Over on the Google Apps Scripts articles section of the Google Code site there’s a great article “Integrating with Google APIs – Creating a simple reading list” which takes the reader through a nice example of using a couple of APIs that have recently been made available to Google Apps Script via the Google APIs Services – the UrlShortener API and the Tasks API. Inspired by the article, I decided to take the idea a little bit further and build something I could demo and then explain at our Manchester GTUG meetup.
I used the same idea of a reading list, but added a Ui component to allow the user to select a task list interactively, and instead of using the UrlShortener API, I explored the relatively young Google+ API, in that I pulled in articles to read automatically from URLs posted by people on Google+.
Also, in revisiting some of the original reading list features, I tried to approach the coding differently, to be mindful of the advice in the “Optimising Scripts for Better Performance” section of the “Common Programming Tasks” guidelines.
Here’s a short screencast that shows the ‘Reading List Mark 2′ in action:
<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/F08qS8ZmlZ0" width="420"></iframe>
I’ll describe how everything is put together over the next few blog posts:
- This introduction
- Using the Tasks API to retrieve and insert tasklists, and the Ui Services to build the tasklist chooser component
- Using the UrlFetch Setvices to interact with the Google+ API and grab info on articles pointed to by users in their activity stream
- Synchronising the URL list in the spreadsheet with corresponding tasks in the chosen tasklist
- Putting it all together and using the OnOpen event to insert a new 2-item menu entry on the spreadsheet’s page