Tue, 24 Apr 2007
Second Life Map Widget

I made this: Second Life Map Widget.

Here's what I posted on my LiveJournal:


I've been playing recently with the Second Life Mapping API—the tool that Linden Lab provides that lets you put Second Life's in-world map on webpages—and had some success in making a basic map utility with it.

And since I'm a Apple Developer Connection member, I got a preview version of Dashcode, the in-house Dashboard Widget development tool that they'll be shipping with Leopard, OS X 10.5. I made a quick widget that reads an RSS feed; that takes about a dozen clicks and 30 seconds, so I cast about for something a little more complicated to play with. Aha! Mashup time!

The result is the Second Life Map Widget. It's pretty nice; you can browse through the map, jump to sims you want to look up, and teleport to the location you've got showing. Once I got it working well enough to release, I put up the webpage there and submitted it to the SL forums and some download sites, including Apple's Dashboard Widget site.

I posted it on the 10th of April; I was not quite prepared for what came next. (The links that follow are website screenshots I took in Firefox with the Pearl Crescent Page Saver Basic extension.)

Almost immediately, the widget was on the front page of the widget download site as a staff favorite. I thought that was really about as cool as things could get. Apple Staff! Liking my little widget! Well, that portion of the staff running the Dashboard Widget download page. But still! Utterly cool!

The next day it was the Featured Widget of the site.

At any rate, by noon on April 13th, there had been 5753 direct downloads of the widget's zip file. The thing consequently hit #1 on the Apple site's Top 50 downloads page. The main widget page directory called it, more clearly, as first among the "Top downloads of the day", but the overall Mac OS X Downloads Page called it first of the "Top Widgets", and the Apple Start Page (the default home page for new Macs) called it number four of the Hot OS X Downloads, right behind iTunes 7, Quicktime 7, and Windows Media Player.

I like it when Apple pays you egoboo.

Due to the 14,311 downloads thus far and my (admittedly low-key) begging and PayPal button, I've received L$100 in donations -- which is approximately equal to 38 cents (US). Most of the downloads are, I'm sure, due to Apple's site, and to a lesser extent MacUpdate and its various sister sites, but I do have a kiosk set up in-world to take the clicker to the webpage. It's at Orcus (90,233): here on my map or this slurl.com link that doesn't have a map anymore.

I should have an update out soon—there's a couple of irregularities that I need to work out. I've also heard some call for a Windows version; I should see how Yahoo Widgets/Konfabulator is these days...

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