Friday, February 8, 2008

[Gd] Come on over, the Open Source Programs Office has its own blog

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Google Code Blog: Come on over, the Open Source Programs Office has its own blog

When we first launched (webarchive), it was largely a site for documenting our open source activities and had some details about Google's supported APIs and file formats. In the ensuing 3 years, code has grown to encompass protocol documentation, project hosting and even a mobile operating system. Similarly, the activities of the Open Source Team have grown from simple license compliance to the aforementioned hosting, releasing massive amounts of code and introducing student programs like the Summer of Code and its high school cousin, the Highly Open Participation Contest. Since we've grown so much, we felt it was well past time to spin off a blog that specifically covers the open source activities of the company. So that's just what we've done. Come check it out, and if you like, subscribe!


[Gd] Screencast: Using Debugging Tools with the Maps API

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Official Google Maps API Blog: Screencast: Using Debugging Tools with the Maps API

When I was a little kid, I took ice skating lessons (amongst other sports lessons which ultimately led me to conclude that I'm possibly the least athletic tomboy ever). I distinctly remember what we learned on the first day of lessons: not how to do cross-overs or pineapples, but how to fall. The instructor was wise enough to know that we'd be able to grow our skills much more if we knew how to fall and recover with minimal pain and effort. And now, I apply that same philosophy to programming: I'd rather learn how to debug in a particular language or environment before I learn any advanced skills. As many of you know, bugs can often be tiny little typos but they can take *hours* to find without a good debugger.

Most people are experienced with the debugging tools for compiled languages like C++ or Java, as they generally come bundled with the compiler. But I've found that quite a few people don't realize that there are debugging tools available for Javascript (besides alert, which you should now repress all memory of ever using). So I'm sharing my favorite debugging techniques in the form of a series of screencasts - there are a couple about Firefox extensions like Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar, a couple about native browser tools like the IE Script Debugger and Firefox Error Console, plus one about the Maps API built-in debug console called GLog.

Check out the screencasts and please share any questions or suggestions (e.g. your own favorite debug tool) in the forum. And hopefully, we'll all get better at Javascript development than I ever (never) got at ice skating. :)


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

[Gd] gwt-dnd

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Featured Projects on Google Code: gwt-dnd

Author: Fred Sauer
Google APIs used:
An extension library for Google Web Toolkit which adds drag-and-drop support to new or existing applications.


[Gd] Google Technology User Groups

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Google Code Blog: Google Technology User Groups

We recently started the Google Technology User Groups program to help people get together and discuss Google developer products at a technical level. One of the first groups formed is the Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group by Java user group veterans Mike "Van" Riper and Kevin Nilson. The first SV-GTUG meetup took place on Google's main campus in January to discuss the Google Web Toolkit with Googler Bob Vawter. The SV-GTUG will be hosting its next meeting on February 6th, where Dick Wall from Google will be presenting on Android.

Silicon Valley is not the only home to new user groups: The Pune GTUG in India, started by Rohit Ghatol, seeks to bring together some of India's vast developer audience to think creatively about using developer APIs to explore what is possible beyond typical Google products.

We'll post again soon about how you can create your own Google Technology User Group, and for more events in your area check out the Developer Events Calendar on Google Code.


Monday, February 4, 2008

[Gd] Calling all local developers: Join us at the Googleplex for workshops, hackathons, and more!

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Official Google Maps API Blog: Calling all local developers: Join us at the Googleplex for workshops, hackathons, and more!

In the next two months, we'll be holding several events at the Googleplex that we want local Geo/Javascript developers to attend. First, we have our 'Google Geo Developer Series,' kickstarting on Wednesday, Feb. 20th with a hands-on workshop on 'Quick & Dirty KML Creation' led by Mano and me. The series will continue on each Wednesday through early April, and will feature a few speakers from the community as well (like John Coryat's Feb. 27th talk on 'Creating Custom Maps'). For those not in the area, each event in the series will be videotaped and available on Youtube after. Visit this website for more information and registration is available on this website.

Then, on February 29th, we'll be hosting a 'Google Developer Hackathon' focusing on our Javascript API offerings: Google Gears, Google AJAX Search/Feeds, Google Gadgets, and of course, the Google Maps API. The hackathon will start with brief intros of the APIs, then after a brainstorming session, we'll break up into groups to code some mini-apps. It's a great opportunity for people who want an excuse to write some fun code and ask Googlers questions at the same time. Check out the calendar invite for more details and the registration link.

Finally from May 17th to 18th, Google is happy to be hosting this year's WhereCamp, the unconference for geohackers. It was hosted at Yahoo! last year and attracted more than 200 programmers, opinion leaders and geo community people. We look forward to seeing what kind of hackery this year's crowd has up their sleeves, and what they have to say about the current state of "mapping 2.0." Get more information at the WhereCamp wiki.

And yes, we're fully aware that most of you are not in the local area. We'll do our best to post everything we can online, and to look for good opportunities to hold events elsewhere. Make sure to check out our developer events map mashup to find events local to you or post ones that you know of.