Dashboard Widgets - Reach Challenges and Xbox Live Gamercard


A few months ago I finally gave in and bought a MacBook Air, and I haven’t looked back. At this point I’m using my Mac for most of my day-to-day computing, and I’m very happy with it. It’s certainly much friendlier to the predominantly Ruby-based web development I like to do. As a first dip of the toes into Mac programming, I decided to try to make a couple Dashboard Widgets. Dashboard is the Mac widget platform, sorta like Windows Sidebar only it came first and it’s a much better platform. Dashboard widgets are relatively full-featured, built on Webkit using HTML and JavaScript, and can be authored with the free DashCode IDE. I found working with Dashboard to be a little frustrating, and it’s clear that Apple isn’t investing much in that space anymore, but it’s still miles ahead of the excruciating experience of developing Windows Sidebar gadgets.

My first widget was an ultra-simple Xbox Live Gamertag widget, which was basically a straight port from the Windows version. Aside from the preferences, which are now on the “back side” of the widget instead of a fly-out panel, not much is different.

The second widget is a bit more complex - it shows the current challenges available in Halo: Reach. Every day (and week) there are new challenges players can meet in order to get credits to buy in-game armor. This widget helps keep that info a keypress away.

Anyway, if you have a Mac, please head on over to my Dashboard Widgets page and give them a shot!

Update: Since Bungie has discontinued their Reach site, I’ve removed the Reach gadget.

I'm Benjamin Hollis, a software developer in Seattle. Check out my website.