Google Desktop Sidebar: Laundry Timer Plug-in


The Laundry Timer plug-in is the result of my search for a relatively simple project to introduce myself to the Google Desktop Sidebar (GDS) plug-in scripting API. It sounded simple at first. Start a timer and then get a notification when it runs its course. Of course, when it was done, the plug-in ended up making use of almost everything available in the API and got redesigned at least three times to dance around API deficiencies and bugs.

Now, it is a tank. I can't imagine a more thoroughly engineered laundry timer. You can throw power failures, unexpected shutdowns, and reinstallations at it and it will still keep going. This is thanks in part to the aforementioned bugs and API holes and in part to my nit-picky nature. It's even set up to be easily modified to connect to your laundry machine's web interface once that kind of thing becomes normal. I've only ever heard of one dorm with that set up, but you gotta figure this feature's around the corner.

Overall, the javascript API is usable and I'm sure it'll get better in the future. This project was pretty fun and now that I've gotten the hang of the mechanics, I'm sure I can whip out future Sidebar plug-ins quickly and relatively painlessly. If you're interested in making your own scripted plug-ins, the Google Desktop Developer Group is an invaluable resource. Happy washing!

Where it is now:

Version: v1.2 // 2006.03.15
download (89k)    instructions (2k)    small screenshot    large screenshot

Implemented v1.2:

Implemented v1.1 & v1:

GDS Scripting API Wishlist:

last modified // 2006.03.15 // 18:42

kstroke // projects // nerdy