Wednesday Jan 14, 2009

Google Gadgets on OpenSolaris

As I've mentioned earlier, Songbird is not only a media player, it's also embedded with a browser and could mashup with the web. Google Gadgets is another platform to provide the capability to mashup with the web. Like Mozilla's add-ons mechanism, you can download the existing gadgets from the list, or develop your own gadget with HTML and JavaScript if the Google-Gadgets is installed on your box.
To cater the open source users, an open source community was built to port Google Gadgets to \*nux. The cross-platform characteristic benefits not only the end-users, but also the gadgets developers. Currently, the application is available on different Linux distros, FreeBSD and soon OpenSolaris. Here is the screenshot for Google-Gadgets on OpenSolaris, with compiz enabled.

Actually I only knew about this project on GNOME.Asia summit in Beijing last year. I had a talk with James Su, one of the lead developers for this project. The mashup idea is attractive to me to have this available on OpenSolaris. I'd also hope that more and more Google applications can be made open source and be ported to OpenSolaris, Picasa/Google earth for example.

The spec file to build Google Gadgets is now available in SFE. But it might not be easy to build from source currently as it depends on Apache C++ Standard library which is supposed to be integrated into OpenSolaris soon. If you're really interested to try this out, please follow the instructions below:
1. Build and install libstdcxx4 from source by using the spec file.
2. Remove the system SUNWfirefox, rebuild and install Firefox with libstdcxx4 by using the spec file. FYI, the spec needs to be patched to build with libstdcxx4 similar with what I did for the Google Gadgets spec file.
3. Get the pc file and put it into /usr/lib/pkgconfig.
4. Build/install Google Gadgets by using the spec file.
Hope the above steps work for you. Good luck!

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