Friday, 29 June 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for June 25-29th

It has been a great week. From the new Google Gadget Ventures, to the new ability to click and drag locations on Google Maps, and beyond with some fantastic talks that were given on campus.

In API and developer-product news...

Do you like developing gadgets? Have you started to make a business around the ones you have developed? We want to help, and we announced the
Google Gadget Ventures program which allows you to apply for grants, and even seed investments.

The Google Mashup Gallery is a mashup itself, that allows you to add your mashup to the mix. Now, everyone will be able to find your Britney vs. Christina mashup!

AppleScripting Google Desktop means that you can tell the Google Desktop application to do things for you via script. Boss around the system from your own applications and scripts.

The new Google Earth Outreach program has some tutorials such as showing you how to create KML from a spreadsheet.

Around Google

Instead of statically working with points on Google Maps. Now you can click and drag points around, which results in your driving directions redrawing on the fly. This can be addicting.

Docs and Spreadsheets just got easier with a new look and feel, and a new folder view. Don't worry though, it is still tags behind the scenes.

Google Desktop is now available for Linux: Since some Linux users are program developers, Google Desktop was designed with the ability to search source code and information contained in .pdf, .ps, .man and .info documents. It also features the Quick Search Box ,which you can call up by pressing the Ctrl key twice. Type a few letters or words into the search box and your top results pop up instantly.

Put your photos on a map, and Picasa on your phone.

Featured Projects

Facebook Gadget Receive your latest notifications on Facebook, check out your friends' latest updates, view photos, and even launch searches all from your Google Homepage.

Fill That Hole has a new Pothole Mapplet that keeps you in the know as you choose your biking routes.

Google Tech Talks

Simon Willison gave a talk on the the implications of OpenID and placed his slides online for your pleasure.

Raph Levien came to talk to us about his lessons from Advogato, the community blog for free software developers.

Cameron Purdy discussed getting Coherence discussing data grids and what they can do for you.

Philippe Mougin, the project lead of FScript - a scripting solution for Mac OS X / Cocoa, discussed the project which "is much more than just a scripting language, like smalltalk it provides a set of high level exploration, browsing and development tools which let you explore Objective C libraries as easily as FScript ones."

View more tech talks.


Summer of Coders at Google: Desmond Elliott

Desmond Elliott visited a few weeks ago and I got to catch up with him about his work on the Camino project for SoC 2006 and his plans for working with OpenMRS this year. Desmond also has the usual sage advice for would-be Summer of Code students and some thoughts on our first SoC podcast with Angie Byron from the Drupal project.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007
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Google Gadget Ventures

Good news for Google Gadget developers. We've just launched Google Gadget Ventures, a new pilot program for distributing grants and seed investments to gadget developers and gadget-related businesses. We're excited about the opportunity this will give developers to build even richer, more useful gadgets and get recognized for doing it.

The program will provide two kinds of funding. First, we'll invite promising gadget developers (individuals or businesses) to apply for $5,000 grants to fund further development. These are not loans or equity investments; they're simply grants for gadgets that already have a thriving user base and we think have potential for even more improvement. To be considered for a grant, your gadget needs to have more than 250,000 pageviews per week, and you need to provide a one-page proposal on how you'd like to improve your gadget. This is a no-strings-attached grant; we won't ask for repayment of any kind. We simply ask that you work on your project in good faith.

Secondly, the program will make $100,000 seed investments in companies that either start as a Google Gadget or have a large Google Gadget component. In order to be eligible for a seed investment, you must have received a $5,000 grant, and you must propose a plan for making your gadget financially sustainable.

If you're interested in creating your own Google Gadget, we have several tools that can help. The Google Mashup Editor has an option for instantly deploying your web app as a gadget. For Java programmers, Google Web Toolkit provides another good way to write a gadget or a full-featured AJAX app with a gadget component. The Google Data APIs and AJAX Feed API can help power your gadget with rich data sources. You can even add offline functionality using Google Gears.

We hope you find these tools useful for creating gadgets, and we're eager to hear what you think in the Google Gadgets discussion group.

Friday, 22 June 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for June 18-22th

It has been a busy week as usual, especially for those interested in the world of Geo.

In API and developer-product news...

Base diving with Google Gears covers an application that we built that searches Google Base and saves the information with Google Gears allowing for off-line use.

