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Playing with Seesmic Desktop

Posted 05 May 2010, 17:16 | by | | Perma-link

Update: There's now a "How-To" guide to Doodle Grouper 28/11/2011

Update: I've uploaded a newer version, for more details see: Doodle Grouper Released 05/04/2011

Update: I've uploaded a newer version, for more details see: Further work on Seesmic Desktop 05/07/2010

Doodle Grouper LogoI've just spent a couple of evenings playing around with the Seesmic Developer Platform - an early release of their Silverlight 4 based, out-of-browser Social Media Client Seesmic Desktop.

In terms of history, I'd started with the Adobe Air based Seesmic Desktop, moved to Seesmic for Windows as soon as it was announced, and missed some of the features, but none of the resource hogging of the Air version.

The latest version of Seesmic Desktop seems like it will be able to address many of my issues - and if it doesn't, well, then it's built with extensibility in mind - the Seesmic team have taken one of the key additions to Silverlight to heart - Seesmic Desktop 2 uses the Managed Extensibility Framework, or MEF, to enable developers to easily create plugins.

With that in mind, here's the beginnings of the fruits of my labours - a plug-in for Seesmic Desktop that allows you to group users into columns that auto-update as new tweets/updates come in - yes, I know, the previous versions can all do this, and I'm sure the Seesmic guys will add it soon enough, but I always find that having a goal in mind drives me to learn about stuff more than just hacking around with no real direction.

This is currently version 0.0.1 - so it's very raw around the edges:

  • I need to work out how to pick up the parent's themes correctly (the buttons are nicely themed, but the forms aren't.
  • There's no way through the UI to remove a user from a group.
  • There's no way through the UI to remove a group.

Certainly the last two will be resolved fairly shortly Wink

You can download:

  • The source - you'll need to update the references to the Seesmic.Sdp.* libraries.
  • The compiled plugin - Save to Documents\Seesmic\Seesmic Desktop 2\Plugins

Thanks go out to Tim Heuer for his Seesmic Developer Templates.

As a basic overview, this project uses:

  • A global TimelineItemAction to allow the user to add someone to a group.
  • A TimelineItemProcessor to deliver items to the correct timelines/columns/groups.
  • SidebarActions to provide access to each group.
  • The StorageService to save group information.
  • The LogService to write rather a lot of information to the logs - I assume at some point we'll be able to say "don't write out Info level logging" or some such, but while we're all debugging this is invaluable.

The log file can be found in Documents\Seesmic\Seesmic Desktop 2\Logs and you get quite a bit of detail about loading, etc for free.

As ever, let me know how you get on, or come and join us all making it better.

Filed under: Plug-ins, Seesmic, Silverlight