Friday, October 26, 2007

[Gd] Weekly Google Code Roundup: Leopard day, JavaScript fun, and the open source world.

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Google Code Blog: Weekly Google Code Roundup: Leopard day, JavaScript fun, and the open source world.

It's Leopard day. I am really excited to get home to install the new version of OS X. It isn't actually the new operating system itself that excites me, it is the new applications that I know have been waiting for this release to be able to see the light of day. Our own Google Mac team has announced an update for Leopard, so update Google Desktop before you change your strips for spots. When you setup the new, consider enabling IMAP in Gmail and using both (I have been looking forward to IMAP support for a long time)!

I was really excited to see our Blogger GData JavaScript client library release. I am particularly proud of the examples that came along with the release as they really show you some of our ideas and give you good starting points for your own secure mashups.

If you want to test GData endpoints, there is help for doing some testing with cURL which we documented for you.

We got to hear to some of the teams too. Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber, members of the Google Web Toolkit team, had a nice interview with Pearson before the upcoming conference on GWT.

Paul McDonald and Rich Burdon of the Google Mashup Editor Team also discussed the nuances of the GME product and where it is heading.

In the Google Maps world Pamela played with clickable Polygons and used the ability to play a game. Also, if you are a Flash-y kind of guy, you can do more with KML and Flash.

We hosted a lot of open source meetings such as:

For those that like to search across open source code, we have a new ability to tell us more about your code via the integration of Google Code Search and Sitemaps.

Fancy some video? We had some great tech talks on campus including:

As always, check out the latest tech talks, subscribe to the Google Developer Podcast and visit the Google Code YouTube channel.

I am now heading out to get Leopard roaring, but a couple of final points. The new Google Finance Gadgets are interesting, and take a look at how our developer team lives in a Mario World.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

[Gd] Podcast with Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber

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Google Code Blog: Podcast with Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber

Last week the folks at Pearson Education sat down with Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber to discuss the creation of Google Web Toolkit and Pearson's December conference Voices that Matter: Google Web Toolkit. Listen to the podcasts to hear Bruce and Joel explain the history of GWT and the challenges of building a cross-browser Java-to-Javascript compiler. They also talk about the sessions that they are most looking forward to attending at the conference, and their upcoming book on GWT. Thanks to Bruce and Joel for sharing their thoughts and to Barbara and Greg at Pearson for putting this together.

Registration for the Pearson conference is still open, but be sure to register before October 27th (this Saturday) to receive the early bird pricing discount. You can review the complete list of sessions and speakers on the conference website.


[Gd] Clickable Polys = Old School Image Maps + Educational Games?

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Official Google Maps API Blog: Clickable Polys = Old School Image Maps + Educational Games?

Remember way back in the 90s when every website's front page included a clickable image map? Those were good times, and I'm always a fan of bringing back good times. When a developer suggested in the forum that invisible clickable GPolygons could be used to create a pseudo image map, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.

To start, I drew simple borders on U.S. states using the fabulous polygon creation tools in Google My Maps. When I was finished, I had a MyMap of the 48 continental U.S. states in outline.

Next, I created KML output by clicking on the KML link within MyMaps, and converted the output into an array of GLatLngs using a PHP script. I saved this array into its own JavaScript file.

Finally, I created my first image map map (image map²?). I chose to pop up info windows when the user clicks a state, but you could also use window.location.href to bring the user to a new page, old school style.

After proving that this technique worked, I decided to take it a step further. I'm a bi-coastal girl (CA/NY) and I tend to have a very hazy knowledge of all the states in-between. I used the now-clickable states to create a multi-level educational game which prompts you with a state, and rewards you when you correctly click on that state. The easy level uses G_NORMAL_MAP with invisible polys, the medium level uses G_SATELLITE_MAP with outlined polys, and the hard (extreme!) level uses G_SATELLITE_MAP with invisible polys. Try it out below!

Warning: this game may make you hate the existence of such tiny states as Rhode Island, Delaware, etc.

<br><a>Link to State Game</a><br></a><br>

P.S. My high scores are 20, 12, and 10, for easy, medium, and hard. Can you beat that? ;)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

[Gd] Google Hosts CIFS Workshop

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Google Code Blog: Google Hosts CIFS Workshop

Around sixty developers from over twenty different companies converged on Google's Mountain View Campus at the end of September to sample the free food. Oh yes, and also to test their implementations of the CIFS network protocol for interoperability.

CIFS, the Common Internet File System (that's Windows Networking to you and me), is the file sharing protocol build into all Windows versions, and also MacOS X, Linux, HPUX and now Solaris clients. Samba is the best known Free Software implementation of CIFS, and most of the Samba Team were there to help improve Samba3 and Samba4's interoperability along with the other CIFS vendors.

Over the three days much code was written, much beer was drunk, and the air was turned blue with cursing when bugs were found! As the Samba Team were mentoring several Google Summer of CodeTM students, we also got to record a podcast about our experiences participating in the program over the past three years.

