Friday, 27 July 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 23-27th

It has been a busy time for conferences. From MashupCamp last week, to OSCON and The Ajax Experience this week. While some of the teams have been talking to developers at these events, others have been producing new APIs for you all to use.

In API and developer-product news...

A new API was added to the AJAX Search API, Image Search.

Paul MacDonald blogged about the new features in the Google Mashup Editor, including sorting, compact paging, the new select control, and more. He also discussed various GME developer resources.

We have released a new tool that we have been playing with, the Google Singleton Detector, as open source. Its job is to find singletons and global state in the Java code that we produce.

While working on the Zvents mapplet, Michael Geary developed a nifty utility function called GAsync(). This lets you make several requests in a single call. Mike has kindly donated this function to the Mapplets API so that everyone can use it.

In other Map news, the Maps API team created utility functions to give you more information about your lines and shapes: GPolyline.getLength, GPolyline.getBounds, GPolygon.getArea, and GPolygon.getBounds.

You can also test your driving directions skills using the new directions API.

Around Google

Robots Exclusion Protocol: now with even more flexibility: Dan Crow explains X-Robots-Tag HTTP headers.

Computer science resources for academics: At the main Google campus this week we're hosting the Google Faculty Summit, which involves universities all over participating in discussions about what we're up to in research-land as well as computer science education - something very near and dear to us.

The newest Google Earth Enterprise: Today, we're pleased to announce the newest version of Google Earth Enterprise. The enterprise solution brings us into close contact with some of the most advanced users of geospatial tools, and by meeting their needs, it helps make the product better for everyone. And enterprise users are some of the most active in using the products and also making contributions to the Google Earth and Maps user community, with data, blogs and mashups.

Featured Projects

The BBC Flood Tracking mapplet is a fantastic example of citizen journalism. This map includes UK flood alert information, emergency center locations, photos submitted by local residents, user-generated YouTube videos, and audio clips by BBC Radio correspondents.

Jookebox is a music mashup that pulls in data from iTunes and Amazon to give you a comprehensive view of what's happening on the music scene.

Google Tech Talks

Inbox Zero is a fantastic talk by Merlin Mann, a well known productivity guru and creator of the popular 43 folders website. Merlin talks about Getting Things Done, the importance of getting your inbox to zero, and strategies for dealing with high volume email.

Erlang is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and is grabbing developers interest due to its concurrency model. This talk will cover the history of Erlang, demonstrate major design goals with a few programming examples and also touch on the subject of the future of Erlang.

Erlang also has the best movie made about it: Erlang the movie. A real classic.

The Google Test Automation Conference showcases lightning talks by Harry Robinson, Dan North, Steve Freeman, Nat Pryce, Christine Newman, Andrin von Rechenberg, Ade Oshineye, Timur Hairullin, James Richardson, James Lyndsay, Jordan Dea-Mattson, Curtis "Ovid" Poe.

Launchd: One Program to Rule them All: In this talk, Dave, who developed launchd, will discuss the rationale behind launchd and how the program came to be.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007
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Drum Roll... The winners of the 2007 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards are...

Last night, July 24, at the Open Source Conference in Portland the winners of the coveted Google-O'Reilly Open Source Award were announced.

Following in the footsteps of past key contributors and open source visionaries, the five winners for 2007 are :

Karl Fogel - Best Community Builder
There's a common saying that open source isn't so much about the code itself, but about the communities that thrive around it. And Karl has become an oracle when it comes to the management of open source communities. As the founder and leader of the Subversion project, the harmony within the Subversion community has been attributed to Karl, because of his consistent leadership and maintenance of the culture-of-respect. This and his transfer of wisdom on community management into a book ("Producing Open Source Software", O'Reilly Media, also at makes Karl our 2007 Best Community Builder.

Pamela Jones - Best FUD Fighter
When the SCO drama was being played out, one website became the place to get your knowledge. Pamela, or PJ, as she is known, leads research and reporting of legal events important to the FOSS community. Through her tremendous work, Groklaw continues to be the place to get our regular dose of legal insight and analysis.

