GuideML Gadgets

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Welcome to the GuideML Gadgets scheme. This is the place for all you JavaScript experts out there who want to design cool gizmos for the whole h2g2 Community.

What's a GuideML Gadget?

A GuideML Gadget is a cool tool that's got its own tag. An example is the Who's Online Gadget, which can be inserted into GuideML entries with:


This creates a link like this - Click here - that pops up the Who's Online window.

We want to extend the range of GuideML Gadgets so the whole Community can put special effects on their pages, and to do that we need budding JavaScript authors to write great tools and submit them to the h2g2 team. The best ones will be coded into GuideML for everyone to use.

How the Scheme Works

To submit your JavaScript Gadget for our consideration, create a new plain text entry containing your JavaScript - you must create a plain text entry, as otherwise the JavaScript will be disabled when the entry is viewed.

In the entry describe the syntax for the GuideML tag which would enable other Researchers to include your tool. For example, a tag tool that displayed a list of links to your friends might have the syntax:


<BUDDY BIO="U123456">

<BUDDY BIO="U234567">


<BUDDY BIO="U456789">


Finally, create a new Conversation below, with a succint description of the Gadget as the subject (eg 'Buddy List'), and a full link to your Gadget entry as the first line of your Posting (eg to enable others to check out your code easily. The rest of the Posting should describe what your Gadget does, and why you think it's so essential.

Feel free to comment on other people's Gadgets, too, or to suggest improvements. The aim is to create brilliant gadgets, after all.

What We're Looking For

If you think your fellow Researchers will find your tool fun or useful, then you're probably onto a winner. However, here are a few guidelines to help:

  • No cookies: We do not support cookies in JavaScript, as they are a security risk, so please don't use them.

  • Don't play with the colour scheme: Ensure your script will work on all skins - even those we haven't designed yet - by avoiding a reliance on specific colours. Things like a link that cycles through a rainbow of colours, or a graphic that follows your pointer, would be fine, but a script that changed the background colours of the page wouldn't.

  • Graphics: If your script uses any graphics then we may well re-do them if we implement your script, so don't spend hours and hours on your graphics; instead, make sure the JavaScript is right.

  • Multiple browsers: The more browsers you test your code on, the better the chance that it will be accepted. If you have tested your script on more than one browser, it's worth saying so in your Posting below.

  • Clear coding: Lay your code out clearly, and please use comments liberally. They will be removed if your script is implemented as a Gadget, but comments will help us to check that the code is sound.

  • Be flexible: If possible, try to generalise your Gadget as much as possible by using arguments to the GuideML (as in the example above). If your Gadget can be used in lots of different ways, then it has a better chance of being implemented.

That's it! Although we make absolutely no guarantees as to when we will implement individual Gadgets (because we have to fit all development of this sort into the release schedules) we do hope to start building up a library of Gadgets soon.

Watch this space.

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