More work on widgets

As I had mentioned, I had been working on Opera widgets. Some time ago I had seen a great Javascript plotting library for jQuery called flot, and I really wanted to try it out in some “real world” project. As I was working on the World Loanmeter widget, which incidentally uses jQuery too, it was very easy to figure out some way to use flot for something useful: I decided to add some simple graphs to the widget.

The initial idea of the loanmeter widget was to show where in the world Kiva was offering loans. However, as I used the widget myself, I realised that the location in the world was less important for me, and I was more interested in knowing what the person was going to use the money for. So, I added some options to filter by “sector” and I figured that having some graphs comparing how much money was requested and already funded, for each sector, would be a very quick and visual way to get the information I wanted. I started playing with flot, and I have to say that except for a couple of relatively minor problems, it was quite easy to use. I don’t have screenshots showing the graphs, but feel free to try the widget itself and have a look (hint: you have two buttons at the bottom right corner to switch between “map view” and “graph view”).

The other widget I have been working on is a monitor widget for projects in CruiseControl.rb (a really simple and neat continuous integration server we use at Opera). More than one year ago, my colleague Nico had written a very quick & dirty widget for monitoring the result of the test runs of the My Opera functional testsuite. There were a couple of things I wanted to change, and I also wanted to monitor other projects, so I figured that I’d rewrite the widget to have a more maintainable codebase and then make it generic, so you could configure which CC.rb installation and which project to monitor. I’m moderately happy with the result of the refactoring, and happy enough with the final result. I know it has several issues, and I expect that once anyone outside our team starts using it, there will be things to improve and fix :-) If you use CruiseControl.rb, give it a try!