Aaron Leventhal - Best Accessibility Architect
Aaron Leventhal is a long-time supporter of accessibility efforts. Earlier in his career he worked on a Braille publishing system used by teachers, publishers and individual Braille readers. He later joined Netscape as accessibility architect for Mozilla development, and has been involved with the Mozilla project almost since its beginnings. Aaron has single-handedly succeeded in turning Firefox from being an also-ran in web accessibility to being the preferred accessibility solution going forward.

David Recordon - Best Strategist
OpenID has gone from hack to Internet staple in an incredibly short period of time. Dave Recordon has turned OpenID into a viable alternative to non-open identity systems. He has taken on many organizations and made real headway towards pushing Identity into the open source space. This guy knows challenging, and he's met and conquered every challenge. For that reason David is this year's Best Strategist for his work on OpenID. All this, and he's not yet old enough to buy alcohol in the US.

Paul Vixie - Outstanding Lifetime Contributions
For decades Paul been one of the key players in the Domain Name System. He wrote and still maintains BIND, the nameserver most of the Internet uses. He's co-founded MAPS, a non-profit that fights spam. He's the operator of the F root server and he also holds the record for the most CERT security advisories. For his many contributions significant to the existence of the Internet, the "Outstanding Lifetime Contributions" winner is Paul Vixie.

Check here for OSCON pictures and blog posts from OSCON and the Open Source Awards event.

We would like to thank The Google and O'Reilly Open Source Awards Committee members and especially to each of you who participated in our first open nomination process for this award.

Until next year, please join us in congratulating each of our worthy winners for 2007.

Monday, 23 July 2007
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Google Singleton Detector released

We take testing very seriously at Google. You may have seen our testing blog and how we even test on the toilet.

We also like to create automated tools to make our lives easier and in the testing world this can mean having code to watch your back.

We have released a new tool that we have been playing with, the Google Singleton Detector, as open source. Its job is to find singletons and global state in the Java code that we produce. But wait, why would I care to find out where singletons may be in my code? In some cases they can make testing difficult and hide problems with your design. There's a bit more to it than that, so check out the FAQ for more info.

Do you maintain Java code and need to keep it nice and clean? Give the singleton detector a try!

Many thanks to David Rubel and the team for creating this, and working to get it out into the open source world.

Image Search with the AJAX Search API

The Google AJAX Search API can be used to easily add Google Web, Local, Video, Blog, Book and News search to your website.

Today we've added yet another dimension to the API: support for Google Image Search. You can get started in no time, as the new functionality uses the same familiar search control model as the existing AJAX search controls. The search results can be displayed on your website, or mashed up to create a customized experience for your users.

Read more on the AJAX APIs blog, join the discussions in the developer forum or see an example to get started.

Friday, 20 July 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 16-20th

This week we have the pleasure of having MashupCamp hosted walking distance from the Googleplex. It was great to meet people from varied backgrounds in an open spaces format, and to see so many Googlers there mixing in with the fun. We had discussions around the Google Mashup Editor, Google Geras, and of course our various APIs such as Maps and AJAX Search and Feeds.

In API and developer-product news...

Feed Discovery API and AJAX Search on the iPhone

The AJAX API team launched new functionality in the AJAX Feed API. You can now lookup and discover feeds based on a search or URL. They also posted an iPhone targeted version of the AJAX Search component.

Build Your Campus in 3D winners announced

The results are in for the winners of the Build Your Campus in 3D Competition. The judges chose 7 teams from among the dozens who submitted more than 4000 buildings from higher education institutions all over North America. Tag a fly through your school and see if it has changed!

Google SketchUp for Dummies

Staying with the world of Google Earth, Google SketchUp For Dummies was published, and a companion website is now live as well as videos.

Google Open Source Team at OSCON

For those who will be at OSCON and are interested in learning about Google's open source activities, come hear our annual open source update or learn more about how the community has used our project hosting service since its launch at OSCON 2006. For those interested in our developer applications, we'll be taking a look at how to write large, multipage Ajax applications with Google Web Toolkit and getting up close and personal with Google Gears. We're excited to hear your feedback and answer your questions.

Around Google

Hosted site searches for Australian businesses

Deepak Ramanathan announced Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE), a hosted site search solution that provides Google-quality results for your website. It's fast, relevant, reliable, and flexible, so that users can quickly find what they're looking for through search results customized and integrated into your business website.

