Student project: Australis-styled widgets

11 September, 2013 § 2 Comments

A couple weeks back, Gijs Kruitbosch and I began mentoring a group of students on a new student project focused on building some new Australis-styled widgets.

Team MSUThe team is comprised of students from Michigan State University’s Computer Science program. Pictured from left to right are Dan Poggi, Eric Proper, Eric Slenk, and Dave Thorpe.

The goal of the project will be to create four independent widgets using the Add-on SDK and new Australis widget API:

  1. A weather widget that can show the weather for a selected location as well as up to 5-7 additional locations. This will need to use a public and free weather API.
  2. A music playing widget that will play music located on the user’s local machine. The user can select a folder on their machine and the widget will play any media files that it can find within that folder or in that folder’s children. We may need to limit the recursive depth to 2 folders.
  3. A Bugzilla widget that will show the assigned bugs, review requests, etc. This will be based on Heather Arthur‘s excellent Bugzilla Todos dashboard.
  4. A Spartan Scoreboard widget that will show the date, opponent, and location of the next MSU sporting event, as well as the score of the previous game. It should also include a link to get more information.

Eric Proper, Eric Slenk, and David Thorpe have begun blogging about their progress. You can follow along and get more details on their respective blogs. Eric Proper has an amazing amount of detail already on his blog. I’m looking forward to seeing the blogs from Dan Poggi and Dave Thorpe.

We will be meeting weekly at 9:00am Eastern time on Thursdays throughout the Fall semester.

Cheevos for Firefox leaderboard

11 January, 2012 § 10 Comments

Cheevos for Firefox is an add-on that I and others have been working on recently. The add-on turns Firefox into a game, giving out awards and achievements for using the browser to its fullest!

Based on the tweets from users of the add-on, here is a current leaderboard (note that no scores are verified):

  1. @jankom has 270 points
  2. @swarnendubiswas has 220 points
  3. @goodguydan has 210 points
  4. @paulrouget has 180 points
  5. @raulmalea has 170 points
  6. @curtisko has 155 points
  7. @lepereporcher has 135 points
  8. @weinjared has 130 points
  9. @henrystivens has 30 points
  10. @elefra_ has 20 points
  11. @kpondign has 15 points
  12. @velvetbites has 5 points

Download Cheevos for Firefox today and let the world know how much of Firefox you use :)

Playing with the Firefox Add-on SDK

25 June, 2011 § 2 Comments

Tonight I got my first opportunity to play with the new Add-on SDK for Firefox. I used the Add-on Builder, Mozilla’s browser-based editor, to build the add-on as well as test it.

I’ve been thinking of different ways to improve the viewing experience of HTML5 <video> users. One of the ideas that myself and :dolske were thinking of was to add a full-tab playback of video to the browser. This is sort of a middle-ground between author-determined viewing sizes and full-screen.

Some of the benefits of full-tab playback are: (1) user-customizable sizing of the content, (2) easier for users to move playback from one screen to another, and (3) putting the browser into full-screen mode simulates full-screen playback very closely.

Some of the drawbacks of full-tab playback are: (1) not all of the screen space is used for playback of content, (2) a true full-screen mode will probably switch to use more hardware for the scaling, (3) the controls that are designed for normal playback don’t provide the best user experience at large resolutions.

I spent a couple hours making the add-on, and listed it on addons.mozilla.org (all for free, compared to a one-time $5 fee in the Chrome Web Store).

The add-on is open source and released under the Mozilla Public License. Try it out today and let me know what you think :)

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