|Today's web sites have active
content on a web page is part of our new "widget" architecture. It
allows scripts to be placed anywhere on the page by using the familiar
Widgets allow a script to be packaged in a way
that can easily be incorporated into a web site by novice users. The script is
"wrapped" such that it has an interactive properties dialog where the
user can configure the widget with a user interface of the author's choosing.
When added to the web-page a template is used to configure the script based on
the properties set by the user. Most new functionality in the Sitebuilder will
be packaged in this way. We will eventually open this up to third parties to
allow for the packaging of scripts that can be fully integrated into the
To date we have implemented the following
widgets for use with the Sitebuilder:
A Photo Navigation and Slide Show - This
navigates the viewer through the photo album and pops up a slide show. By
pre-loading pictures the slide show works well even at lower bandwidths.
Google AdSense - This widget allows code
from the Google AdSense program to be used for the creation of advertising. The
widget accepts pasted code and interprets the parameters to automatically size
the AdSense box on the page.
sIFR Fonts - This feature is implemented
entirely as a widget. It is a great example of the power of the properties
dialog where fonts and font properties can be set.
We have also implemented fundamental building
blocks for users who have programming skills and wish to create their own active
iFrame - Allows content from other sites
to be embedded directly onto a web page.
HTML to be entered and tested. It is very useful for embedding pre-configured
scripts such as the Google Map API or banner advertising scripts. The widget
PHP - We have chosen PHP as the language
for active server content because it is the most widely supported in the web
hosting industry and contains the security features that most hosting companies
demand. Scripts can be debugged using the widget interface before inserting on a