Message Center: Let us communicate with you about your site

Maile Ohye posted about a new Message Center which is a new way for webmasters to receive personalized information from Google in our webmaster console. Should we need to contact you, you'll see a notification in your Webmaster Tools dashboard.

Our commitment to open broadband platforms

Chris Sacca, Head of Special Initiatives, has written a detailed post on the policy behind Google's commitment to open broadband platforms, including open applications, open devices, open services, and open networks.

Google Reader is More Podcast-Friendly

Ionut Alex Chitu posted on the unofficial Google Operating System blog about how Google Reader works as a podcast catcher, including how you can pop-out the music player.

Featured Projects

Prague 360 makes great usage of the Google Maps API to show beautiful gigapixel mapping of certain cities, including 360 degree visualizations.

FindBugs is an open source static analysis tool to find coding defects in Java programs. Surprise yourself and run this on your code base.

Google Tech Talks

Split Snapshots: A New Approach to Old State Storage

Kurzweil says, computers will enable people to live forever and doctors will be doing ... all backup of your memories by late 2030. This talk is not about that, yet. Instead, the remarkable drop in disk costs makes it possible and attractive to retain past application states and store them for a long time for mining or auditing.

Amigo: Proximity-based Authentication of Mobile Devices

Secure and spontaneous communication between wireless devices that come within close ... all proximity of each other, but lack a pre-existing trust relationship -- devices that are previously unknown to each other -- is an important component of many future pervasive applications.

Eyal de Lara came to talk about Amigo, a proximity-based authentication of mobile devices.


Google Developer Podcast Episode Five: Adam Sah on Google Gadgets

We got to chat with Adam Sah of the Google Gadgets team about all things Gadgets. This includes the technology side of things but also the business side: such as monetizing your gadgets and the new Google Gadget Ventures.

Thursday, 19 July 2007
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Heading to OSCON?

Google's Open Source Team will be out in full force at OSCON 2007, and we welcome the chance to meet more members of the community at the conference. For those interested in learning about Google's open source activities, come and hear our annual open source update or learn more about how the community has used our project hosting service since its launch at OSCON 2006. For those interested in our developer applications, we'll be taking a look at how to write large, multipage Ajax applications with Google Web Toolkit and getting up close and personal with Google Gears. We're excited to hear your feedback and answer your questions.

Better still, several members of our team will be sharing some of the lessons they've gleaned from their years of contribution to open source. Come on by and learn about:

On the other hand, life isn't all fun and talks. Come hack on Google Web Toolkit with us, join us for the Google Summer of Code community BoF, and find out the 2007 winners of the Google O'Reilly Open Source Awards.

We look forward to seeing you there!

PHP 6 Overview

PHP 6, it seems, will make the leap and become a more clean environment - which is something I really appreciate.
The register_globals, magic_quotes and safe_mode will finally disappear and hopefully slowly fade away into distant memory. It seems PHP 6 will even refuse to start if these settings are found in php.ini. Dropping support for the long versions of super globals, like HTTP_POST_VARS, is also scheduled. This is long overdue.
One thing I at first was a bit hesitant to is moving all the database extensions out of the core into PECL. It looks like this is not set in stone and seems to be an ongoing discussion. After thinking about it myself I think it would be the right thing to do. It would boost the usage of PDO and make it more used and thus more mature. It would also clear up some of the confusion among newcomers in the PHP sphere. "Use PDO or make an active choice" - would probably be the best for the future of PHP.
SOAP is widely used today and good support for SOAP has been around as an extension you have to actively turn on if you needed it. It also has many limitations as has been discussed recently on the PECL-DEV mailing list. There is also a new PHP SOAP extension being developed that is using Apache Axis 2 from the Apache Foundation. I think what is suggested for PHP 6, to fix most of the remaining issues as well as implement support for some of the security extensions of SOAP, is the right way to go. I really think SOAP needs to be natively supported in PHP rather than having to depend on an external library as is the case with the Axis2 extension.
Named parameters to functions and methods has also been discussed. Even though I can remember how I enjoyed writing Smalltalk code with named parameters more than 10 years ago in university I don't think it should be implemented in PHP. Luckily those that decide on the roadmap thought the same as me.
Something that really annoys me today is that you can call methods both statically and dynamically whether they are marked static or not. It just doesn't make sense. This will in the yet distant PHP 6 generate an E_FATAL. Now that makes sense.
This above is all well but it is in the planned additions it gets really interesting. PHP 6 will have the opcode cache APC included in the core distribution. It will not be turned on by default - but I think this is the first small step towards a future with JIT compilation or something along those lines. Good UTF support is another thing that is sorely needed and it seems a lot of work will be directed to clean up the string handling in PHP 6.
-By Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel
Bhaishri Info Solution
Sr. PHP Developer
Limdi Chowk, AT PO. Nar, Di. Anand
Nar, Gujarat
DOB: 12/24/1986

