Thursday, 31 May 2007
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Google Developer Day: A fantastic worldwide day

We have enjoyed a fantastic day so far. Watching the worldwide map throb new locations to life throughout an entire worldwide day has been a real treat.

Each of the developer day events had their own feel, but the buzz seemed to be the same.

With the announcement of Google Gears, Mapplets, and the like, there has been a lot to talk about.

There is a lot of information out there, but a brief roundup:

Google Gears
Google Web Toolkit
Google Geo
And this is the tip of the iceberg.

For more, check out the growing list of YouTube videos of the sessions, view the pictures from the event, and see what people are saying about it.

Now it is time to watch the last marker go red at the party back at the Googleplex.

Then tomorrow comes, and we get back to work to take in the suggestions and ideas from the community, and to press on from here!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007
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Developer week in (p)review

Google Developer Day is here! Our first worldwide developer event has kicked off in Sydney and won't stop until it's reached 10 locations around the world, finishing up 29 hours later at Google's offices in Mountain View, California. If you can't make it in person, you should try to catch one of the sessions online. We're webcasting live sessions from London and California, and will post videos from all our events shortly afterwards on the Developer Day website.

Developer Day isn't the only thing that's kept us busy this week. We've also released a bunch of new products, which I'll let the respective teams say more about. Here's a roundup of some of this week's releases:
  • Learn about going offline with Google Gears, an open source browser extension for creating offline web applications.
  • Make mashup of mashups with Mapplets, mini-applications that can be embedded into the Google Maps site.
  • And it is mashups made easy with the Google Mashup Editor, an an online code editor for creating and deploying mashups.
  • Watch as GWT Gears up with the Google API Library for Google Web Toolkit, an open source library to help GWT developers take advantage of Google APIs, starting with Google Gears.
  • Just in time to get to San Jose, we added driving directions to the Google Maps API, giving developers even more ways to create compelling maps mashups.
Check them out, then come join us at Developer Day. See you here!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007
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Google Web Toolkit Version 1.4 RC

In the midst of preparing for Google Developer Day, those of us on the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) team wanted to give you something fun to play with: GWT version 1.4 RC. This release candidate represents the first major iteration that has happened in the open, with significant contributions from the GWT open source community.

If you've not had a chance to check out GWT before, now is a great time. In version 1.4, we feel we've made significant progress on "making GWT better," including reducing the size of the JavaScript output, adding new widgets, and improving the start-up time for a given application. Give it a whirl and bring your questions to Developer Day, or feel free to post them on the GWT Developer Forum.

Read more about version 1.4 on the GWT blog.

Google Developer Podcast Episode Two: Pamela Fox on the Google Maps API

We have published the second episode of the Google Developer Podcast, just in time to get you ready for Google Developer Day which kicks off this week.

This weeks episode discusses:

News for Google Developers

  • Check out the latest schedules and information about the event. Check the location!
  • JavaOne recap: thoughts about the show, and the Google booth
  • Discussing the new AJAX Feed controls
  • Our thoughts on Searchology and Universal Search
  • The new YouTube API blog was announced
  • Featured project: GWT Maven Support
  • Featured project: Hey, What's That?
Interview with Pamela Fox of the Google Maps team

We want to thank Pamela for taking the time to chat to us about Google Maps, and the Google Maps API.

What you will learn from Pamela:
  • Her role, and background
  • A little history on the Google Maps API
  • Information about mashups
  • How you can overlay map content such as MapWOW, Lord of the Rings, and your own
  • How to be hard code with custom tiles, to give you a full level of detail
  • How to use simple ground overlays
  • About the Google Moon API
  • How KML and Google Earth fit into Google Maps
  • The magic of GGeoXml()
  • What the Maps group is going to be doing for developer day
  • How to use the JavaScript API
  • How you can use Maps from within GWT, Rails, and other platforms
  • What's GMap2, and how does the API handle versioning
  • Enjoying the scroll-wheel zoom
  • How My Maps fits into Google Maps
  • How Google Maps helped launched the Ajax meme
  • Pamela's favorite recent Maps mashups (bones, crop circles, and more)
  • The sample code available in the gmaps-samples
  • Using the Google Spreadsheet Data API as a data store
  • Understanding the limitations on Google Maps API use
  • What are the hidden features in the Google Maps API that people tend not to use
  • Why you should GLog
  • What the common issues that new Maps API users come across
  • Best practices for developing Google Maps Mashups
You can download the episode directly, or subscribe to the show.

