SideBar Gadgets are just darn easy.

I couldn't think of a catchy title, so I went with the above (its late, and I'm in a silly mood).

So, I've been tinkering around in SideBar Gadget Land during breaks between my Microsoft Induction training(s) and am amazed each time I dig deeper as to how much mischief one is able to get up to, armed with a little old SideBar Gadget housed within Vista's SideBar (Drag and Drop files?).

I mention this as I was just talking to a developer online then about SideBar Gadgets. Now, this person gave me quite a confused look regarding "SideBar Gadgets" and mentioned that not only had he not heard of them, but dropped the one-liner that i've been finding common in discussions.

"... I'd love to play with them, but yeah, don't know DotNet! - So teach me Barnesy! or else!..."

DotNet? Its ok, I should also point out that this person sits inside the Coldfusion/Java realm (all the power to him I say). It's not an isolated remark, and I've seen it quite a lot. It's the fear that somehow SideBar Gadgets mean "DotNET" development, or that we (Microsoft) have served up some sort of C#, .NET Framework ball of code that all must bow before and embrace.

Thankfully, we haven't and heres a secret most of the folks on Gadget Gallery already know.

It's just HTML + JavaScript. Yes folks, for those of you who are still skating around the notion that SideBar Gadgets are a custom driven solution, its in fact plain old HTML mixed with some JavaScript, nothing hard or complex and relatively quite simple to bake some code around.

So, if you are keen to jump into SideBar Gadgets, please drop me a line as I want to hear your war stories going forward. In fact, I want any war stories, comments, criticism (hatemail included, but watch the F and S bombs, as it may get Filtered out) on anything regarding SideBar Gadgets. So if you're a SideBar Gadget Designer / Coder, drop me a line with your pain points in developing them.

Here's a great Link to help you get your head into the SideBar Gadget space (all the kids are doing it, its the fashion accessory of 2007):