellore Institute of Technology

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 at 9:31 AM

It was my immense pleasure to conduct this Desktop gadget development workshop at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) on 22 Oct as part of Phreak 08. Phreak is a National Level Technical Symposium organized by VIT every year to discuss, share, and learn about the latest and future technologies. The time allotted for this workshop was 3 hours, including a 15-minute break.

It started off with a 45-minute technical presentation similar to what was presented at Google Developer Day. I covered the basic introduction, structure, and benefits of Google Desktop gadgets. This also included a demo of the Designer and an explanation of developer resources. I showed the Gadget API Reference page, and from that we used a few API methods to quickly create the Memory Smiley gadget.

The second part of the session was a fun-filled one. I started with the basics of XML and JavaScript, as most of the students were in their first year and were new to these. After that, I opened the Designer and added some images and a single button. Then students were challenged to come up with ideas on how to develop a gadget out of it. We received more than 35 ideas. Some had real potential, and others were just funny.

A few of the ideas: a dictionary with language converter, a gadget to automatically download videos as you watch them on YouTube/Orkut, phone dialers, file restorer, and a shortcut to clear history. Some of the ideas that came up — such as a to-do list, a weather gadget, and a program runner — already existed in the gallery. We had a few Google T-shirts and gave them away to people that suggested the best ideas.

After the brainstorming session, we took two of the ideas and implemented them on the spot. One was Thought for the Click; the other was a Simple Music Player. I've posted the slides and the code from the workshop in my blog.

I would like to thank the ambassadors, Vishnu S and Ajay Amritraj, who made this all possible. They did all they could to book the hall and get people registered. It was an opportunity for me to showcase my passion for sharing technology. It was a great experience, and I would love to conduct more of these kind of workshops in the future.

If you'd like to see more photos, here's the complete set of pictures.


Teo said...

Wow, seems like a really cool event! Congratulations!

SudhirKumar said...

Looks like it was big event... congrats... :-)

Sheril Jebasingh said...

Excellent! Keep the Good Work!

Rakesh Gupta said...

Good man !