Friday, 27 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

OAuth Available for Google Data APIs

We love open standards, and we've just added support for a new one: OAuth is now supported on all of the Google Data APIs.

OAuth is an open standard for authentication that allows applications to authenticate users without ever directly handling usernames and passwords.  Because OAuth is a standard, you can use the same authentication code for any of the Google Data APIs and for APIs from other providers who support OAuth.

To learn more, see the announcement on the Google Data APIs blog.

Thursday, 26 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

A Google Data API for Google Finance

In case you haven't seen the announcement on the Google Data API blog, there is a new API available for Google Finance Portfolios.

The Google Finance API makes it easy to create and access investment data for your users -- ranging from updating their investment holdings and watchlists to retrieving current portfolio value and performance. With your applications, users can monitor their portfolios and transactions and keep positions up-to-date and in-sync. If you have a great idea for a portfolio application, give the new API a try!

Friday, 20 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

Code Review: I/O Videos, Gears release, App Engine examples, and more

We are trying an experiment, putting up Code Review in a variety of formats, from text to audio (iTunes) and video.

You have probably heard by now, but all of the slides and video of the presentations at Google I/O are now available to watch and read. There are some real gems in there, such as Steve Yegge talking about dynamic languages and server side JavaScript.

Just as we come down from I/O, we head off to Google Developer Day events around the world. I am personally off to Brazil and Mexico City, and I am looking forward to meeting the local developers.

I gave a tech talk at Yahoo! where I discussed Google Back to Front, covering Gears and App Engine. I shared a simple App Engine example that takes a Gears-enabled Addressbook application that shows how you can store history in a visual way, and ports it to save the data on App Engine. You can watch a code walk through to see it in action.

Dick Wall (Google) and James Ward (Adobe) also got together to create an AIR application that talks to App Engine on the back end. The application, called QuickFix, takes a photo and has App Engine run the Picasa "I'm Feeling Lucky" transformation.

It is really fun to watch the great applications being built on App Engine already, such as Wordle, which builds "word clouds" from a series of text.

One final piece of news on App Engine. Nick Johnson (Google) created a little application in his spare time (read: not official) that is quite useful. bridges SMTP to HTTP. This means that you can have your App Engine applications accepting email as input via the proxy. smtp2web will send an HTTP request when it gets an email on its doorstep.

There has been a lot of focus on the browser this week. Mozilla released Firefox 3, and look like they have set a download record in the process. There was a lot of browser news though, including all of the major vendors.

The standards are moving too. HTML 5 has a new working draft, and we are seeing the germination of an Acid4 series of tests.

When it comes to Gears, we saw the full release of version 0.3 which included support for the new Firefox 3 browser. It also includes the ability to create desktop shortcuts, new install flow support, progress events, and much more.

We also saw more frameworks baking Gears in. Appcelerator uses Gears under the hood to make your existing Appcelerator based application a better user experience. Also, Frizione is a JavaScript development, testing, and deployment environment that also has Gears under the hood.

Speaking of testing, Markus Clermont and John Thomas wrote up an introduction to testing Ajax applications, something that is notoriously hard to do.

The Geo world is cooking as usual, and you can check out the numerous election mashups as the season continues to blossom.

If you fancy some fun on Google Maps, Katsuomi Kobayashi has created a 2D Driving Simulator using the new Flash API.

The folks at 360cities also have a great new interface that uses the Flash API, and they also seem to use every other Geo related product. We were fortunate enough to have them come in and sit down with them, and get a bunch of demos.

What else?

If you care about the social Web, check out Kevin Marks post on how not to be viral. It makes you think long term about your strategy.

Kevin Lim posted on the Custom Search API and the new developer guide. This API always surprises me with its richness, and how you can create a fantastic, custom, search experience on your own Web site.

Related to that API, we have another new AJAX Search API, Patent Search. I have to admit, I feel sorry for you if you have to use it (due to the content)!

And to finish up, Michael Ogawa has created some great visualizations of open source projects over time, such as the history of the Python code base. Check it out below.

