Tuesday, 25 July 2006
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... And the winners are ...

The 2006 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards were hosted tonight by Chris DiBona and Nat Torkington at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland, Oregon. Attendees at the convention center celebrated as five fellow open source members were recognised at the second annual awards ceremony.

The winners are individuals who have worked tirelessly on their projects and in their community roles to make significant contributions to open source. We're pleased to announce that the winners are ....

Cliff Schmidt - Best Legal Eagle - Apache
Gervase Markham - Best Community Activist - FireFox
Julian Seward - Best Toolmaker - Valgrind
Peter Lundblad - Best All-Round Developer - Subversion
Stefan Taxhet - Best Corporate Liaison - OpenOffice.org

Please join us in congratulating the winners for 2006.

Monday, 24 July 2006
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A New Google Service

I've been working with a great team for a while now to produce a new Google Service for the Open Source community -- in fact, we're putting the final touches on it as I write this blog post.

Come to my OSCON talk on Thursday the 27th, at 1:45pm, to learn more!

Thursday, 20 July 2006
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Maps API Hotness

Recent Google Earth/Maps updates have a few API-related bits I wanted to highlight here — Maps now groks web-based KML files (example), and its API can do Geocoding (which is fully explained on the Maps API blog). For tinkerers, check out this earthcode.com blog post detailing some Rails/Maps/Geocoding integration:
"Why the lookup web service? The Google Maps API doesn't just let you map an address. You need to supply the Maps API with a longitude and latitude to place a marker on a map (or even to center a map on a city). The geocoding web service translates a valid address into longitude and latitude; you can pass the result to the Maps API."
Also, the Maps API now supports fancy zooming.

Google Desktop Gadget Contest deadline extended

The Google Desktop Gadget Contest has been extended by two weeks to Monday, August 14.  Read more about it on the Inside Google Desktop blog.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006
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Heading to OSCON ?

Googlers are making the pilgrimage to the 8th annual OSCON hosted by O'Reilly Media Inc., on July 24-28, in Portland Oregon. We're really excited about having many Googlers speak at the conference this year, covering a broad range of topics, as follows:

For those following Google's Summer of Code program, we're hosting a Google Summer of Code Community BOF, on Wednesday July 26 at 7:30pm, Room D136. If you are a mentor, student or well-wisher come along and meet other GSoCers and Googlers behind the program.

The BoF sessions at OSCON are free of charge and open to the public, so you are welcome to visit the BoF even if you cannot attend the conference.

Several dozen Googlers active in open source projects will be in attendance - too many to list here. We hope to have the opportunity to meet many of you, so please drop by the booth or come and find us after the talks. See you next week!

2006 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards

If you plan to be at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference next week in Portland, be sure to attend the 2006 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards. Five individuals will be recognized for significant contribution to the open source community.

The awards will be hosted by Chris DiBona and Nat Torkington on Tuesday 25th July, 7:00pm, Portland Ballroom. The categories for the 2006 awards are as follows :
  • Best Legal Eagle
  • Best Toolmaker
  • Best All-Round Developer
  • Best Corporate Liason
  • Best Community Activist
For more information and details of last years winners check the OSCON site.

And if you are not at the event, remember to check back here after Tuesday for the winners!

Tuesday, 18 July 2006
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Release Early, Release Often

Among other funding activities, Google's Open Source Program Office is sponsoring Martin Michlmayr's PhD research on "Quality Improvement in Volunteer Free Software Projects: Exploring the Impact of Release Management."

While Martin won't be publishing his findings until he completes his thesis in 2007, Bruce Byfield with NewsForge has just published an article which provides an overview of Martin's research and into quality assurance, release management and usability in free software projects.

Friday, 14 July 2006
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Google Account Authentication

Developers of applications that require end-user authenticated interaction with Google services now have several options for authenticating:
  • Installed Applications: "The ClientLogin API lets you incorporate programmatic login into your desktop or mobile applications. This API incorporates CAPTCHA for greater security against password trollers."
  • Proxy for Web Applications: "The AuthSub API gives your web application the ability to access a user's Google services accounts without handling the user's login information. This API offers a secure mode, in which the web application can register with Google for greater security."
The Auth Overview page has further details.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006
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Google engineer Mihai Parparita's latest Maps mashup is just too nifty not to mention here on Code: Overheard in NY + Maps' API + Reader = Overplot

His blog post explains a few of the specific problems he encountered while creating it:
  • "The most basic issue with implementing this is geocoding all of the location strings (like "Canal & Broadway") to a latitude/longitude pair... It is not perfect, but since the set of addresses is pretty tightly constrained, I was able to add some rewriting rules to make the input more easily parsed. As of right now, 54% of the addresses are geocoded."
  • "I didn't want to directly scrape the HTML of the site to extract all of the quotes. I ended up using the data stored in Google Reader's archive of the site's feed. This allowed me to get at the quotes themselves more easily, without having to worry about the chrome of the site."
  • "Instead of each marker being its own overlay, I put all of them in the same overlay (see the QuotesOverlay class). Additionally, I did not split each marker into several layers (shadow, image, click area) - having the shadow be part of the image works well enough."
Read more at persistent.info.