Monday, 28 February 2011
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Mentoring organization applications now being accepted for Google Summer of Code!

(Cross-posted from the Google Open Source Blog.)

Interested in finding bright, enthusiastic new contributors to your open source project? Apply to be a mentoring organization in our Google Summer of Code program. We are now accepting applications from open source projects interested in acting as mentoring organizations.

Now in its 7th year, Google Summer of Code is a program designed to pair university students from around the world with mentors at open source projects in such varied fields as academia, language translations, content management systems, games, and operating systems. Since 2005, over 4,500 students from 85 countries have completed the Google Summer of Code program with the support of over 300 mentoring organizations. Students earn a stipend for their work during the program, allowing students to gain exposure to real-world software development and an opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits, thus “flipping bits, not burgers” during their school break. In return, mentoring organizations have the opportunity to identify and attract new developers to their projects and these students often continue their work with the organizations after Google Summer of Code concludes.

This year we’re excited to expand the scope of the program by encouraging experienced Google Summer of Code mentoring organizations to refer newer, smaller organizations they think could benefit from the program to apply to be mentoring organizations.

The deadline for applying to be a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code is Friday, March 11th at 23:00 UTC (3pm PST). The list of accepted organizations will be posted on the Google Summer of Code site on Friday, March 18th. Students will then have 10 days to reach out to the accepted organizations and discuss their ideas before we begin accepting student applications on March 28th.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details. You can also check out the Mentor Manual and timeline for additional information. Good luck to all of our mentoring organization applicants!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011
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The Data Viz Challenge: can you make tax data exciting?

(Cross-posted from The Official Google Blog)

This time of year, everyone in the United States is starting to fill out—with varying levels of enthusiasm—our federal income tax forms. Yet, after we write our checks to the IRS, most of us don’t really know exactly where our money is going.

Fortunately, there’s a new online tool to help us find out. Last year, Andrew Johnson and Louis Garcia, two developers from Minneapolis, Minn., created a website called that uses public data to estimate how our tax money is spent. You enter your income and filing status on the site, and it creates a formatted table of numbers showing your contributions to the federal budget—down to the penny:

We’re impressed by what the website uncovers. In 2010, for example, a married couple making $40,000 a year contributed approximately $14.07 to space operations, $6.83 to aviation security and $0.91 to the Peace Corps…and those are just a few of the hundreds of expenditures revealed on the site. As we spent time exploring all of these details, it got us thinking: how we could make the information even more accessible? So we created a simple interactive data visualization:

Click the image above to try the interactive version—it lets you drag the bubbles around, change the income level and so on. You can now look at the data in a new way, and it’s a little more fun to explore. Of course, there are lots of ways to visualize the data, and we’re very sure there are many talented designers and developers around the country who can do it even better than we have.

To make that happen, we’ve teamed up with Eyebeam, a not-for-profit art and technology center, to host what we’re calling the Data Viz Challenge. Andrew and Louis have built an API to let anyone access the data, so now you can choose how to display it. Could you create a better animated chart? Something in 3D? An interactive website? A physical display somewhere in the real world? We want you to show everyone how data visualization can be a powerful tool for turning information into understanding.

You can enter the challenge at, where you’ll also find more information about challenge and the data. The challenge starts today and ends March 27, 2011, and is open to the U.S. only. The top visualization, as chosen by a jury, will receive a $5,000 award and a shout-out on the site and this blog. We’ll announce the shortlist on the week of April 11, and the winners on April 18, a.k.a. Tax Day.

If you’re a data viz enthusiast, we hope you’ll take a look at the data and build your own creative visualization. But even if you’re not, hopefully the results will help you appreciate what data visualization can do, and its usefulness in turning raw information—like federal income tax numbers—into something you can explore and understand.

Friday, 18 February 2011
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Native Client: Getting ready for takeoff

(Cross-posted from the Chromium Blog)

Over the last few months we have been hard at work getting Native Client ready to support the new Pepper plug-in interface. Native Client is an open source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly and safely execute native compiled code inside the browser. Today, we’ve reached an important milestone in our efforts to make Native Client modules as portable and secure as JavaScript, by making available a first release of the revamped Native Client SDK.

The SDK now includes support for a comprehensive set of Pepper interfaces for compute, audio, and 2D Native Client modules. These interfaces are close to being stable, with some important exceptions that are listed in the release notes.

