Friday, March 13, 2009

[Gd] Tip: Provide a better About dialog

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Google Desktop APIs: Tip: Provide a better About dialog

What information must be in a gadget's About dialog? The About dialog certainly needs to display the gadget name. It should also contain:
  • The gadget creator's name (your name or your company's name)
  • A short description of what the gadget can do
  • The gadget's license, if any (for example, CC-License or Apache License)
Optionally, you can add information such as:
  • The version number of the gadget
  • A list of features introduced in this version of the gadget
  • A link to your website, so happy customers can get more gadgets from you or contact you
Here's an example of a good About dialog in my Fast shutdown gadget.

Posted by Stefan Van Damme, Gadget Developer

Thursday, March 12, 2009

[Gd] Dev Channel - Install and Update fixed plus a few Bug Fixes and new version of V8

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Google Chrome Releases: Dev Channel - Install and Update fixed plus a few Bug Fixes and new version of V8

This release includes a number of fixes on top of the recent release. For users having trouble installing or updating Google Chrome this release includes a fix! The most common problem seen with installs or updates happens when a users %TMP% directory is pointing at a different hard drive than their C drive.

Noteable changes:
    • Make the last tab have a right-click menu. Issue 8519
    • Bring V8 to version (r1458).
    • Stop history search going on beyond the start of history. Issue 8438, and Issue 8456
    • Fix black titlebars rendering when toggling DWM when the window is maximized. Issue 8526
    • Fix horizontal scrolling to not be reversed on tilt wheel mice and old Thinkpads. Issue 8590
    • Fixes crash in ResizeCorner. Issue 8477
    • Make Google Chrome windows not hide auto-hide taskbars. Issue 20, and Issue 8410
    • Fix installer failure when %TMP% not on C:Issue 8505
Known Issues:
    • Issue 8453: Regression: about:network dialog shows up behind current Google Chrome window
    • Issue 8399: Bookmarking a page not reflected on history page when open
    • Issue 8318: "Exit Full Screen" link does nothing
    • Issue 8372: Background paint issues with Task manager in maximized mode.
    • Issue 8289: Drag drop of bookmark from IE/FF crashes tab and then loads the page
    • Issue 8071: Javascript debugger doesn't come up for constrained windows
    • Issue 8040: Zoom is broken in [New Tab]
    • Issue 8345: Browser can crash when removing saved passwords
    • Issue 8653: CPU can go to 100% while scrolling a page using Flash
    • Issue 8669: Dragging a link/bookmark into tabs may be ignored
Let us know about any new issues you find by filing a bug.

Jonathan Conradt
Engineering Program Manager

[Gd] Google Friend Connect API Available in Labs

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Google Code Blog: Google Friend Connect API Available in Labs

By Mussie Shore, Product Manager - Google Friend Connect

Today we are excited to make the Google Friend Connect API available to developers. Google Friend Connect lets a site owner instantly awaken and strengthen the community that visits their web site.

Friend Connect has enabled tens of thousands of sites like, and millions of blogs like, to build their communities. Now, we are pleased to open up the service to the broader development community. With Google Friend Connect, two of our primary goals are to:
  • Make it easy for every site owner to add Friend Connect to their site, regardless of their technical capabilities. We do this by letting site owners simply paste snippets of code into their websites' HTML to instantly provide social capabilities on their sites.

  • Be open by letting visitors control their own data and freely share it with sites and services as they see fit. Services that are currently integrated with Friend Connect include OpenID providers like Yahoo!, social network providers like Twitter, and update aggregators like Plaxo Pulse.

The combination of ease and openness puts visitors and site owners in full control of their social information, activities, and relationships throughout the web. As a developer, the Labs release of our API lets you:
  • Use JavaScript APIs to integrate social flows and data directly within your page's markup, via the OpenSocial standard specification.

  • Use REST APIs to integrate your existing login systems, registered users, and your existing data with new social data and activities. These APIs are also part of the OpenSocial standard.

In addition, we have used the APIs to build open source plugin samples that integrate into popular commenting and content systems including WordPress, Drupal, and phpBB.

This release is documented in To take advantage of the the API on your site, go to and visit the "for developers" section to grab the snippet that enables the new API on your site.

We're looking forward to hearing your feedback, and to seeing how the development community will combine their creativity, Google Friend Connect, and these APIs to enrich the open social web. Make sure to check out Google I/O on May 27 - 28 where you can meet the engineering team and learn more about Google Friend Connect API.

[Gd] Code Conversations Episode 2 - Kevin Marks with Brad Neuberg

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Google Code Blog: Code Conversations Episode 2 - Kevin Marks with Brad Neuberg

By Neel Kshetramade, Google Developer Programs

A few weeks ago, Brad Neuberg sat down with Kevin Marks for an informal chat about technology, live video, the changes in software development over the last decade and OpenSocial. The video below is an edited version of their conversation, but if that only serves to whet your appetite, you can view the full version here (Part 1, Part 2). Be sure to look for the part in the video where Kevin talks about what it was like to work with Douglas Adams.


Kevin Marks is the author of the popular blog Epeus Epigone. In his 20-year long career, he played a major role in the development of live streaming video as a member of the Quicktime team at Apple, founded the Multimedia Corporation and as Principal Engineer at Technorati, built the spiders that make sense of the web and track millions of blogs daily. Today, in addition to being a developer advocate for OpenSocial, he is also one of the co-founders and a driving force for Microformats.

