Skip to main content

Geckoboard and Google App Engine = Awesome!

So I've just completed my first Google App Engine python app....I can't begin to say how awesome App Engine is...I had the python and Google Apps SDK installed and a Hello World app deployed onto world class infrastructure in about 20 mins flat. Deployment, simple! Management, simple! Python coding...not so simple (yet!).

So after seeing how awesome it was I put it to good use and implemented an idea I had for the Geckoboard Number widget - a day countdown. I've already implemented this in MonitorWang so if you use this (does anybody? I've had nearly 200 downloads but not a single comment about it, not a single one, good, bad or indifferent!) you can plug your Geckoboard into that.

However a conversation with Hugo the other day piqued my interest in Google App Engine and this seemed the ideal thing to use it for.

Very simply you put the date to countdown to on the querystring and it returns the Geckoboard Number widget XML containing the number of days to go. This means you can add a widget with the number of days remaining to an important or milestone date - the example shown is "Days to Xmas" and this number should countdown everyday.

The url for your number widget is,

Where the date querystring param must be in the format yyyy-mm-dd and the tz param is your timezone offset in hours from GMT - this ensures that the number of days change at the correct time.

Enjoy! I'll be watching.....mwahhhaahaaahha - the mighty Google App Engine Dashboard will give me all the stats I need to see if you are using it! The free account is good for c. 5 MILLION, yes, MILLION hits a month so please don't be shy!


Richard Morrison said…
Just started using this at Owlstone - a good idea!

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Thru: Using Wolfpack to automatically deploy and smoke test your system

First, some history... The advent of NuGet has revolutionised many many aspects of the .Net ecosystem; MyGet, Chocolatey & OctopusDeploy to name a few solutions building upon its success bring even more features to the table.

I also spotted that NuGet could solve a problem I was having with my OSS System Monitoring software Wolfpack; essentially this is a core application framework that uses plugins for extension (Wolfpack Contrib) but how to unify, standardise and streamline how these plugins are made available? NuGet to the rescue again - I wrapped the NuGet infrastructure (I deem NuGet to be so ubiquitous and stable that is has transcended into the software "infrastrucuture" hall of fame) with a new OSS project called Sidewinder. Sidewinder allows me to wrap all my little extension and plugins in NuGet packages and deploy them directly from the Wolfpack application - it even allows me to issue a new version of Wolfpack and have Wolfpack update itself, sweet huh?


Geckoboard Countdown Widget v2

v2 is here, now with added colours! This time using the RAG Numbers widget to display your date countdown - as you get nearer the date the number will change from green to amber then red.

The new url is:!
Note 1: notice the new /rag/ path and the msg querystring param.
Note 2: the original v1 url still works

To use this on your Geckoboard add a new "Custom Widget/RAG Numbers" widget. By default the number will turn amber at 10 or less days to go and red at 3 or less days to go however you can change these with the querystring (see below).

Required querystring params
date: "yyyy-mm-dd" format, this is the target date to countdown totz: timezone offset in hours from GMT that you are in. Can be negative if you are behind GMT
Optional querystring params
msg: the label that appears next to the number of days (remember to encode spaces as +). The default is "Days Remaining" if you…

Resharper add-in idea - highlight IDisposable vars

[Update 18th July 2013]
@RobGibbens and Greg Hurlman picked up on this - Rob pointed out that there is an FxCop rule that can do this and Greg suggested a Visual Studio extension. I've had a quick look at the Visual Studio options and it looks like an "Editor Extension" is a good fit....hmmm, Project New, click...doh...dammit I really don't have time for this but it looks a fun little diversion! I'll update here if I get anything working.

[Original Post]
Had an interesting idea for a Visual Studio Resharper add-in the other day but don't have the time to implement it so thought I would put it out might already exist (and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction) or someone will build it (Darren Voisey where are you?!).

The idea is very simple really - when you have a variable for an object that implements IDisposable it gets highlighted or a tell-tale is displayed to let you know it should be disposed or should be wrapped in a using sta…