The Safe Browsing API was released, which allows your application to use the API to download an encrypted table for local, client-side lookups of URLs that you would like to check. Now you can stop phishers and malware abusers.

Guicing Up Your Testing is the first article in a series on Google Guice by our own Dick Wall.

The Google AJAX Feed API's Slide Show Control is now available as a Google Gadget.

The mapping world was busy as always:

Around Google

T.V. Raman has discussed his experience using the new open source OCR that we are working on, comparing it to commercial alternatives that he uses.

Put your business on Google Maps with the Local Business Center which has launched a new look.

The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit took place at Google last week. For more information read the wrapup article.

Google Tech Talks

Semantic Web: The Semantic Web is a field aiming a the creation, deployment, and interoperation of machine readable data on the Internet. In the talk we present some projects in DERI on Semantic Web technologies - notably Semantic Interlinking of Online Community sites, Social Semantic Collaborative Filtering, and ActiveRDF, a library for Browsing, programming and navigating Semantic Web data.

View more tech talks.


In Google Developer Podcast Episode Four we had the chance to interview Mark Limber on Google SketchUp, and how developers can use the Ruby, C++, and other APIs.

The OpenMRS Project: You'll get a chance to learn from Paul about the history of OpenMRS, life as a brand new organization in Summer of Code, and the social change uses of open source in developing nations.

Google Developer Podcast Episode Four: Mark Limber on Google SketchUp

We have published the fourth episode of the Google Developer Podcast, which features an interview on Google SketchUp and how developers can interact with that world.

Interview with Mark Limber on Google SketchUp

What will you learn from this interview?
  • Who SketchUp is aimed at, and what it contains
  • Creative out-of-the-box uses of SketchUp by fellow developers
  • How to do a Hello World model (your house) and put it on Google Earth
  • How to find and share your models in the 3D Warehouse
  • Various ways in which you can use SketchUp if you are a games developer
  • The various SketchUp APIs and how you can extend SketchUp with Ruby, including fun examples out there (dropping trees, manipulating cameras, animation, and much more)
  • How to attach and manipulate metadata to the artifacts in SketchUp
  • How you can use a web dialog within SketchUp
  • Working with materials and textures within your models
  • How to use the C++ SDK to use SketchUp from within your own application.
To learn more about SketchUp, visit the forum, and request an SDK.


In our news segment we covered:

The Google Gears community response has been great to see. This article discusses several applications and libraries that already work with Gears.

Google Mashup Editor: How to use multiple pages in your mashup

Blogger in Draft has been released for early adopters. This allows you to play with the upcoming Blogger features before they are announced in full. The first feature is video upload, and more are coming.

Tying into the SketchUp interview we discussed the new ability to use animated models in Google Earth.

You can download the episode directly, or subscribe to the show (click here for iTunes one-click subscribe).

Wednesday, 20 June 2007
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The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit @ Google

Last week, Google hosted the inaugural Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. More than 200 developers and community leaders converged for three days of talks and working group meetings, giving birth to many new synergies within the community. Of particular interest was an initiative formed to improve power management functionality in Linux. If you're interested in learning more about the results of the summit and the Linux Foundation's ongoing activities, you can check out the Linux Foundation's Summit wrap-up or the Foundation's Summit press release.

We'd like to thank all of our guests for attending the summit. It was our pleasure and privilege to help make the summit a success.

Base diving with Google Gears

Pamela and I have been enjoying some time building applications with the ever growing set of Google APIs.

As we build these applications we are capturing some of the decisions you may face in building your own, in a series of articles called Building Better Ajax Applications with Google APIs.

The first article, and application, is a Google Base reader, powered by Google Gears, to enable offline use.

The application had us delving into:
  • The various components of Google Gears
  • How to use the SQLite local database and helpful wrappers around common patterns
  • How to capture web resources to make them available to offline use and the issues that you need to be aware of
  • How to use the Google Base Data API, specifically getting JSON output into our application
  • How to debug your offline Ajax application.
Please take a peek at the application, type in some search queries, and then read the how-to article.

Friday, 15 June 2007
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Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series: Raph Levien

On Monday, June 25th, Raph Levien will join us to present Lessons from Advogato. Raph, Advogato's founder, will give us insights into attack-resistant trust metrics and the other mechanisms used to build the website's user community.

