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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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Screenshot of the widget

I just deployed my latest effort: the Official Domain Search Dashboard Widget. I know, it's not a terribly catchy name but it's quite descriptive. It's a Dashboard widget for Mac OS X that enables you to check domain name availability. It's certainly a variation on a common theme but what can I say? Domain registration is bread and butter.

This widget was a little different than the other ones I've done, however. It's got all the visual flair attendant with Mac OS X, to be sure. The animation took forever to get just right and smooth. It also had to have an update mechanism since it doesn't reside anywhere that we can control. The update process is fairly simple but so is the app itself.

It consumed a lot more time than you'd expect, but I enjoyed it. Well, except for some of the fighting with Dashcode. Oh and that issue I had all yesterday with the little loading spinner: that drove me nuts trying to pin down the cause. (Incidentally, in the open method of the XmlHttpRequest object, if you specify false for the asynchronous parameter, it will not run any code that updates the widget until the response comes back. But only in the Dashboard version of WebKit. Safari works just fine. It was a pain to track down.)

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