As always, please contact us to let us know if there is anything that you would like to see on the podcast.

Friday, 25 May 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for May 21-25th

A lot of the product teams are heads-down for Google Developer Day, which is only a matter of days away! Ed Burnette interviewed Bret Taylor, Group Product Manager, and the interview will give you a glimpse of what is to come at Developer Day.

Although the engineers and teams are hard at work preparing for Developer Day, there was still a lot of news surrounding developer APIs and products.

In API and developer-product news...

Cool Ajax Feeds and Maps Mashup

Chris Schalk has created a mashup using the AJAX Feed and Google Maps APIs. The mashup allows you to find photos in Flickr, and have them plotted on a map, thanks to georss. This is a nice example to View Source to get more of a feel for the APIs and how you can use them as building blocks to work with each other.

Generate dode from your WADL REST API descriptions with REST Describe & Compile

Thomas Steiner has released a new version of his REST Describe and Compile tool. The tool is capable of creating, editing, and describing services using the new WADL format. The current tool will generate PHP code to access your REST APIs (more languages coming), and is created with the Google Web Toolkit.

LightboxImage GWT

Everyone loves a lightbox. If you hunt around the Web you will find lightboxes, thickboxes, thinboxes, and all other boxen. This GWT component wraps the original lightbox so that you can create modular image inline popups without having to touch the JavaScript beneath.

New GData Developer Guides - Spreadsheets and Blogger

Jeff Scudder has updated the Blogger and Spreadsheet API developer guides to show you how to speak to the services in .NET and Python, to add to Java and raw HTTP examples. This is part of an on going effort to beef up the documentation. Recently you may have noticed that the Calendar docs have also been improved, and much more is coming.

Around Google

There was some other interesting news that I thought I would highlight. Pamela Saenger announced the release of a new feature on Google Translate that lets you search content in languages that you do not know, and get results back in your language. That takes some time to sync in. Imagine if you were a wine buff and you wanted to find out more about a particular French wine. You could use this feature to search the French websites, returning content in English.

I use Gmail for Mobile, Google Maps, Google Reader, and other Google products on my mobile phone. Now I can add Google Calendar to the list. If you visit on your phone you will see a slim agenda view of your upcoming events.

What's hot today? was the question that the team that merged Google Trends with Google Zeitgeist to create Hot Trends. There are many PhD theses to be had by trying to understand why some of these make the list, and it definitely is able to show all sides of humanity.


Besides Google Developer Day, there are some other conferences that have been mentioned:

The Google Test Automation Conference in New York City on August 23-24, has finalized the speaker list and has opened up for free, limited attendance.

Our Conference on Scalability has also opened up for registration until June 15th. They have nine great talks from industry and academia including keynotes by Jeff Dean and Marissa Mayer from Google and Werner Vogels from Amazon, and the event is taking place in Seattle on June 23rd.

Featured Projects

QueWeb Customer Care

Queplix has open sourced a web-based customer-care application that uses GWT to create a rich, desktop-like experience.

Rolling Stone AJAX Search

Rolling Stone has a nice customized use of the Google AJAX Search API that builds on top of the base GSearchers and gives results that make sense in this domain. For example, the results are split up by artist, news, album reviews, and more. This is a nice example to see how you can take the core of AJAX Search and tweak it a little bit to get what you need. This one-liner says a lot:
searcher.execute("intitle:" + query + " " +
"-inurl:articles -inurl:photos -inurl:albums -inurl:videos " +
"-inurl:biography -inurl:reviews -inurl:discography");

Google Tech Talks

Groovy Things To Do With Groovy

Guillaume Laforge came to Google to discuss the Groovy programming language, and came prepared with nice examples of using Groovy to access Google properties and use some of the Google APIs. If you would like an agile language on top of the JVM, check this out.

Advanced Topics in Programming Languages Series: C++ Threads

Lawrence Crowl came to discuss how the next C++ standard will provide direct support for threads, including a model of memory, atomics, variables, launching, scheduling, synchronization, and termination.


Google Summer of Code Podcast: Episode 2 - The Umit Project

For our second podcast, we had a chance to catch up with Adriano about life as a Summer of Coder, as well as Umit and other free software in Brazil.

Thanks for taking the time to keep up to date with our news. We look forward to seeing some of you at Google Developer Day. Keep tuning for an interesting week coming up!

