Philippe Goetz introduced Google Gadgets Sidebar —”a Firefox extension that lets you add the modules from your Google Personalized Homepage to the sidebar of your browser. The solution is independent to Google, so the modules (or gadgets) are rendered directly by the browser.”
Google Gadgets Sidebar is currently in it’s early phase, even though it’s pretty stable. Currently it has some limitations, that’s some of Google’s official gadgets like Gmail, Google Bookmarks etc. won’t work because their code is not available.
Advantage: You have the gadgets in front of your eyes as long as you keep Firefox open. You don't have to use Google Desktop or Google's Personalized Homepage and, for most gadgets, you don't even have to be logged in.
Disadvantage: You need to find the address for each gadget in Google's Directory and that the extension and Google's homepage aren't synchronized.
How to add gadgets to the extension?
* go to Google's Directory
* search for the name of the gadget
* right-click on the title of the gadget and copy the link address
* It will look like this:
* copy the address after the url parameter (in bold)
* paste the address in the "New gadget" input box (in the sidebar)
The extension can be installed only in Firefox 1.5. If you have Firefox 2.0 or above, download the extension, rename it to zip, open the the archive, replace <em:maxversion>1.5+</em:maxversion> with <em:maxversion>3.0</em:maxversion> in install.rdf and rename the file back to xpi. Then drag the xpi file to your browser window.
Usage: 1. Open the Google Gadgets Sidebar, either pressing the keys CTRL+8 or selecting the menu View > Sidebar > Google Gadgets on the Google Gadget SideBar the link to the Feed (Atom or RSS) or Gadget and that's it.
2. Drag & drop on the Google Gadget SideBar the link to the Feed (Atom or RSS) or Gadget and that's it.
There is a popup menu (click left) on the label New Gadget at the left-bottom of the sidebar. You can cleanup the cache. Don’t Forget To Cleanup The Cache, especially if you test many Gadgets (this doesn't apply to feeds).