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Google Gadgets are dynamic web content that can be placed on any page on the web. Gadgets can be games, mini applications, news feeds, maps or any content. Members of Google's site can add them to their iGoogle page. If Google Desktop is installed on a local computer, gadgets can be added to that computer's desktop in a similar way in which native Microsoft Gadgets run on Windows Vista.
With Google Gadgets anyone who has a free Google account can create and publish them without having to pay for the cost of hosting them like you would with a traditional web page. Other users can add the Gadget to their iGoogle page or altenatively web designers can copy and modify the Gadget and put it their web site. Gadgets can be hosted directly on the Google directory as well as on the user's iGoogle home page. Google Gadgets do not need to be published to the public Google directory if the gadget creator doesn't wish to.
Persistent Storage and Multi User Capabilities
With the advent of Google Wave, gadgets can have persistent storage and multi-user capabilities. For instance, a game that is written using a Google Gadget can use Google Wave technology to record a list of users and high scores without having to store the scores on a hosted server. Instead, the scores can be stored in a Google Wave which is hosted permanently by Google at no cost to the user.
Here is an example of a Hello World program written using Google Gadget technology.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <Module> <ModulePrefs title="simple hello world example" /> <Content type="html"> <![CDATA[ Hello, world! ]]> </Content> </Module>