Google Gadgets News

October 18, 2006

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Post by Adam Sah, Google Gadgets team

Google properties (such as Google Personalized Homepage, Google Desktop, etc.) used to be the only places you could add Google Gadgets, but not anymore! You can now easily add gadgets to your own site for free by browsing the directory of gadgets for your web page, selecting a gadget, and copying/pasting a small snippet of auto-generated HTML. For developers, this means significantly increased gadget distribution across the web, forums and blogs.

The v1.0 launch is a work-in-progress with bug fixes lined up and ready to go -- gadget settings page fixes shipped last week, and our engineers are working feverishly to fix CSS-related rendering glitches. Extending support for sites that are blocking IFrame and Script tags may take some time, but it's definitely on our todo list.

Google Gadgets for the whole web has a few limitations, which gadget authors should be aware of when writing gadgets for third-party webpages. To ensure that your gadget will support distribution across the web, take note of these important facts:
  • Make sure your gadget supports 200-pixel content widths for placement on third-party web pages. While Google Personalized Homepage gadgets have an average width of 250 pixels, assume third-party web pages will have even smaller widths. Otherwise, you may start receiving complaint emails about annoying horizontal scroll bars.
  • You cannot store data or state for gadgets embedded on third-party web pages. If your gadget contains code to do so, it will silently fail.
  • Inlined gadgets cannot be added to third-party web pages, and will not appear in our directory of gadgets for your webpage.
  • Since inlined gadgets are not supported, embedded gadgets cannot modify third-party webpages for obvious reasons.
To get started creating your own gadgets for distribution across the web, check out the Google Gadgets API overview; webmasters, bloggers and forum users can check out Google Gadgets for your webpage to add gadgets to their sites.