Reading List Mark 2 - Part 1

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:

 

I’ll describe how everything is put together over the next few blog posts:

  1. This introduction
  2. Using the Tasks API to retrieve and insert tasklists, and the Ui Services to build the tasklist chooser component
  3. Using the UrlFetch Setvices to interact with the Google+ API and grab info on articles pointed to by users in their activity stream
  4. Synchronising the URL list in the spreadsheet with corresponding tasks in the chosen tasklist
  5. Putting it all together and using the OnOpen event to insert a new 2-item menu entry on the spreadsheet’s page

Stay tuned!