Friday, 18 May 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for May 14-18th

We have found that there is a lot of news around the web dispersed on various
Google blogs, forums, and press releases. As fantastic as this all is, we want
to try to give you a weekly round-up containing news that was of interest to us.
The goal is that if you had time to read one Google related post a week, this
would keep you up to date on the big items.

Our roundups will cover news and events surrounding our APIs, products, and
items from the community at large.

Let's get started for this week, May 14-18th, 2007.

Google Developer Podcasts

We are excited to launch the new Google Developer Podcast. In the first episode we interviewed Bob Lee of the Google Guice project. In the future you will see interviews with Googlers on many different topics, and we hope that it keeps you in touch. Please contact us if you have any requests for the show, and check out episode one.

We also have a new podcast series around the ever-popular Google Summer of Code series.

Google Developer Day

The buzz is growing around the worldwide event that is Google Developer Day, May 31st, 2007.

We have launched a new developer day site that will allow you to keep up to date on the event. You may want to check out the sessions that are planned for your location. Simply choose your location from the front page and click on sessions.

Make sure to check your location, as demand has required that some sites are having to move to new, larger space. Here in California we have announced that the sessions are going to be held in the San Jose Convention Center.

We are only a couple of weeks away, and then we will witness the community gathering around the world. We have some fantastic content to showcase, but more importantly, we get a chance to listen and learn from you all.

JavaOne Roundup

JavaOne was as busy as usual this year, especially for Googlers, who gave at least 14 presentations on a variety of topics. At the booth we found a lot of interest in discussing our technologies, especially GWT, Guice, and various APIs.

We also produced an article on A Java Developer's Guide to Google Technologies that gives you a taste for what was on offer.

The Java community is an important one for us, and we would love to hear from you on what you would like to see from us in the future.

Fun in AJAX API Land

The AJAX API team has followed up on the AJAX Feed API launch by building useful components that use the feed API under the scenes.

The AJAX Feed API FeedControl allows you to build a flexible blog roll component in seconds, and the AJAX Feed API Slide Show Control will create a slide show on top of any feed that uses Media RSS (e.g. Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa Web Albums). At the same time, the Picassa team created a Flash component that works with their service.

Universal Search Launches

There was big news in search this week. At Searchology, we announced our first
phase of Universal Search which ties various search products together to give you an answer that makes sense across books, music, video, news, and good old web pages.

We published a little behind the scenes coverage for those who want to dig a little.

Google Code Projects of the Week

GWT Maven Support

If you are a maven user, it is hard to go back to any other way for building your Java applications. The GWT Maven project allows you to weave your nice dependency magic with your GWT projects.

Hey, What's That?

This Google Maps mashup allows you to get a profile on what you could see from a given point. This is normally most interesting from a point that is high up, so the interface gives you a list of mountains to choose from.

For extra bonus points, you can read up on the technical side for how
they work it all out

In other news...

YouTube API Blog: YouTube has just created a new API blog, so we should expect some interesting content around the APIs that Youtube has available to developers.

Real-time quotes for free: If you work in the financial sector, you will know that access to real-time quotes is very important indeed. It is great to see that we are going to be offering them for free, across our properties.

Viewing your collections with Google Maps: Check out the new maps view feature in 3D Warehouse.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007
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Joomla!Day USA West at Google

Last weekend, Google hosted the first Joomla!Day to be held in the United States. Nearly 100 Joomla! developers and users came together in true unconference style, as participants led small group discussions based on attendee feedback prior to and the beginning day of the conference. Topics ranged from migrating a website from the CMS' 1.0 to 1.5 release to effective template creation. On Sunday afternoon, we had a lot of fun with our speed-geeking session, where attendees shared knowledge with one another about anything and everything, like using Joomla! to power non-profit websites to ergonomics to keep you coding for life. We ended the day Sunday with a group photo and plans in the works to start a Bay Area based Joomla! Users Group.

For those who weren't able to make it to Joomla!Day USA West, we've heard you can expect news about other Joomla!Days coming sometime later this year in Austin, Texas and New York, New York.

Many thanks to all of our guests for joining us, sharing their collective knowledge and making the weekend a useful and inspiring experience!

Photo Credit: T. J. Baker

Monday, 14 May 2007
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Google Developer Day sessions move to San Jose Convention Center

Thanks to the incredible interest in Google Developer Day, we've moved the session portion of the day to the San Jose Convention Center. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., we'll be bringing ourselves and a little of the Google campus a few miles south. After the sessions wrap up at 5:30, everyone will head back up to Google for food, music, and general chilling out with other developers from around the United States and the world.

