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How I Fixed the Windows Sidebar Netflix Gadget

The Netflix Now Showing gadget for the Windows Vista Sidebar is a useful little thing to display the DVDs you currently have checked out as well as a few of the upcoming DVDs you are to receive from the top of your Netflix queue.

Sometimes, when my Windows Vista 64 Ultimate starts up and I log on, an error message pops up three times indicating Line 91: Error: 'xmlathome' is undefined:

NetflixGadgetError

A search of Google showed several people had this error (which was an annoyance but did not prevent the gadget from working). I went to the author's site but there was no mention of the gadget there.

So, I decided to click Yes to debug using Visual Studio. The line in error was highlighted:

     var athomestate = xmlathome.readyState;

The debugger showed that xmlathome was truly undefined (null) so the attempt to reference readyState caused the error.

Looking at the code showed that a race condition existed where the CheckState function could be called before the xmlathome variable was initialized. The fix is to make sure the variable is initialized before the function could ever be called. The line to initialize the xmlathome variable just needs to be moved up in the code a few lines (from line 77 to line 71 as shown):

NetflixGadgetFix

The file that needs to be fixed is netflix.js in this folder (copy/paste this into Windows Explorer):

     %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Netflix[1].gadget\

Print | posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:00 AM | Filed Under [ Personal ]

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