Monday, 16 July 2007
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Google Developer Podcast Episode Five: Adam Sah on Google Gadgets

The Google Gadget Ventures announcement was very exciting for us and the community. We couldn't wait to get Adam Sah of the Google Gadgets team to discuss Gadgets, and the new announcement.

Interview with Adam Sah on Google Gadget Ventures

What will you learn from this interview?
  • What Google Gadgets actually are and how they compare to widgets and blidgets and blodgets and ....
  • How there is a family of Gadgets. They aren't just for iGoogle!
  • How you can develop Gadgets in HTML, Flash, Java applets, and more. After all, this is just iframes people.
  • The security model with Gadgets
  • The subtlety behind phishing and Gadgets
  • The long tail of Gadgets, and how to share and promote your Gadgets
  • How you can post Gadgets on your blog or website
  • How we are in the second generation of Gadgets (not just a minimal view on your web app)
  • What an appropriate amount of resources to put on Gadgets
  • How to monetize your Gadgets
  • Information about the Google Gadget Ventures program
  • How to get going with the scratchpad in seconds
  • How Mapplets are Gadget too
  • How this is about real business (IBM and
  • How to deal with high volume Gadgets, and how we are here to help.
  • The role and timing of standardization of the gadget platforms
Read more about Google Gadgets, and check out the forum.

Start listening now

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


The following are links that we mentioned in the podcast:

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.

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!

Geotagged Picasa JSON/KML Output + Driving Directions = Instant Scenic Tours: If you were following the Google blogs yesterday, you would have heard that Picasa now gives you a sleek drag+drop interface for geotagging your photos, and that the Picasa Google data API now outputs the geotagged data using GeoRSS & GML elements. And if you were excited by all that news and immediately visited Picasa to try out the new feature, you might have noticed the big blue KML icon next to a "View in Google Earth" hyperlink. So Picasa now gives developers geotagged photo data both in KML output and the standard Google data API output formats, and that means we map developers have a lot of ways to start playing around with Picasa photos.

New drag-to-route driving directions in google maps - once you have a route, drag the blue line around to have it automatically re-route using your desired roads or intermediate destinations.

Friday, 13 July 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 8-12th

In API and developer-product news...

Othman Laraki talked about the Gears roadmap and development process and how the team is working on a Cross-Origin API and an Improved Workerpool.

Omar Khan has introduced a new blog for the Google Desktop APIs which was created to open a another line of dialog and provide useful information such as tips, announcements, developer jokes, links to articles and tutorials, and more.

The new AJAX Search feature on Blogger that uses linked Custom Search Engines is a fantastic feature that allows you to implement ideas such as "search my blog, and reach out to other sites that I link too". All automatically.

GGeoXML Methods, GDraggableObject Events, & Geodesic Polylines details how the Maps API team has given developers GGeoXML functions to make loading and viewing files easier. GGeoXML now comes with a callback function that's entered once the file has loaded, plus a number of utility functions.

Dick Wall has written his second article on a series on Guice, Squeezing More Guice from Your Tests with EasyMock, which delves into how dependency injection and mock objects can be used together in glee.

Around Google

The FeedBurner and Blogger teams have joined up very quickly to create a nice integration of the two products. From within your Blogger settings you can now specify that you have a FeedBurner feed that manages your blog, and Blogger will use that feed address.

Featured Projects

This YouTube Mapplet mashes-up YouTube videos and Geo using the newly released Mapplets feature that now lives in My Maps.

