Thursday, December 18, 2008

Visual Studio Google Gadget

I was curious as to how Google Gadgets worked, and for that matter, how they were built. I set out to Google's site and looked up Google Gadget. Found the API, downloaded the SDK and I was off to a good start. My project: list recent Visual Studio projects. One step further than that, I want to be able to select which Visual Studio version I wanted to list the projects for.

After a bit of research of how to access the registry through javascript, I was off to a good start. I created the basic form, which was basically just a shell, no real content. On the load event, it would call a method that would 1) find out which version of Visual Studio to look at 2) look under the proper Visual Studio folder and see what recent projects are in the MRU. For each project found, it parses the string path and keeps the solution name and sticks it in a label on the form. If no projects are found, it creates a label that says "No Projects".

I then proceeded to create the Options page, which basically is just 3 mutually exclusive checkboxes for the 3 Visual Studio versions in question (2003, 2005 & 2008). Based on what is selected here, this will affect what is displayed on the main form.

Finally, I worked on the information displayed in the About page. I created the package (*.gg file) and tested it out thoroughly. It works like a charm!

If you're interested, here is the code ( and the gadget (Visual Studio Recent Projects-Sebastien

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