Thanks to Google for hosting the event and setting up the gigabit networking required. The endless coffee supply was also essential when dealing with network protocol problems.

The best summary of the success of our testing occurred on the final day of the event, when a sad and frustrated CIFS client programmer wrote the following on our testing notes whiteboard:

"the server *hates* me :-) :-)"

It was great to see everyone coming together, even people from competing companies, to help fix problems with everyone's implementations of CIFS. Look for the resulting improvements in new versions of products and future releases of Samba.

The Samba Team takes a break during the CIFS Workshop.

(Photo Credit: Leslie Hawthorn)


[Gd] San Diego County Fires

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Featured Projects on Google Code: San Diego County Fires

San Diego Fires Screenshot
Author: KPBS News
Google APIs used:
When events like this happen, people seem to jump up and quickly document what is going on for everyone to see. We all wish the best.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

[Gd] Updates from the I Free Software Forum

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Google Code Blog: Updates from the I Free Software Forum

I recently traveled to the I Free Software Forum in Lisbon, Portugal, where I gave two talks. The first was on load balancing and the second focused on "Google e o Software Livre" (Google and Free Software). The main organizer of the conference was Ralf Braga, an old friend of mine from Brazil, who moved to Lisbon few months ago.

Both of the talks were well attended, which was great. During my load balancing talk, I covered things I found out while testing Linux Virtual Server and HAProxy, two open source software load balancing solutions. I explained a bit about the basics of load balancing, and then the pros and cons of each approach.

Lisbon is a very beautiful city. Everyone was chatting about the amazing growth of conferences about "Software Livre" in that country. There will be a total of 6 conferences about open source software around Portugal in just the next few months.

There were around of 200 people attending two simultaneous rooms of talks over two days, and most attendees were university students. One of the sponsors prepared the table for their booth in the same shape as the Ubuntu logo. Really cool. They also had Ubuntu pillows. Do we have Google Code pillows? We should. :)

The organizers are planning the second edition of the conference for next year already. I proposed to the participants that each one of them brings at least one friend who has never been to an free software conference before with them when they return. I know I'm already looking forward to going in 2008!

(The I Free Software Forum site is in Portugese. You can read an English translation.)


[Gd] Make your KML Flash-y!

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Official Google Maps API Blog: Make your KML Flash-y!

The recent Windows Google Earth 4.2 release added the ability to view Flash content. This is great news for KML authors, especially given how easy it is to include Flash in your info bubbles. All you have to do is use the param and embed tags, just as if you were embedding it in a normal webpage. I was looking at one of the youtube videos from the Google Earth Outreach team, and noticed the "Embed" text box. I selected, copied and pasted, and got this:

 <object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value=""></param> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param> <embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"  width="425" height="350"></embed></object> 

After putting that code directly in the description element of a KML Placemark and decreasing the width and height a bit, I got this:

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <kml xmlns="">  <Placemark>   <name>Declan Butler's Avian Flu Outbreaks in Google Earth</name>   <description><![CDATA[ <object width="240" height="200"> <param name="movie" value=""></param> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param> <embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="240" height="200"></embed></object>]]> </description>   <LookAt>    <longitude>101.5513816532019</longitude>    <latitude>13.65113039555518</latitude>    <altitude>0</altitude>    <range>3571781.303404128</range>    <tilt>0</tilt>    <heading>10.18456659033348</heading>    <altitudeMode>relativeToGround</altitudeMode>   </LookAt>     <Point>    <coordinates>100.3689268271656,15.74695793086107,0</coordinates>   </Point>   </Placemark> </kml> 

Here's what this looks like in Earth - a nice description balloon with an embedded YouTube video:

And this works just the same on Maps too. Here's what it looks like in a Maps API map:

Youtube in KML Example

But video isn't all you can do - any Flash application can be embedded. Google Earth Hacks allows you to view and post to their forums from within their info bubbles, and Valery Hronusov puts a Meebo chat room in his.


[Gd] KDE 4.0 Release Party at Google HQ

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Google Code Blog: KDE 4.0 Release Party at Google HQ

When we met Sebas at the Ubuntu Developer Summit last November, he thought the digs were pretty cool and he asked if Google would be willing to host a release party for KDE's upcoming 4.0 launch. Since Sebas seemed like such a nice chap and we love hosting open sourcerers, we said "Hey, why not?"

While the KDE development team has been hard at work preparing Betas, we've been collaborating with the project's outreach team on details for the release party. The release party, along with typical conference activities like presentations and BoFs, will be rockin' at Google Corporate Headquarters January 17-19, 2008.

If you're looking for more information on the event, check out Troy Unrau's blog. Rumor has it that that KDE e.V., the non-profit organization behind the KDE project, will even fly one lucky KDE community member out for the release party.

We hope to see you there!