In addition, we’ve focused on improving security. We have enabled auto-update and an outer sandbox. This allowed us to remove the expiration date and localhost security restrictions we had adopted in previous research-focused releases. Beyond security, we’ve also improved the mechanism for fetching Native Client modules based on the instruction set architecture of the target machine, so developers don’t need to worry about this any more.

We are excited to see Native Client progressively evolve into a developer-ready technology. In the coming months we will be adding APIs for 3D graphics, local file storage, WebSockets, peer-to-peer networking, and more. We’ll also be working on Dynamic Shared Objects (DSOs), a feature that will eventually allow us to provide Application Binary Interface (ABI) stability.

Until the ABI becomes stable, Native Client will remain off by default. However, given the progress we’ve made, you can now sticky-enable Native Client in Chrome 10+ through the about:flags dialog. Otherwise, you can continue using a command line flag to enable Native Client when you want to.

A big goal of this release is to enable developers to start building Native Client modules for Chrome applications. Please watch this blog for updates and use our discussion group for questions, feedback, and to engage with the Native Client community.

Simplifed quota management for Google Project Hosting

We just released a change to simplify how we manage disk space for open source projects hosted on Google Code.

Previously, we enforced disk quota on a component-by-component basis. For example, source code used to have a 2-GB limit and downloads used to have a separate 2-GB limit. As of today, we’re announcing a single disk quota limit of 4 GB for an entire project. From now on, you can decide how to best use the unified quota across your whole project.

Happy hacking!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011
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Visualize your own data in the Google Public Data Explorer

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Over the past two years, we’ve made public data easier to find, explore and understand in several ways, providing unemployment figures, population statistics and world development indicators in search results, and introducing the Public Data Explorer tool. Together with our data provider partners, we’ve curated 27 datasets including more than 300 data metrics. You can now use the Public Data Explorer to visualize everything from labor productivity (OECD) to Internet speed (Ookla) to gender balance in parliaments (UNECE) to government debt levels (IMF) to population density by municipality (Statistics Catalonia), with more data being added every week.

Today, we’re opening the Public Data Explorer to your data. We’re making a new data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), openly available, and providing an interface for anyone to upload their datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer. The DSPL language and upload interface are available in Google Labs.

To upload a dataset, click on the “My Datasets” link on the left-hand side of the Public Data Explorer. Once imported, a dataset can be visualized, embedded in external websites, shared with others and published. If you’re an official provider, you can request that your datasets appear in the Public Data Explorer directory; please contact us to discuss this process.

With this new capability, we hope more datasets can come to life through Public Data Explorer visualisations and enable people to better understand the world around them and make more informed, data-driven decisions. Stay tuned for more datasets, visualization features and DSPL extensions in the future.

Monday, 14 February 2011
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Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 now available

(Cross-posted from the Google Web Toolkit Blog)

Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT 2.2 are now available with several new features that we’re excited to share with you. First, Google Plugin for Eclipse 2.2 directly integrates GWT Designer, a powerful WYSIWYG Ajax user interface (UI) designer that makes it much easier to quickly build UIs. Second, developers can take advantage of the modern web with the first round of HTML5 support within the GWT SDK. Additionally, GWT’s CellTable widget now offers new functionality, such as default column sorting and the ability to set column widths. These new features make it even easier to build best in breed web apps using Java-based tools and Eclipse. And while these apps can be run on any platform, Google Plugin for Eclipse makes it very easy to deploy, and run, on Google App Engine.

Instructions for installing this new release of the Google Plugin for Eclipse and GWT SDK can be found here: Getting Started with Google Plugin for Eclipse.

If you’re simply looking for the GWT 2.2 SDK, you can find it here: GWT SDK Download.

GWT Designer
Directly integrating GWT Designer into the Google Plugin for Eclipse has been a top priority for us over the past few months. We’ve had some very positive feedback from the community early on, and for this release we not only wanted to provide the best developer experience when using GWT Designer, we also wanted a seamless experience across GWT Designer and GPE.

HTML5 features
GWT 2.2 includes support for HTML5-specific features, such as the Canvas element, which allows for dynamic, scriptable rendering of 2D shapes and bitmap images, and the embedding of Audio/Video tags. These APIs are still experimental and may change a bit over the next couple releases, but we feel that they're stable enough to deserve some real mileage (by you). Below is a demo that one of the GWT team members, Philip Rogers, put together to showcase the new Canvas support in the GWT SDK. You can find the code for this demo here:

New CellTable APIs
With GWT 2.1, we found that developers were often times incorporating a CellTable widget into their project, and immediately adding the boilerplate code to add sorting, and then having to jump through hoops to set column widths. With the GWT SDK 2.2 release, this functionality is now part of the CellTable widget itself. Where we can, we want to improve the native GWT widgets, adding features and functionality that minimize the custom code that developers have to write.

