Thursday, August 02, 2007

New version of MultiDesktop & Google Desktop hybrid gadgets

Yesterday, I have released on my website new version of my Google Desktop gadget called MultiDesktop. The aim of a gadget is to provide the user with possibility of having multiple virtual desktop (feature well-known to those of you who are or used to be Linux users). Unlike other software of this type it does not limit the user to 4 desktop and each desktop may have its name to easily identify them. In the new version, created desktops are kept between sessions and there is no need to re-create desktops each time you reboot your computer. For full list of features visit MultiDesktop web page.

How did I develop MultiDesktop?

At the first glance, MultiDesktop may appear to be standard simple Google Gadget. It is packaged inside the .gg file like other gadget. It is a standard format for distributing Google Gadgets. It is nothing more than ZIP file containing XML file specifying the static presentational aspects of gadgets, jscript source code defining its dynamics and plenty of resource files with graphics and internationalized text strings. For more details visit Google Desktop SDK page.

However, in case of MultiDesktop, JScript is used only to build the GUI and front-end to the engine written in C++. It is possible to be done in Google Desktop due to what Google calls hybrid gadget. You can write a DLL library being a COM server, attach it to the Gadget and then instantiate any object defined that implements an IDispatch interface. It can be easily implemented in Microsoft Visual C++ using ATL library or in Delphi.
Note: Remember to set your version to major = 0xFFFF and minor = 0xFFFF. Otherwise, your hybrid engine will not work. To do so in ATL make sure that you have 0xFFFF as two last parameters of IDispatchImpl class. For example, in case of MultiDesktop it is:

public IDispatchImpl<IMDInternal, &IID_IMDInternal, &LIBID_mdengineLib, /*wMajor =*/ 0xFFFF, /*wMinor =*/ 0xFFFF>,


administrator said...

I don't know how to thank you for building that excellent MultiDesktop Gadget. I can not descrip how much I am happy becouse I found this tool.

Khaled Musaied
.NET Developer
"Microsoft Oriented Google Interested"
Riyadh , Saudi Arabia

Mike said...

Are you using microsofts built in 'CreateDesktop' functions and other similar API calls or have you written all of the window management code yourself?

Krzysztof Olczyk said...


Mike said...

Thats good, the API implementation is actually pretty buggy when it comes to using it in such an application.

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