Like all sessions of the Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series, Raph'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 43 reception upon arrival. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Raph's presentation will also be taped and published along with all of the public Google Tech Talks.

For those of you who were unable to attend our last session, you can watch the video of Bob Lee's recent presentation Java on Guice: Dependency Injection the Java Way.

Weekly Google Code Roundup for June 11-15th

In API and developer-product news...

I will start by going meta. Linking to a roundup from a roundup makes your head spin, but we have two good ones:

Google Web Toolkit Video from Developer Day and Some Great Technical Blog Posts is a roundup itself of news in and around Google Web Toolkit.

The Community Response to Gears has been fantastic, so we tried to put together the various API abstractions, libraries, and applications that have already been built on Gears.

Using Multiple Pages in your Mashup shows you how building a mashup with the Google Mashup Editor isn't about one page maps. Paul shows you how you can create rich applications that span multiple pages.

We have a lot of great new articles and tutorials, such as:

Around Google

Blogger in Draft is a site for those on the bleeding edge with Blogger. Take a look at the current sneak ahead preview of Blogger.Next.

Aidan Chopra shows how you can create animated models for Google Earth. Watch the London Eye rotate as you see the people getting married at the top....

Featured Projects

Breakpad is an open-source multi-platform crash reporting system (Mac OS X, Linux, Windows).

Veloroutes is the perfect Maps API mashup for cycle enthusiasts. It has a lot of nice features including elevation information.

Google Tech Talks

Navigating the World's Photographs

This talk explores ways of transforming this massive, unorganized photo collection into visualizations of the world's sites, cities, and landscapes.

Introduction to MacLibre and OpenTouch

This presentation will cover an introduction to MacLibre & OpenTouch, both Google Summer of Code projects. The presentation will explore MacLibre as a new way of open source software distribution on Mac OS X, as well as OpenTouch as an open source framework for multimodal input devices.

View more tech talks.


The Joomla! Project

The entire Joomla! core team visited Google a few weeks ago, and Leslie Hawthorn got the chance to catch up with them about all things Summer of Code.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007
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We'd love to hear from you

Thanks to everyone who has sent in feedback about Google Developer Day. It really makes a difference. For instance, some of you pointed out that the U.S. session videos looked blurry, so we reencoded them at a higher bit rate. Others have asked for more code samples from the sessions. We're working on that too, so stay tuned.

Keep it coming! We're looking for feedback not just on GDD but on our developer program as a whole. We're always trying to make our APIs better. Sure, we have ideas about what to do next, but who better to tell us where to focus than you? Please take our survey before Wednesday, June 18. We promise to read all of your comments!

Friday, 8 June 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for June 4-8th

This week it felt like the day after the wedding. The developer day was complete, and now we need to move on, gather up the feedback from the community, and start on the real work of producing APIs and tools for you all.

In API and developer-product news...

DragZoomControl v1.0: Easier zooming, coming right up!

Andre Lewis has contributed his GZoom control to the Google Maps Utility Library which is a set of useful additions to the Maps API, distributed under an open source license. The new control is DragZoomControl, and does what it says on the box.

New KML Developments and Documentation

Mano Marks told us about the new documentation available that tells us about how to get Google to search your KML files, and the release of KML 2.2 beta reference material. KML will now support use of the Atom Syndication format atom:author and atom:uri elements for attribution.

AJAX Feed API Slide Show Enhancements

Mark Lucovsky upgraded the AJAX Feed API Slide Show to allow you to tweak the experience by using various callbacks that let you hook slide transitions, clicks, etc. For an example, he created a slideshow view
of PodTech that allows you to play videos inline as the appropriate image shows up.

Around Google

Google Calendar Gallery

The Google Calendar Gallery helps you find public calendars that may interest you. Plug in the Red Sox schedule, or the Netflix release dates, directly into your calendar.

FeedBurner Acquisition

FeedBurner lets you manage your feeds in interesting ways. You offload the traffic to the service, can add features on top of your own feed (enable Podcast on the fly, advertising, etc), and see great statistics on how your users are using it. We are proud to have the FeedBurner team part of the Google family.