The Telekinesis iPhone Remote allows you to use your shiny new iPhone to control your Mac.

Google Tech Talks

What Every Engineer Needs to Know About Security and Where to Learn It

Neil Daswani's talk discusses recent trends in security, and what every engineer needs to know to prevent the most significant emerging threats such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks.

While We Wait for BabelFish: Languages on theInternet

This talk addresses some localization issues, but beyond that, questions the very way languages are dealt with on the internet.


Summer of Coders at Google: Ed Baskerville

Now in his second year of working on GridSweeper for Summer of Code, Ed Baskerville recently joined us to talk more about his project and his burgeoning career as a cellist.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007
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Plone Sprint at Google

Google recently hosted the Plone Documentation and E-Commerce Sprint, and more than forty stalwart sprinters got some amazing things accomplished in just five days. The documentation team completely revamped the project documentation hosted at, so any newbies out there should now find it much easier to get started using Plone. They docs team also created a great deal of new documentation focused on Plone 3.0, which should be leaving Beta soon.

The E-Commerce team spent their time making improvements to GetPaid, Plone's payment processing framework. Led by Kapil Thangavelu, core contributor to Plone and Zope, the team finished out the week with three payment processors, including Google Checkout, integrated into the framework. They also added shipping functionality to ease the order fulfillment process. Even cooler, the team started off their work with code targeted towards helping non-profits easily take donations through their Plone-based websites, and mission accomplished!

Congratulations to both teams for their many accomplishments during the sprint! Thanks to all of you for being our guests.

Friday, 6 July 2007
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Weekly Google Code Roundup for July 2-6th

Having the July 4th holiday smack in the middle of the week creates a strange week when it is hard to know which day it is. That being said, we have seen some interesting uses of our APIs, and we are happy to welcome a new team to Google.

In API and developer-product news...

Aleksander Fedorynski felt like "a penguin assigned to work on Herring Search" when he started building improvements to Google Code Search.

Alex Komoroske asked if you want spreadsheet filtering? and answers with a feature-rich auto filter that makes great use of the Spreadsheet Data API. Do a view source and see how it all works!

Mark Berghausen of the Search Quality Team has written a few words about the search considerations designers should think about when building a Flash-heavy site in: Best uses of Flash.

July 4th has gone, but the mashup is still here. Paul McDonald made it easy to find fireworks in your area, using the Google Mashup Editor. Speaking of which, Don Schwartz talks about how you can edit our mashup in whatever editor you choose.

Around Google

If you call 1-800-GOOG-411 you can now say "map it" and a map will be sent to you.

GrandCentral is now part of the team: "GrandCentral is an innovative service that lets users integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, which can be accessed from the web. We think GrandCentral's technology fits well into Google's efforts to provide services that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users."

Featured Projects

The Rocket GWT library provides the ability to define beans, properties, references and other Spring like concepts in GWT.

The Digg Roundup Gadget is a gadget based on the Digg Roundup tool, accompanied by a detailed "how-to" write up.

Google Tech Talks

The Seattle Conference on Scalability recently took place and a lot of great talks from the event have been made available:

Thursday, 5 July 2007
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Improvements to Google Code Search

When I first came to Google, I was curious (and anxious) to learn what project I'd be working on. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I'd be helping build Google Code Search. I felt like a penguin assigned to work on Herring Search -- even more so because the project involved searching with regular expressions, a non-trivial problem to get right. We launched Code Search last October, enabling search over billions of lines of public source code. Today we made some updates to Code Search that will hopefully make it even easier to find the code you're looking for.

First, we've expanded our crawl to include not just complete archives and repositories, but individual code files and sample code snippets from webpages as well. Now when you search for things like [LFractalCanvas] or [nph-refresh], you'll have a better chance of finding what you want. Second, we've made a few ranking adjustments, such as putting class and function definitions closer to the top for a lot of searches. Lastly, Code Search is now available in domains outside the United States, from my home country of Poland, to Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain, to name a few.

We hope you'll continue giving us feedback on ways to improve Code Search. There's a lot of code out on the web, and we've still got a lot of work left to make it all accessible and useful for developers everywhere.