Friday, November 16, 2007

[Gd] Weekly Google Code Roundup: The Androids are openly social

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Google Code Blog: Weekly Google Code Roundup: The Androids are openly social

I just have to take a breath as I start this posting. The last couple of weeks have been a real trip as we first announced OpenSocial and then Android, both announcements that have drawn a lot of interest.

Let's start with Android. We started out announcing the Open Handset Alliance and made sure people realise that this effort is bigger than a Google Phone. It is a mobile platform, with many phones to come! After some of the initial surprise we released the part that you, as a developer, care about: Android SDK.

We have been astonished at the response. We now have over three and a half thousand messages on the Google Group with four thousand members. The discussion has been all over the map, from initial Eclipse setup, to discussing the sample code, to working on how to write native applications on the platform.

We have plenty of material for you to absorb, but a great way to start it:

We are so excited to see the developer interest, and can't wait to see the applications that win money from the $10M prize pool.

Finally, to show how open platforms propel themselves, we got to release open drivers for the QualcommMSM7K.

It's the social

Just before the Android launch, we unveiled the group that worked together to create the OpenSocial APIs.

We have only just begun here, and the current API is a baby 0.5 release, but it is contagious to see the container and social developers work together. Patrick Chanezon sat down and chatted with us about the new APIs and the Campfire One announcement shows you a lot.

To enable developers to get containers going quickly we have put out an opensource container sample and have also seen the beginnings of Apache Shindig, another potential container.

The container partners are coming online quickly. We have already seen the hi5, Ning, and Plaxo sandboxes go live and more are coming.

To get a feel for the various containers and applications that have already been developed, check out video interviews that tell the story nicely.

And in other news...

Android and OpenSocial are not the only bits of news out there. Let's have a quick roundup:

Gmail got a backend facelift and we announced a new email migration API.

There are a couple of fun new open source projects announced: AxsJAX aims to make accessible Ajax applications more possible, and nsscache is an open source named services system.

We put together a nice piece on a spider's view of Web 2.0 which discusses SEO principles and how Web 2.0 practices affect, or do not affect them. What about Web -1.0? That is discussed in this great tech talk on
">the Web that wasn't
. A nice history lesson.

I got to host my first tech talk at Google. I was lucky enough to pull in Steve Souders, Chief Performance Yahoo!, to discuss High Performance Web Sites and YSlow. If you want to make sure your sites run well, check out his core principles.

Oh, and one other thing. The Google Code team did a huge amount of work in revamping Google Code which coincided with the major launches. We believe that the site is a lot cleaner now, and gives us a base to work on as we move forward to do a better job at serving all developers out there. Thanks for joining us so far.

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


Thursday, November 15, 2007

[Gd] Each and every email

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Google Code Blog: Each and every email

With hundreds (if not thousands) of popular email clients and mail servers out there, importing email into another service can be challenge, especially when you consider the troves of old email most people save. To ease this pain, we created the Google Apps Email Migration API.

This new API is available in Google Apps Premier, Partner, and Education Editions, and you can use it to migrate your existing email from anywhere into Google Apps. Let's say, for example, you want to import email from your Obscurix Email Server v2.0001715. Just write some parsing code and use our simple API to upload that email into the desired mailbox. For convenience, you can authenticate to the API not only as the end user of the destination mailbox, but also as a Google Apps administrator, and target any mailbox in the domain. This API uses Google data protocol, which means there are a host of client libraries to make importing even easier.

LimitNone (one of our Enterprise Professional partners) has already built a migration utility that works with calendars, email and contacts.

For more info, check out the Google Enterprise Blog, or just dive right into the developer's guide. And please, let us know what you think!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

[Gd] Pump up your info windows to the max!

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Official Google Maps API Blog: Pump up your info windows to the max!

