dashboard widget dashboard is pretty neat, but it is a pretty raw development environment. i banged together a semi-functional widget, and one thing that becomes clear very quickly is that apple should have packaged together a bunch of common stuff into an includable library.

a few points of frustration: grabbing values out of xml (rss in this case) using the dom is annoyingly verbose, the javascript date object is surprisingly limited (and apple didn’t have the smarts to make it easy to get localized date strings), and doing flexible layouts involves lots of tedious hand-coding.

those are just initial impressions, though. it’s possible that it is all much easier once you’ve got a widget or three under your belt.

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