The coronavirus pandemic has forced people and companies to tap into a new well of innovation. People have learned to work from home. Now more than ever, the world has seen inventive ways to uphold public health and safety. At AmericanInventorSpot.com, you will find the most popular gadgets in 2020. This article will give you a guide on how to create a new gadget during a pandemic.

1. Getting Started

Gadgets are lightweight HTML or script-based applications that can derive and present information from sources such as local applications, websites, local controls, and other services. You need a basic understanding of HTML to get started since a gadget consists of a few code lines. A simple gadget includes some building blocks of XML, HTML, and JavaScript. If you want to create more sophisticated gadgets, you must widen your knowledge of JavaScript. XML will help you describe data so that both computers and humans can read and write. You will use XML to write the specifications of your gadget. The XML file can either contain all the data or have references (URLs) to find all its elements. You will then use HTML to format the pages on the internet. JavaScript is the language you will use to add any dynamic behavior to your gadget.

2. Development Fundamentals

The first thing to think of when building a new gadget is the content type to use. There are two different content types: HTML and URL. Both of them determine the features available to you as an author, how the gadget is rendered, and where you can deploy your gadget. HTML content type (type=”HTML”) is the most flexible, and it contains HTML, JavaScript, Flash, or any other browser object. Consider using an HTML content-type unless you need a gadget with particular requirements. If you use type=”URL” content type, every content in your gadget will be ignored. The href= attribute will then provide a URL. The web assumes that all information related to the gadget resides in the referenced URL.


3. Writing a Gadget

The basic steps here include; using any text editor to write the specifications, host your gadget on a public web server, and add it to a site that can run the gadget. Once you can edit and publish the gadget, you can now include more advanced features. The XML specification has three parts: content section (<Content>), user preferences (<UserPrefs>), and gadget preferences (<ModulePrefs>). The <Content> sections contain the specifications, programming logic, and the HTML elements of your gadget. The <UserPrefs> sections contain controls that your users use to interact with the gadget—for instance, a text field for users to type their names. The <ModulePrefs> specifies the characteristics of your gadget—for instance, the title, author, and size.

4. Programming and Debugging

As a developer, you have to understand that things do not always work as you wish. You have to learn some problem-solving techniques to fix issues when they arise. First, it is always wise to start small. Create a basic or get a skeletal gadget and gradually build your way up. Make sure you test it at every stage before you move to the next. This approach will allow you to realize mistakes and solve them instantly. Second, consider using the Firefox JavaScript Console. During the development phase, you can use the Firefox browser to test your gadget. If there is an issue, open the JavaScript Console (Tools>JavaScript Console). Go to the error section and scroll to check whether your gadget has any JavaScript syntax errors. Other web browsers also have their JavaScript console or debugger. Lastly, always confirm any of your assumptions to save time and effort.

5. User Interface

Create a view where your gadget will be displayed. Different views come with unique characteristics. Some may show gadgets in small formats, while others will show them in full-page format. You will use a <content> section to define the view that you want.

6. Internationalization

Make sure your gadget is ready for an international audience. Structure your gadget so that your text is visible. Use message bundles that are separate from your gadget for any text that should be translated.

7. Publish

There are several applications and environments where you can run your gadget. Not every environment is suitable for your gadget. Check the documentation of your site to see the features that are supported in that environment. Make sure you test your gadget and keep in mind the requirements and limitations of your target audience.

Always remember to be patient with yourself when developing a gadget.

Also Read: Know How the Student’s Gadgets will Change in the Era of Distance Learning?