Announcing chat gadgets in the orkut sandbox

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Posted by Moishe Lettvin, Software Engineer

Today we're enabling "Chat Gadgets" in the orkut sandbox. This feature allows you to share gadgets with your friends and interact in real time in the gadget itself. The gadget will appear in a window in the lower-right corner of the screen, like a chat window. Gadgets in this container support the gadgets.sharedstate API which allows developers to share transmit data between gadgets running on different machines with low latency and with no server support necessary by the gadget author. We think this is a great place to use simple, transient gadgets -- the most obvious is casual two-player games but there are lots of other possibilities; for instance, one of the samples is a translation gadget.

To use this feature, both accounts must be on the orkut sandbox. Under the "Video & More" menu in a chat window, select "Start Application" and you'll get a text box where you can type in the URL of a gadget to send, as well as a list of gadgets you've recently sent or received. When you select a gadget to send, your friend will see a verification message, and when they accept, you'll both see the gadgets in new popup windows in the lower-right of your screen.

We plan to open this feature up to users on production orkut early in 2010 but wanted to give our developers a sneak peek and a chance to start writing gadgets now.

See here for documentation and examples about the gadgets.sharedstate feature.

We will strictly enforce the use of Caja for the production release of this feature. We don't enforce Caja for Chat Gadgets running in the orkut sandbox, but we recommend you add the line to your gadget ModulePrefs to ensure that your gadget works with Caja.

If you have questions or comments about the API or plans for this feature please ask them on the orkut developer forum.

Update (04/12/2010): Our team decided to stop working on the gadgets.sharedstate API. The sandbox and the test harness will be shut down soon. Thanks for giving it a try.