For everyone's convenience, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Google will provide shuttle buses continually between the Convention Center and the Google campus. For those of you driving, parking will also be available at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

We'll be posting more information about the event in the next few days, so check back at for the latest information.

Update: Clarified that the sessions run until 5:30 pm.

Introducing the Google Developer Podcast

A fair few Googlers enjoy creating podcasts, and a large number choose to participate in the medium as listeners.

I have really enjoyed creating Audible Ajax, as it gives me a way to get close to the community. Not only do I get to meet great people and technologists as I interview them for the show, but the listeners also let me know what they like and want to hear back from me.

The better I've gotten to know Google developers and programmers in the community, the more I've wanted to highlight and share
their contributions.

Dick Wall and Carl Quinn are two Googlers that are part of the Java Posse podcast, and we were excited to team up and start communicating. The end result is a new podcast called the Google Developer Podcast.

What will we cover on the Google Developer podcast?
  • Interviews with Google engineers, discussing areas of their expertise
  • New features, applications, and APIs that matter to developers
  • Open source projects that we work on and/or care about at Google
  • Projects that use our APIs and applications in interesting ways
  • News and events that we all care about, including the Google Summer of Code.
An interview with Bob Lee, Google Guice developer

As we were brainstorming our first podcast Google Guice was released. Guice is an open source, lightweight, dependency injection framework with an emphasis on tight Java 5 integration and high performance. It has already been put through its paces in production at Google for awhile and it was a great effort on the behalf of the Guice team to share it with the community as a whole.

The Java community noticed. A spark has ignited around the project and the ideas that it represents.

To learn more we contacted Bob Lee and had a conversation about the philosophy behind Guice and how it all works.

We hope you enjoy it.

As with all new endeavors, we are looking to the community to help define it. What can you do?
Thanks to

Thursday, 10 May 2007
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Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series: Amit Singh

For the next installment of the Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series, we will welcome Amit Singh, software engineer on our Mac development team. On Thursday, May 24th, Amit will present on "MacFuse," an open-source Mac port of the FUSE mechanism for Linux. Much like FUSE, it enables developers to implement a fully functional file system in a user-space program.

As with all sessions of the Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series, Amit's presentation will be open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 PM at our Mountain View campus; guests should plan to sign in at Building 41 reception upon arrival. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Amit's presentation will also be taped and published along with all of the public Google Tech Talks on Google Video.

For those of you who were unable to attend our last session, you can watch the video of Andrew Morton's recent presentation on The State of the Linux Kernel.

Java at Google

As we mentioned in our post Gearing up for JavaOne 2007, Google is proud to be participating in JavaOne again this year!

In order to help JavaOne attendees get up to speed with what Google is doing with Java technology, we put together a Java developers guide to Google technology.

Also, feel free to stop by the Google booth and chat with our engineers!

Java™ is a trademark of Sun Microsystems.

Friday, 4 May 2007
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man-pages-2.44 Released

One of the attractive things for many engineers at Google is the opportunity to do a 20% project, working (on average) a day a week on some project other than their primary task. While many engineers work on another Google project during their 20% time, or use their 20% time to nurture new ideas that might turn into new Google products, there are also many who use their 20% time to write code for open source projects. The Google 20% culture is even amenable to allowing engineers to do things other than coding: recently my work on the Linux man-pages (for which I became the maintainer in 2004), became a 20% project!

The Linux man-pages project documents the programming interface of Linux, that is, man page sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. Releases typically come out at intervals that vary from a week to a few months. The most recent release (2.44) contains a large number of updates, including revisions to document changes in the recently released 2.6.20 kernel.

See something broken or missing in man-pages? Submit a suggestion or even a patch! For information about how to contribute to man-pages, download the latest tarball at The HOWTOHELP document in the tarball explains what parts of man-pages need work, and how to submit changes.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007
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Gearing up for JavaOne 2007

JavaOne is right around the corner, and we'll be there in full force: several Googlers will be on hand at our booth in the JavaOne Pavilion, including engineers from the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) team, who are flying in from our Atlanta office. In addition to GWT demos, we'll have several people there to chat about the Google Checkout API.

Beyond the booth, Googlers are speaking at 11 different sessions. A few that might interest you:
Of course, if you haven't seen GWT yet (launched just shy of a year ago at JavaOne 2006), I suggest you check it out.

We look forward to seeing you there!