I hadn't realised that MikeT has already blogged on our attempts to make it easier for people to find UK MSDN Nuggets they're interested in. Mike, I thought we were doing a worldwide synchronised launch like Visual Studio / SQL Server / BizTalk or Xbox 360. Perhaps not on the same scale admittedly but with at least as much impact on the market. Anyway, it seems you got the jump on me and launched your smart client application before Christmas.
Like the gullible fool that I am, I fell for Mike's "Wouldn't it be nice to have a Live.com gadget for this?" line and, having already crafted a user control to do the job, I started to build a gadget. See my previous posts if you're interested in building a gadget yourself but needless to say Mike's assessment was not too far off the mark and it's taken me a while longer than I'd planned...
Anyway, version 1.0 is available for anyone to try out. You can take a look at what it does in isolation by clicking here or you can add it to Live.com by navigating to the site and clicking "Add Content" -> "Advanced Options" -> "Add a Gadget by URL" and entering the URL: http://www.mikeo.co.uk/gadgets/msdnnuggetfinder_mikeo.xml. In both cases the site will warn you only to trust gadgets from reliable sources. I can assure you I am relatively reliable and the gadget does exactly what it says on the tin - it just helps you filter and find the UK MSDN Nuggets
The UI is very straightforward. You get a list of nugget categories you can select from and this will take you to a list of nuggets. You have the option to either download or stream a particular nugget or navigate back to the list of topics. That's pretty much it!
There are a couple of issues. Try as I might I can't get it to work in Firefox and I have very limited debugging available to me in Firefox because the gadget wont load if I host it locally (this is to do with having to add a couple of URLs to your trusted sites in IE to host gadgets locally. If someone can tell me how to do the same in Firefox I'll do my best to get it working). The other issue relates to instability. I was getting a lot of "We're having a problem with this feed, please try again later" issues but these seem to have gone away. I think this may have been a DNS issue as I changed hoster earlier in the week. Hopefully this has settled down now.
[Update: the gadget now works fine in Firefox - see my blog entry here]
Please do take a look and let me know what you think. Feedback gratefully received...
Here's are a couple of pictures of it in action as it were: