Friday, December 21, 2007

[Gd] Brian McCallister on Ning, OpenSocial, and Apache Shindig

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Google Code Blog: Brian McCallister on Ning, OpenSocial, and Apache Shindig

When I read an email sent to an Apache Software Foundation mailing list suggesting an open source project for OpenSocial, I wasn't surprised to see it come from Brian McCallister, a prolific open source developer that I met years ago in a former life.

Brian McCallister now works at Ning, the social network outsourcer, and sat down to talk to me about topics revolving around Ning, OpenSocial, and Apache Shindig.

What will you learn from this chat?
  • What Ning is all about
  • Why Ning and Brian think about OpenSocial, and why developers should be interested
  • The parts and pieces of OpenSocial from the standpoint of a developer, and a third party container
  • How Brian thinks that we will get more than just "Write one, learn everywhere"
  • What Apache Shindig is all about
  • How Shindig allows you to do simple local development, which changes the game with respect to your development lifecycle


Monday, December 17, 2007

[Gd] The Roundup: An offline Shindig that is off the Charts!

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Google Code Blog: The Roundup: An offline Shindig that is off the Charts!

I just got back from a trip to Belgium that had me speaking at JavaPolis, a conference full of Java and Web folk from Europe and beyond. Google engineers were all over, and we gave talks on Gears, GWT, Google data APIs, Guice, Google Java Collections, and Java language issues. It was capped off with an informal pub meetup where Google and Atlassian took the bill. Remember, they take pride in that Belgian beer.

GWT was in full force at the event. Many people came up to me to discuss their GWT implementations, and a lot of cool APIs and applications have been announced recently. For example, JSTM, the Java Shared Transacted Memory for GWT is a promising new library that gives you a transactional cache that can keep clients in sync. Map this onto Google Gears, and you can get offline caching. The author of the library is taking a lot at that feature right now. We also saw GWT Voices, which gives GWT developers with a cross browser sound API. Finally, Chronoscope showed us that you could take a GWT application, and with a small amount of work get it running on Android. A huge benefit of using the Java programming language across the board.

Speaking of Android, we got to have a nice long chat with Dianne Hackborn and Jason Parks of the Android team about many facets of the platform.

We also got to speak to developers from Zoho, on the release of Zoho Writer that uses Google Gears for full read/write access.

OpenSocial has been chugging away too, and it was exciting to see Apache Shindig, the open source set of components around OpenSocial, get released. This release includes a core gadget container foundation, an open source version of the renderer, an OpenSocial Container, and an implementation of the server interface to container-specific information, including the OpenSocial REST APIs.

A fun new API was released recently too, which got a lot of buzz in the community. Out of the Zurich office, we saw the Google Charts API, which allows you to create dynamic charts in very short order. You can even integrate the new API with KML for quick data visualization.1

The open source side of Google Code has had a busy time too. We released the Google Mac Developer Playground, which is a home for useful open source code produced by the Google Mac team, and any engineers at Google. With this release, Dave MacLachlan announced Statz which has already seen a major upgrade, allowing you to talk to a large swath of services.

On the back of the Google Summer of Code project, the team wanted to keep spreading open source goodness, and announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, and have already updated us of its performance. It is outstanding to see so many people coming together to help the myriad of open source communities out there.

To finish up, how about taking a peak at the new Knol effort, or looking at the new developer community calendar, or firing off a video download in the background to watch:

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


[Gd] Our new Developer Community Calendar: View it, Map it, Add to it!

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Google Code Blog: Our new Developer Community Calendar: View it, Map it, Add to it!

I was scheduling a trip to New York City last month to visit some friends and thought, "Well, it'd be nice to take in a conference or two." I proceeded to search online for hours -- including queries like "new york city ajax," "conferences new york," "user group new york" -- and came up basically empty handed. Frustrated, I cornered my co-worker Austin Chau, and we did what us geeks tend to do when we want something: we hacked it up ourselves!

Google's 'Developer Events Calendar' has always listed Google-sponsored and/or Google-attended events, but today we're launching a second calendar for the developer community at large. You can view both calendars side-by-side in either calendar view or map view, and with a Google Calendar account, you can add your own meetup to the list. (If you're keen on the project's technical specs, we'll be writing about the code itself shortly, so check back soon for an article and source links.)

We hope you find the calendars useful, and we look forward to your feedback. Try it out now: add your upcoming conference, user group, or party. (Yes, we developers know how to party. If you don't know how, I'll graciously volunteer to show you).