Expanding and consolidating
It’s been a while since we gave you on update on UWA itself. You might think we either have too few to report, or would rather keep things under the radar until it’s the right time to talk about it. It’s actually much simpler: we’ve been busy.
Busy with improving your experience with UWA, that is! While you might not jump to the eyes, some of our recent efforts have been centered around giving both users and developers a stronger UWA. We did this by working at improving two critical components of a widget developer’s life: the UWA code itself, and its documentation.
Better, Faster, Stronger… and not Harder
For the last few weeks, our developers have been steadily rewiring the internal compilers for most of the supported platforms, bringing the UWA Environment at top speed, and making room for further improvements. This all happened behind the scene, but the upgrade to the compilers (iGoogle, Opera, Apple Dashboard, Live.com, etc.) should improve your every day use of UWA widgets.
Aditionnally, we used these updates to normalize behaviors across the different platforms, and incorporate a bottom status bar to maximize the spread of your widgets. Every newly-exported widget from Ecosystem will feature this bar, which we hope will help your widget reach more people.
As you can see, they all share the same Share button at the bottom of the widget. This is not in place in the Vista/Live.com export for now.
Also, note that all changes made to UWA are regularly backported to the open-source Exposition Widget Server.
…and easier on the eyes too!
Let’s face it, the DevNet used to be a mess of intertwined pages. That alone was bound to lose the reader’s patience, but the fact that over the years more technologies other than UWA kept being added to the documentation site (REST API, Ecosystem API, Theme format…), made for a much-needed revamping of the homepage, as well as a reorganization of all pages and a trimming of the unneeded ones.
That means a few important changes in the documentation URLs. All the documentation used to be located under http://dev.netvibes.com/doc/, but the coming of non-UWA-related docs urged us to gave each of them its own directory, as it should. There are now 3 mains sub-directories:
- http://dev.netvibes.com/doc/uwa/ : all there is to know about UWA, the Universal Widget API;
- http://dev.netvibes.com/doc/api/ : for some of Netvibes’ other APIs;
- http://dev.netvibes.com/doc/theme/ : for our Theme file format.
All the previously available docs have been moved to their respective directories. This would mean URL breakage, but we paid attention to make sure old URL would automatically redirect to the news ones. That being said, if you stumble upon any remaining ones, don’t hesitate to let us know!
Likewise, some pages of documentation have been deleted, some others created, some renamed for clarity, and most have been rewritten at least in part in order to take into account two years of UWA discussions on the forum. We’re still working on a brand new FAQ as of this typing, but all other page should be clearer yet.
Anyway, as the old song goes: “you have to admit, it’s getting better, a little better all the time”