Featured Projects

San Francisco Giants Mashup

Paul McDonald, of the Google Mashup Editor team, has put together a nice mashup on all things SF Giants. As with all Google Mashups, everyone is open source, and you can "view source" on anyones application. Take a peak at this example to see how you can use the mashup editor to do some sophisticated application building.

Remember The Milk Offline

The Remember The Milk team had an advantage. They were in Sydney where we released Gears, and they were obviously on the case. They quickly released an offline version of their TODO list application.

Google Tech Talks

Java on Guice: Dependency Injection, the Java Way

Bob Lee has been traveling the world speaking on Guice recently. This week he got to give his talk right here in Mountain View, and it was recorded for your viewing pleasure.

Hey, What's That? A Map Hack

Michael Kosowsky came to chat about his cool Maps application that lets you see what you could see from a high point (e.g. Longs Peak). Fun math and visualizations indeed.


Google Developer Podcast Episode Three: Mike Tsao on Google Gears

We got to interview Mike Tsao of the Google Gears team on how Gears came about, the design decisions, and lessons for developers as they go about offline-enabling their applications.

The Mono Project

Miguel de Icaza was joined by three former students for Mono: Aaron Tomb, Alan McGovern and Michael Hutchinson. They chat about the past, present, and future of Mono and what the summer of coders are working on now.

Thursday, 7 June 2007
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Google Developer Podcast Episode Three: Mike Tsao on Google Gears

We have published the third episode of the Google Developer Podcast, which delves into the world of offline applications, which is a hot topic right now. Let's get right to it.

Interview with Mike Tsao of the Google Gears team

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Tsao of the Google Gears team just before the Google Gears announcement went public.

It is a really fun chat, and lets us get into the mind of the Google Gears team a little.

In this interview you will learn:
  • What Google Gears is at a high level
  • How Google Gears came about
  • The parts and pieces of Google Gears
  • Information on the Datastore component (SQLite)
  • Information on the ResourceStore and ManagedResourceStore components
  • How the APIs look, and what should I be thinking about as I make my application offline
  • How to handle versioning with Google Gears applications
  • How the WorkerPool came about, and why we need to run JavaScript jobs in another thread
  • The code contributions made back to the SQLite codebase (e.g. MATCH() added)
  • The pain of finding the 90% case for syncing
  • Thoughts on how the client is getting smarter
  • How GWT supports Gears
  • How Google Reader is using Gears
  • How the UI fits in with offline behaviour
  • The open source vision for Gears
  • How other web platforms can access Gears
  • Future ideas for Google Gears


We also discussed a little of the other news that happened just before Developer Day.
You can download the episode directly, or subscribe to the show (click here for iTunes one-click subscribe).

Tuesday, 5 June 2007
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Several sample Google Mashup Editor applications

By DeWitt Clinton, Google Developer Programs

Now that the wraps are off of the Google Mashup Editor, we've begun to invite members of the public to participate in the beta. If you haven't received an invite yet, please hang tight; the interest has been flattering and we're sending out the invites in batches.

While you are waiting for your invite to arrive, the Google Mashup Editor team has posted several sample mashup applications to get you started, some developed by the team, and some developed by you. One of our favorites is the SF Giants baseball mashup, notable in part for integrating multiple data sources with just a handful of simple commands. Don't forget to view the source and see how it's all put together.

Check out the FAQ and follow along on the Google Mashup Blog. See you there!

Monday, 4 June 2007
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The Ubucon Boulder

Last weekend, Google's Boulder, Colorado engineering office hosted the first Ubucon to be held in Colorado. Around twenty Ubuntu developers, users and enthusiasts came together in unconference style to discuss topics from Launchpad to the new Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded project. You can find more details, including an awesome group photo and links to session notes, in the Colorado LoCo team's Ubucon Boulder write-up.

Friday, 1 June 2007
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Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series: Bob Lee

Bob Lee will be joining us on Tuesday, June 5th, to discuss Java on Guice: Dependency Injection, the Java Way. Guice, an open-source dependency-injection framework for Java 5, is already in use in several Google projects. Come listen to the framework's creator explain how Guice can help make your applications simpler and easier to test!

As with all sessions of the Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series, Bob'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 43 reception upon arrival. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Bob's presentation will also be taped and published along with all of the public Google Tech Talks.

For those of you who were unable to attend our last session, you can watch the video of Amit Singh's recent presentation on MacFuse.