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blog.gkaindl.com » Widget Update

blog.gkaindl.com

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Widget Update

UPDATE: Since this blog is retired, Widget Update's new home is here. In case you are interested, my new blog is arbi.trario.us.

Widget Update screenshot Unsupported!
Widget Update Logo Download (482K)

Version 1.5.6
Oct 31, 2007

Widget Update is a free Dashboard Widget that can automatically check for updates to the all the other widgets that you have installed. It supports Apple's software directory, DashboardWidgets.com, MacUpdate and Version Tracker. It will present you with a tidy link list of all the updates found, enabling you to read release-notes and download the the updates quickly and painlessly.

If you find Widget Update useful, you may also want to check out its sister-widget, App Update.

Configuration

You can specify the directories in which you keep your widgets on Widget Update's back. To flip it over, just click the little "i" button that appears when you move your mouse pointer over the widget.

You can also specify recursive directory choices, meaning that Widget Update will not only look into the specified folder, but also into all its sub-folders (which is very convenient if you group your applications this way).

In the default configuration, Widget Update scans the folder where the active widgets are stored, but adding folders can come in handy if you want to check for updates to widgets that you are just storing somewhere in an arbitrary folder, but are currently not using.

Features

  • Universal binary: Runs natively on Intel & PowerPC Macs
  • Check for updates manually or automatically (daily or weekly)
  • Built-in online help, accessible at all times by pressing Shift+H, viewable in the widget or the browser
  • Can be collapsed into a small icon to conserve Dashboard space
  • Support for Growl notifications
  • Fast scanning of applications with Spotlight
  • Implements Apple's proposed versioning scheme (TN1132)
  • Can check a widget's specific homepage as well (requires knowledge of regular expressions)
  • Easily add folders per drag & drop
  • If a widget isn't found out of the box, you can easily add the necessary info to make it be found in the 'Advanced' dialog on the widget's back
  • Manage your applications: Right-click an update to expose a drop-down menu in which you can ignore an update, mark it as installed or reveal the widget in the Finder
  • Compatible with many widgets
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Automatically checks for updates to itself, too (once every 24 hours)
  • Released under the GPL

Documentation

Widget Update comes with an extensive online-help functionality built right into it that you can view either right inside the widget or in your browser. While you are able to get Widget Update running quickly, you may want to have a quick glance at the help file to learn about the wealth of features it supports!

You can access the help at any time by pressing Shift+H or by flipping the widget over and clicking the "?" button.

Release Notes

Release notes are available here.

Credits

  • Graphics have been provided by Mike Pogran.
  • All code (JavaScript & Cocoa) has been written by me. The source code of the Cocoa plugin is included inside the widget bundle.

Developers

If you are a developer and want to make sure that Widget Update works correctly with your widget, please make sure that the following points are satisfied (there's nothing that's extra-ordinary, it's just good practice anyways).

  • Make sure that the CFBundleShortVersionString property in your Info.plist property list is properly updated for subsequent releases of your widget and that it uses a standard versioning scheme (x.y.z, such as 1.1.4). The exact standard supported by Widget Update is described here.
  • Make sure that you submit your application to the update tracking sites under the same name that you store in the CFBundleDisplayName property list of your Info.plist property file. If you use localized strings for the Info.plist, submit it under the name of the English localization. Also, it doesn't matter if you append "Widget" to the name under which you submit or not.

That's it! Widget Update should work fine with your application now!

About

Hi, how are you? My name is Georg Kaindl, and I'm a twenty-something from Vienna, Austria. During the day, I'm a CS student at the Vienna University of Technology, but at night, I turn into an independent software developer for the Macintosh platform, social nerd, lazy entrepreneur and intuitive researcher.

I like to write about everything that matters to considerate technology enthusiasts, but humbly retain the right to go off-topic from time to time.

My posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Contact

You can reach me by email if you have something to say that's not related to a blog post or that you don't want to have publicly available as a comment to a post.

However, you'll have to prove that you are human! Even though I personally like robots very much, I'm less of fan of SPAM. It's just a simple riddle to solve, but a SPAM bot won't cut it!

To get my email address, take the word before the .com in my domain name first (Hint: The word you are looking for starts with a "g" and ends with an "l"). Next, simply attach @mac.com to this word.

Boom, there's my email address. Simple, isn't it?

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