As always, thanks for reading, listening, or watching, and let us know if there is anything that you would like to see.

Thursday, 12 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

Registration Open for "Powered By YouTube"

The YouTube APIs team had so much fun at Google I/O that we thought it was about time to have our own event at our office in San Bruno. (Check out the announcement on the YouTube API Blog for a video of the office.) This will be all YouTube APIs, all the time! The agenda is still being finalized, but we'll have "bigger picture" sessions as well as nitty gritty hacking time to get started and learn best practices. You'll have time to mingle with a diverse set of developers from different companies and the YouTube engineers and product managers.

If you're interested, here are all the details:

Thursday, July 10, 2008
10:30am - 5:00pm (tentative)
YouTube HQ @ 901 Cherry Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066
Cost: Free

Please reserve your spot and register early at Powered By YouTube.

Already have questions, comments, or session suggestions? Let us know in the forum. Hope to see you here next month!

Check out the Custom Search API

Have you ever wished that you could harness the power of Google to create a customized search engine for your website or a collection of websites? Custom Search lets you do that in under five minutes—and that includes time for a tea break. Pretty sweet, eh? If you have more time, you could take the customization to the next level. You can select websites to include, ignore, or prioritize in your search engine. You can even tweak the ranking of your search results and change the look and feel of your results page, among other things.

If you are curious about how tricked-out custom search engines work, you don't have to look further than the Custom Search API page on Google Code. Go ahead, try out some search queries and be sure to visit the Custom Search Directory, which showcases some popular custom search engines. And close to home, we use a combination of the Custom Search API and the AJAX Search API to power search on Google Code.

To learn more about this API, see the developer guide and join us over in the discussion group.

Google I/O recorded sessions now posted

If you missed a session you really wanted to see at Google I/O, you'll be happy to know that over
70 of the sessions, as well as the presentation slides, have now been posted.

With 70+ videos at around 60 minutes a piece, that's a lot of lunch breaks one can spend catching up. Being an organizer of the conference, I don't get to sit through many talks myself, so I plan to do just that. Lunch in October, anyone?

Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

Updated Themes API for iGoogle

We are excited to open up an updated Themes API for developers to customize new features coming to iGoogle. Features you can modify include the left navigation and UI updates introduced in the iGoogle developer sandbox in April, as well as the chat feature that was released to the sandbox last week. If you have already created one of the 800 themes in the iGoogle directory, make sure to update your theme with the latest attributes and resubmit.

You can more details in the updated developer's guide. We're hoping these feature additions will allow for developers to customize even more of iGoogle.

As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the Google Themes API group.

Friday, 6 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

SSL Certificate Renewal for Project Hosting on Google Code

If you have open source projects hosted on Google Code, you may have noticed that the SSL certificate changed for the domain. (The old certificate expired, and a new one was generated.) In particular, your Subversion client may have yelled about the certificate not being recognized:
Error validating server certificate for
- The certificate is not issued by a trusted authority. Use the
fingerprint to validate the certificate manually!
Certificate information:
- Hostname:
- Valid: from Wed, 28 May 2008 16:48:13 GMT until Mon, 21 Jun 2010 14:09:43 GMT
- Issuer: Certification Services Division, Thawte Consulting cc, Cape
Town, Western Cape, ZA
- Fingerprint: b1:3a:d5:38:56:27:52:9f:ba:6c:70:1e:a9:ab:4a:1a:8b:da:ff:ec
(R)eject, accept (t)emporarily or accept (p)ermanently?
Just like a web browser, your Subversion client needs to know whether or not you trust particular SSL certificates coming from servers. You can verify the certificate using the fingerprint above, or you can choose to permanently accept the certificate, whichever makes you feel most comfortable. To permanently accept the certificate, you can simply choose the (p)ermanent option, and Subversion will trust it forever.

