Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Dropbox Gadget

Update 01/12/2009: Dropbox changed their primary domain and iGoogle does not handle the redirect correctly, nor have I found a way to update the link via iGoogle.  Here are the new links to add a new module that works. Sorry for the delay.

UPDATE #2: I have just released v2 of the dropbox gadget. I have changed the gadget type to URL instead of HTML and I am hosting the gadget files directly using Dropbox. This allows the gadget to test if 3rd Party Cookies have been allowed for the domain.

It seems that Dropbox has updated their privacy settings on their site so that IE now will let users access the gadget using the default privacy settings. In Firefox, however, if you have deselected "Accept 3rd Party cookies" you need to add to the exceptions list.

The V2 version of the gadget is available:
Download V2 My Dropbox Gadget

Thanks for all of your support and the for the mention from Lifehacker.

UPDATE: After the initial release of the gadget I did some more testing based on feedback that I received. In the end, there appears to have been two separate issues:
  • The new iGoogle gadget.* API does not appear to be available for all users and browsers just yet. I switched back to the legacy API for all of the code.
  • The cookies set by Dropbox are considered 3rd Party cookies and so they are blocked by the default cookie security rules in IE 7. These are usually blocked because of advertising servers, but there are "white hat" uses as well...such as the case with dropbox.
I will add a test to the gadget to see if 3rd party cookies are enabled. Separately, there might be a way for Dropbox to change their cookies so that they will be accepted as a 3rd Party cookie.

If you have not heard of it, Dropbox is a fantistic service for syncing files between computers and a central web repository. They are in beta but you can signup here. Here is a screencast they have that shows the tool in action:

Although you can sync multiple boxes, I only sync the service with 1 PC currently, but I use the web interface frequently and a common file backup and anywhere access solution.

The idea occurred to me to build a Google Gadget where I could have even easier access to my dropbox whereever I go, especially on the computers that I frequently use but do not want to install the client software. So, I created the My Dropbox Gadget.

I submitted it to the Google Gadget Directory and will update the link soon. In the meantime, you can download the Dropbox Gadget here.

Once I got that working, I found that the natural width of the dropbox table did not fit well with the standard module width for iGoogle, so I created a greasemonkey script that adjusts the table style so it alwasys fits the gadget with in iGoogle. you can download the Fix Dropbox Width script here.


  1. You really need to integrate that script directly into the Gadget. Sure it is fine for me now, only using it on two of my computers. But I don't want to have to install greasemonkey on every PC I use. This is especially important for when I use friend's computers or public terminals.

  2. I'm writing a book on Google Apps & I'd love to include your Dropbox Gadget, but it appears it doesn't work with Google Apps Start Page, only with iGoogle. Am I correct? Please email me at & let me know ASAP.



  3. Hi SG

    Do you have a version that displays in any webpage, like the Google Gadgets for Websites?

  4. It seems that the gadget stopped working, probably because of change from to I am getting "Information is temporarily unavailable." message. Please update. Thanks.

  5. Umm...yeah, not quite yet. Deleted said gadget and re-added to no effect. Is there something else I need to try other than patience? Great gadget, don't get me wrong...just a little frustrating of late; thank you for your efforts.

  6. I am trying to embed gadget in a wiki.
    It supports iGoogle and open social standards.

    What is the most recent gadget url XML I should use ?