Are your map's info windows bursting with information, barely able to contain it all? Well, let them burst — into maximized info windows. In v2.93, the team has added various options, functions, and events to expand GInfoWindow, letting you mimic the behavior of the Google Maps local search result info windows, which expand to include a wealth of information about particular businesses. By specifying maxContent and maxTitle in GInfoWindowOptions, your info window will automatically be given a maximize button and a (really addictive to watch) maximization animation. The example inlined below shows you how you can use this on map click or marker click, and how you can pass in Strings or DOM nodes to the options:

(Link to simple example of Maximized InfoWindows)

If you're a power developer, you may be interested in dynamically loading the contents of the maximized info window once clicked (so that you only have to download information in which your users are interested). By listening to the 'maximizeclick' event, we can replace the innerHTML of the maxContent DOM node once GDownloadUrl returns with our data. The example here shows loading the contents of another file (in this case, one of our old blog posts) into the maximized info window.

Start playing around with these examples and let us know if you encounter problems in the Maps API forum. Try not to get too addicted to the maximize animation. ;)


[Gd] Introducing AxsJAX -- Access-Enabling AJAX

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Google Code Blog: Introducing AxsJAX -- Access-Enabling AJAX

As the developer behind Fire Vox I've always wanted to make AJAX web applications truly usable for the blind and visually impaired. The challenge is that these users have to deal with a much higher learning curve than sighted users. Instead of simply learning the controls for a web application, they have to also learn how to get their assistive technology of choice to go to the interesting parts of that application to find out what is currently there.

When I started as a Noogler, I was extraordinarily impressed with the tools that T.V. Raman had built into Emacspeak for efficiently performing specific tasks. An insight that I gained from watching him use Emacspeak is that the application should just say the right thing in response to user actions; users should not have to do an action in the application and then use their assistive technology to go hunting around the screen to figure out what happened.

In my first week at Google, I discovered Google Reader a highly optimized feed reader with very good keyboard support. For my starter project at Google, I decided to access-enable this application using W3C ARIA. Using Greasemonkey, I could inject JavaScript code to add the needed ARIA bits to make Google Reader say the right things at the right time.

Connecting The Dots

Based on the experience of access-enabling Reader, we have now refactored the code to come up with a common JavaScript framework for enhancing the accessibility of AJAX applications. This framework is called AxsJAX, and it was refined in the process of access-enabling Web Search.

We're now excited to open-source this framework since we believe that there is nothing Google-specific in the techniques we have implemented. We invite the Web developer community to help us collectively define a robust framework for rapid prototyping of accessibility enhancements to Web 2.0 applications.

The ability to rapidly prototype end-user interaction has led to an explosion in the number of AJAX applications; until now, visually impaired users have been left behind in this process. We hope that the AxsJAX framework encourages the Web community to bring the power of Web 2.0 development to solving the problem of accessing rich Web interaction in an eyes-free environment.


Monday, November 12, 2007

[Gd] Yahoo Pipes

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Featured Projects on Google Code: Yahoo Pipes

Google APIs used:
An interactive feed aggregator and manipulator.


[Gd] TimesShare

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Featured Projects on Google Code: TimesShare

TimesShare Author: The New York Times Get the latest news and share articles with your friends.
Author: NY Times
APIs used:
Get the latest news and share articles with your friends.


[Gd] Android SDK, MSM7K kernel patches and blog now available

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Google Code Blog: Android SDK, MSM7K kernel patches and blog now available

Many of those subscribed to this blog have heard our recent announcement about the Open Handset Alliance, and we thought we'd bring everyone up to date. Today, the team released an early look at the Android SDK for developers interested in building applications for Android.

By the way, we've released more than just the SDK. Those of you who follow the development of the Linux kernel on ARM may have seen that we released our initial patches that provide kernel support for the QualcommMSM7K. This release means that support in the Linux kernel is now available for the on board serial, i2c, timer, NAND flash controller, MDP/MDDI framebuffer, gpio controller, and high speed USB client controller. This code also provides access to the baseband features of the chip. The announcement to the kernel developer community can be found on the ARM Linux mailing list. Like all proper Linux kernel code, these patches were released under v2 of the GNU GPL. Stay tuned for more open source related details.

We're really excited about all of these developments and can't wait to see what results. To help get things started, we've also announced the Android Developer Challenge, a $10 million challenge to reward developers for working with the platform. Head over the Android Developers blog to find out more about this exciting mobile platform.