If you would like to see these updates in action, checkout out the CellTable example with the GWT Showcase app.

A note about Java 1.5
GWT version 2.2 will only have deprecated support for Java 1.5, resulting in warnings when building applications. While Java 1.5 will still work for this release of GWT, developers should upgrade their version of Java to correct these warnings and ensure compatibility with future versions of GWT.

If you have questions or want to provide feedback, we’d love to hear it, and the best place to do so is in the Google Web Toolkit Group.

Friday, 11 February 2011
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App Engine 1.4.2 SDK - API Updates and Additions Edition

Google App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. There are no servers to maintain, and we keep the SDK up to date with regular releases. Today’s SDK release, 1.4.2 focuses on improving and updating a few existing App Engine APIs.

Improved XMPP API to help applications better interact with users. Notifications are sent when users sign in and out and when their status changes, and the application can now set presence details to be returned to the user. Subscription and Presence notifications are enabled as inbound services in the application configuration.

Task Queue performance and Task Queue API improvements. First, we’ve increased the maximum rate at which tasks can be processed to 100 tasks/second. Applications can also specify the maximum number of concurrent requests allowed per queue in their queue’s configuration file. This can help you more easily manage how many resources your task queue is consuming. We’ve also added an API that allows you to programmatically delete tasks, instead of managing this manually from the Admin Console.

As always, there are more minor features and issue fixes such as support for JAX-WS complete with a new article on how to build SOAP enabled App Engine apps, as well as support for Django 1.2, so be sure to read the release notes for Java and Python. We’ve also updated the App Engine Roadmap with a few new projects so take a look. And if you have any feedback, please visit the App Engine Groups.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011
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Join Google at the Game Developers Conference

In the next few weeks, thousands of programmers, designers and publishers will head to San Francisco for the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). Google will be there in full force, showcasing technologies, distribution platforms and monetization solutions that help game developers create amazing games and reach an audience of hundreds of millions.

We’ve planned two developer days with several exciting talks. On February 28th, we’ll discuss web technologies such as HTML5, WebGL and Native Client, as well as Google’s cloud solutions and YouTube APIs. On March 1st, we’ll switch our focus to Android, with tech talks on audio, graphics, compatibility, the new NDK and the use of App Engine to securely serve application data.

Several Googlers are also speaking at the GDC summits and main conference, presenting topics ranging from mobile monetization to games on smart TVs. For a full list of our talks you can visit

Want even more Google? Visit our booth on the expo floor, where you can meet Google experts, check out the latest Android devices, or just relax in our Google TV lounge. If you stop by, you might even be able to score a pass to Google’s first invitation-only GDC party. We look forward to meeting you in person!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011
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How To Customize Main Layout of Error Pages in cakePHP

To customize the contents of each cakePHP errors, you need to create the following pages in this folder /app/views/errors/
- error404.ctp
- missing_action.ctp
- missing_component_class.ctp
- missing_component_file.ctp
- missing_connection.ctp
- missing_controller.ctp
- missing_helper_class.ctp
- missing_helper_file.ctp
- missing_layout.ctp
- missing_model.ctp
- missing_scaffolddb.ctp
- missing_table.ctp
- missing_view.ctp
- private_action.ctp
- scaffold_error.ctp

But cakePHP is using /views/layouts/default.ctp as layout for these error pages like 404, missing controller, etc. To customize it, you need to create a file /app/app_error.php with the following contents:
class AppError extends ErrorHandler {
function _outputMessage($template) {
$this->controller->layout = 'error_template'; // /app/views/layouts/error_template.ctp

And create a template file "error_template.ctp" in /app/views/layouts.

Hope this one helps.

Parthiv Patel
Bhaishri Info Solution
Sr. PHP Developer
Limdi Chowk, AT PO. Nar, Di. Anand
Nar, Gujarat
DOB: 12/24/1986

Monday, 7 February 2011
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Saudi Arabian developers and entrepreneurs, are you ready?

(Also available in Arabic from the Google Arabia Blog.)