Thawte is a large certifying authority, and it's very likely that the OpenSSL libraries on your computer automatically trust any certificate signed by Thawte. However, if you want your Subversion client to inherit that same level of automatic trust, you'll need to set an option in your ~/.subversion/servers file:
ssl-trust-default-ca = true
If you set this option, then your client will never bug you again about any certificate signed by the "big" authorities.

Happy hacking!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

Announcing Data Intensive Scalable Computing in Education Workshop

For the last year or so, we've been telling you about educational and research partnerships resulting form our Academic Cloud Computing Initiative. We've shared educational material resulting from our extensive partnership with the University of Washington and partnered with the National Science Foundation to directly engage the research community and provide access to a large scale, data intensive computing cluster.

Why? Because big data is cool; it drives nearly everything we do here at Google and provides unprecedented opportunities for understanding science in new ways. It's been an exciting year learning how to work with the academic community in this space, and we'd like to start sharing that with other passionate educators.

To that end, we've worked with our academic partners to offer a two and a half day NSF-sponsored workshop, hosted at UW, which will focus on providing material and curricular support to undergraduate computer science educators seeking to address big data in the classroom. This will largely focus on material that can be found on Google Code University, but will include practical lab components so educators can get their hands dirty with the open source platforms and the tools necessary to offer a class.

Interested faculty should feel free to apply for attendance here. The NSF has provided support to cover expenses for those selected to attend.

Monday, 2 June 2008
Facebook StumbleUpon Twitter Google+ Pin It

Code Review: "I/O, I/O it's over now you know"

Phew, I am still getting over Google I/O. It is interesting to be on the inside and see the build up to the event itself. We were getting excited to hold our largest event with the developer community to date. It didn't dissapoint, and I was very happy to see developers from all walk of lives and companies. I met programmers from Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Yahoo!, MySpace, and I could keep on going.

You can check out the keynote below, and videos of the sessions are coming very soon, so check out the Google Developers YouTube channel.

The show started well for me as I got to see a project that I have been passionate about launch, the AJAX Libraries API which has us hosting popular open source Ajax libraries on the Google infrastructure. This release is the first step and we look forward to pushing forward with the goal of aggressively getting libraries that many developers use in browsers as fast as possible. If we are successful then we can start to think of these libraries as a standard library of sorts. The community has already started to build interesting tools around this new service. For example, you can now install a Wordpress plugin that rewrites your page to use your library of choice on Google's servers.

Gears was launched at last years Google Developer Day, and the coming out party for this years birthday was a debranding of "Google Gears" to "Gears" to reflect the community effort. Talks by the Gears engineers showed new APIs in the works, how we are working with HTML5 and standards, Gears for Mobile demonstrations, and the MySpace Messaging launch that uses Gears to enable a new search feature that offloads processing from their data centers and gives lightning fast results.

App Engine came out in the keynote sharing the fact that anyone can signup now, the expected pricing model (important to note that the starting point will ALWAYS be free), and new APIs that work with Email and Memcached.

The Geo world had another set of news. Google Earth can now be used in the browser thanks to a new plugin that allows you to add a quick line of JavaScript to your Maps API code to see it in action.

Ben Lisbakken wrote a piece on his application that uses App Engine, Local Search, and Maps to make static maps interactive.

Finally, in housekeeping news, the Maps API blog has been transformed to the new Geo Developer Blog, so update your feed readers.

What else?
  • Google Web Toolkit 1.5 Release Candidate: The new release candidate is a big one, with big new features. The GWT sessions at I/O were all packed, and I heard a lot of people walking out talking about how the difficult nature of Ajax development means they will be giving GWT a try.
  • Google Visualization API update: The "GViz" API was launched within Google Spreadsheets, but now it has been expanded to live elsewhere. This includes a new JavaScript API to create add-hoc data tables on the client.
  • Google Contacts API update: The Contacts API now supports contact groups, photos, extended properties, and batch processing

Finally, to end with a bit of fun. Aaron Spangler created something very cool with his 20% time. Along with a colleague, he created Radish an indoor solar-powered calendar display that hooked into Google Calendar and once ever hour updates via epaper.

Check it out: