Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Disabling Caching of Google Gadgets for Development

If you want to make sure that caching is disabled as you develop your Google Gadget and test it on  iGoogle, add the My Gadgets Google Gadget (add it to iGoogle quickly with this link).

I have devoted a small amount of time in the past few weeks to get my hands dirty with Google Gadget development. Testing your Gadget needs to be done online, however, unless you want to set up your own instance of Apache Shindig for use as a local container. Online Google caches the gadget definition, so quickly iterating changes and testing can be problematic. (From testing it is clear Google actually caches several versions of the gadget, and users are not guaranteed to the latest version immediately, especially if you have been testing recently).

The My Gadgets gadget I suggest above allows you to turn off caching for any Gadget you add using My Gadgets. With this in place, you only need to refresh your browser window to see the latest version. Indeed, if you are only interested in keeping up with changes, you can simply reload the IFrame the gadget is displayed in. 

I found this neat little tip in this discussion which goes on to talk about some wider gadget development workflows.

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