“I was living in a dark room full of stuff and Google turned the lights on for me”, one participant said. Some 97% of those who attended G-days last year in Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan expressed similar sentiments.

Building on this success, Google will host another G-day event in Saudi Arabia, dubbed "G-Saudi Arabia", which will take place on March 19th and 20th. Google engineers will be on hand to give lectures and meet informally. The first day will be dedicated to academics and developers, both novice and advanced ; the second day targets entrepreneurs and professionals who want to learn about AdWords, Google Apps and other projects. Since space is limited, please apply now.

Since holding G-Egypt and G-Jordan, we’ve analyzed the feedback from participants to improve the upcoming events. We received more than 3,000 comments. Here is a representative sampling:

  • Content: "I learned a great about what Google does and I left with a great admiration to this Google. I admire their interest in Egypt and the region and I see Google as a being a catalyst for many things to happen in this region. The Google culture, positive approach, and excitement about innovation is infectious."
  • Googlers & interaction with them: "The best thing I enjoyed was actually talking and chatting with the Googlers, in between sessions and asking them questions. Everyone was extremely helpful and doing their best to answer my questions."
  • Organisation: "The event was awesome... I cannot believe that I attended an event like that in Egypt."
  • Atmosphere & chill-out zones: "Giving the spirit of Google, I felt as I'm at Google headquarters."
  • Choice of venue & food: "the Google cupcakes were amazing!"
  • Coding competition: "I think the best part by far, for me, was the coding competition."
  • Time management: "Speeches were running and ending on time"

The negative feedback also were appreciated. Some said we need to slow up coding sessions and give more concrete examples. Some want additional technical content. Others suggested separating beginners from advanced developers. And others asked for longer breaks to mingle. We’ll put these suggestions into the upcoming G-Saudi Arabia agenda.

In order to encourage Saudis to participate, take a look at a selection of the pictures from our Egyptian and Jordanian events. Keep sending the comments and above all keep sending any cool applications you develop on Google technologies. We look forward to resuming our dialogue with Arab developers and entrepreneurs.

Register for Google I/O 2011

Update 11:30am PST: Google I/O 2011 has sold out.

(Cross-posted from The Official Google Blog.)

We’ve been counting down the days until Google I/O 2011 and hope that you have been, too. With 91 days, 22 hours and 45 minutes to go, we’re excited to announce that registration is now open at Our largest annual developer conference will take place on May 10-11, 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif.

The focus of I/O 2011 will be all about the cloud, and feature the latest Google products and technologies including Android, Google Chrome, App Engine, Google Web Toolkit and Google APIs. There will be many opportunities to meet members of Google’s engineering teams and take deep dives into the technologies with more than 100 technical sessions, roundtables and more. The Developer Sandbox, which we introduced at I/O 2009, will be back, featuring developers from more than 100 companies to demo their apps, share their experiences and exchange ideas.

If you liked our HTML5 countdown, stay tuned for more surprises. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments for Google I/O 2011 at the website, on Twitter (@Googleio) and Google Buzz. Get your tickets early—last year we sold out in record time!

Registration opens with an Early Bird rate of $450, which applies through April 16 ($550 after April 16). Faculty and students can register at the discounted Academia rate of $150, which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn more and register today at

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

Friday, 4 February 2011
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Optimizing your site for TV is now easier

Ever since we launched Google TV last October, we’ve seen web developers optimize their sites for TV with amazing results. However, designing a 10 foot UI and implementing controls optimized for the television is still a foreign concept for most web developers. Understanding that challenge, we’re happy to release new templates and a UI library to make it easy for developers to optimize their sites for TV.

Google TV comes with the Chrome browser that supports familiar technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and Flash. Keeping this in mind, we have created two template designs in HTML5 and Flash that are focused on delivering video content, but equally suitable for photos or other multimedia:

For those developers who prefer to design their own 10 foot UI, we’ve created the Google TV Web UI Library to enable TV friendly controls such as D-pad (up, down, left, right) navigation. To accommodate different web developers needs, the Google TV Web UI Library is provided in 2 different flavors; jQuery based and Closure based. Get started by downloading the library and reading the documentation and tutorials.

Both the templates and the library are available under the Apache 2 license. As always, we love to hear your feedback. Please post comments and questions on the library and templates to our Google TV Web Developer Forum. Happy coding!

By Steve Hines and Daniels Lee, Google TV Developer Relations Team