Tutorials and Online Training Videos

Mac OS X Dashboard Tutorial

Dashboard provides instant access to widgets (mini-applications) that "float" over the desktop. These widgets provide simple functionality such as a calculator or clock; interaction with data from iTunes, the Address Book or other local apps; and interaction across the Web to get weather reports, stock quotes, etc. This course provides an introduction to Dashboard and you will learn how to create your own widgets. author Jesse Feiler guides you through the steps to build a time clock widget to track your time and export it to a TextEdit document. To begin learning simply click the links.

Introducing Dashboard

About this Course
Dashboard Widgets as Mini-Apps
Dashboard Widgets as Data Interfaces
Widget Interface Design Guidelines

Widget Overview

Accessory Widgets
Application Widgets
Information/Internet Widgets Pt.1
Information/Internet Widgets Pt.2
Finding Third-Party Widgets
Downloading a Widget

Managing Widgets

Getting to Dashboard
Using the Widget Bar
Multiple Copies of Widgets
Using the Clipboard with Widgets

Widget Architecture: The Basics

Basic Bundle Files
HTML interface
Default & Icon PNG Files
Property List

Industry-Standard Widget Technologies


Building a Widget (Basic Version)

Start from the Blank Widget
Rename Files & Build the Property List
Basic Safari Debugging
Add Images & Styles
Dashboard Development Mode Pt.1
Dashboard Development Mode Pt.2

Building the Back of a Widget

Flipping the Widget Pt.1
Flipping the Widget Pt.2
Adding a Link to the Widget
About Preferences
Setting & Storing a Preference Pt.1
Debugging Case Study
Setting & Storing a Preference Pt.2
Retrieving a Preference

Building a Widget (Advanced)

Implementing a Two-State Button Pt.1
Implementing a Two-State Button Pt.2
Creating a Text Display Field
Creating a Text Area
Finishing Up: The Reset Button

Widget Architecture

Dashboard Architecture
Widget Properties
Widget Events

Writing the Widget Javascript Code

Building the Javascript Timer
Building the Timer Click Structure
Starting the Timer
Pausing the Timer
Continuing the Timer
Resetting the Timer
Handling Show & Hide Events Pt.1
Handling Show & Hide Events Pt.2

Interacting with Other Applications

Using the Clipboard & Drag & Drop
Preparing the Test Widget Pt.1
Preparing the Test Widget Pt.2
Using the Command Line
Making the Command Line Interactive
Status Results & Synchronous Processing
Asynchronous Processing

Using AppleScript from Widgets

AppleScript/Widget Overview
Using AppleScript from the Command Line
Generating AppleScript from a Widget Pt.1
Generating AppleScript from a Widget Pt.2
Generating AppleScript from a Widget Pt.3
Creating AppleScript Scripts
Looking at an AppleScript Dictionary Pt.1
Looking at an AppleScript Dictionary Pt.2
Writing the Basic Script for the Widget
Implementing the Script in the Widget Pt.1
Implementing the Script in the Widget Pt.2
Cleaning Up the Widget Script
Labelling & Formatting the Export
Saving the Exported Document
Completing the Widget

Using XML Data on the Web from Widgets

Getting the XML Data for a Widget
Sample RSS Widget Architecture
Looking at the XML Document
Creating the XMLHttpRequest
Parsing the XML Data
Displaying the XML Data

Using Cocoa Plug-ins

Widget Plug-in Overview
Building the Fortune Example
Setting the Widget to Use a Plug-in
Setting the Xcode Project Name
Exposing the Plug-in to JavaScript
Debugging the Plug-in

Widget Appearance & Behavior

Using Control Regions
Using the Canvas
Resizing a Widget (Live Version)
Using Animation Pt.1
Using Animation Pt.2
Using Animation Pt.3
Managing Widget Focus

Using the Apple Classes

How to Include the Apple Classes
Apple Info Buttons
Apple Buttons (Including Glass Buttons)
Scrollling in Your Widget
Using Sliders

Distributing Your Widget

Preparing the Files
Downloading the Widget
Implementing Localization

Wrap Up

Course Summary


About the Author

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