[Part 2 in a 5 part series titledÂ "How to build a widget"]
Widgets in reality are actually like little mini-web sites contained on a users blog/social page.Â The â€œembedded chunkâ€ of code is hosted by the widget owner (you) but instead of just displayed on one location (your website), the widget is displayed virally on an infinite number if websites.
This â€œembedded chunkâ€ requires some specialized tech to pull this off.
2)Â Choose the technology
Third Party plug-ins
The other common source of widget development takes place as third party plug-ins.Â The most popular third party widget platform is Adobeâ€™s Flash. Flash allows the developer to create rich environments and user interfaces using their designer and ActionScript programming language.Â Flash debuted as a third party technology in 1996 and has over 90% browser saturation.
Another third party widget platform gaining ground is Microsoftâ€™s Silverlight.Â Silverlight allows you to create rich environments and user interfaces using MS .NET platform.Â Silverlight broke onto the scene in Dec 2006.
Flash still has more popularity as a widget platform due to its tenured status, but given the sheer volume of .NET programmers it may not be long before we see Silverlight as popular in widget development as Flash.
-Â Flash is accepted by almost all blogs/social pages.
-Â Rich content and animation is very possible in Flash/Silverlight.
-Â Flash/Silverlight is much more locked down in terms of code visibility.
-Â Flash requires you to purchase Adobeâ€™s Flash product to develop widgets.
- Learning .NET/ActionScript.
I would like to possibly write my next widget using Silverlight since I have been working with programming Microsoft software for the last 14 years.Â I strongly believe that Silverlight will play a major part in having widgets grow across the web in the coming years.
Next – PartÂ 3 – Creating the widget.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5