Brad Neuberg is a developer advocate at Google for the Open Web. He has created a number of libraries and frameworks for expanding the capabilities of web applications and is a core member of the Dojo project. He blogs at

This video is the second in our video series "Code Conversations". You can view the first episode, a conversation with Chris DiBona on open source software here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

[Gd] Announcing the OpenStudio Plugin

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Official Google SketchUp Blog: Announcing the OpenStudio Plugin

The OpenStudio plugin is a geometry editor for EnergyPlus, the Whole Building Energy Simulation Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. This free, open source plugin (currently only available for Windows) enables Google SketchUp users to create building geometry from scratch, open and edit existing EnergyPlus input files, or run EnergyPlus and view the results, all without ever leaving SketchUp. For more information and to download the plugin, visit their website.

Also, keep an eye out for a joint SketchUp and EnergyPlus training session at this year's AIA Conference (American Institute of Architects) in San Francisco. If you're a developer and would like to contribute to this open source project, please visit the OpenStudio SourceForge website.

Posted by Chris Cronin, SketchUp Sales Team

[Gd] Cool technologies to help visualize your models

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Official Google SketchUp Blog: Cool technologies to help visualize your models

To shake things up a bit, I want to talk about a few technologies that are simply jaw droppingly, eye poppingly cool - their "professional" use cases aside. Get your "techy" hat on and be ready to geek out. I hope you find them as fun and exciting as I do.

1) The first cool integration comes from Inglobe Technologies. Born from individuals in the Scientific Research and Design communities, their technology revolves around the creation of "Augmented Reality". What the heck is "Augmented Reality"? In short, it is the concept of combining reality with virtual reality.

Their new "ARplugin" for SketchUp will combine what you see through a standard computer video camera (reality) with your SketchUp model (virtual reality). With a simple click of their ARplugin tool and your model will export into the world of AR and you will be able to handle the model as if it is in you hand!

Just as we at Google SketchUp have preached "3D for Everyone", I was told that Inglobe too are evangelizing AR for anyone. So give it a try. They have a free download so you can try it out.

Sorry Mac lovers, but currently the ARplugin is Windows only but I have been informed that a Mac version is in the works.

Be sure to check out some of Inglobe's augmented reality videos on YouTube as well as others pertaining to the world of Augmented Reality.

2) The second cool integration is from a company called Deliverance Software out of the UK. Evolving from a terrain editing application for game developers and their work with the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, their product line allows you to insert your SketchUp model into a game like environment for you to do real-time walk throughs, fly overs and animations with your SketchUp designs. And if you have those 3D glasses, you can even set it for stereo view to get the 3D effect you see in 3D Movies.

The WalkAbout3D is their most basic product and it will allow you to load your SketchUp model into the engine directly while in SketchUp. Their enhanced product is called Symmetry3D and it will allow you to work with 3D terrain, load multiple 3D models, and create animations/simulations. They have posted multiple videos on YouTube showing both applications in action.

Posted by Chris Dizon, SketchUp Guru

[Gd] Join App Engine at SXSW

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Google App Engine Blog: Join App Engine at SXSW

Several of the App Engine team members are excited to be heading to Austin, Texas for SXSW Interactive 2009. SXSW always brings together an talented variety of web developers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. If you'll be there too, we'd love to meet and talk shop!
If you are interested in participating in an App Engine User Study while at SXSW, please fill out this form.

Sunday, March 14th

10:00 pm - 1:00 am

The App Engine team is joining forces with the Blogger and Reader teams for a bash "Read. Write. Drink." at Six Lounge (117 W 4th St @ Colorado). Come share a beer and tales of website building and hosting with us! Bring your SXSW Interactive Badge, or find an App Engine team member at the conference and ask for an invitation. Before the party, Engineers from the App Engine team, including Tech Lead, Kevin Gibbs, are having "office hours" from 8-10pm at Halcyon Coffeeshop (218 W 4th St) where we'll hang out, sip coffee and talk shop - we want to answer your tough technical questions and to help you learn if App Engine is a good fit for your application or business. 

Tuesday March 16th

10:00 - 11:00 am, Room 8

Kevin Gibbs, App Engine's Tech Lead, will be participating in the panel "Cloud Computing: Defending the Undefinable" along with Yousef Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and Werner Vogels, the CTO at Here's the panel description:
"The brave new world of cloud computing is radically changing how we build web applications. What is a platform, what is a service, and how will the future of web applications be built? More importantly, how do these various clouds compare, and what do the differences mean? Are they ready for your world-rockin' startup? In this panel, we'll get nerdy with technical details, you'll yell at us, and we'll argue why your app should already be in the cloud."

Monday March 16th

9th Annual 20x2 Event

7:00 - 9:30 PM, The Parish on 6th St in Austin

20x2 brings together 20 different participants from all walks of creative life and each person has two minutes to answer/interpret the same question before a live audience. The question for this show is "What's It Gonna Take?" App Engine team member Lindsey Simon will be speaking.

If you're in the area, stop by! If not, you can always leave feedback in our Google Group!

Posted by Lindsey Simon, Google App Engine Team

[Gd] Get up-to-date on Image Search

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Get up-to-date on Image Search

Webmaster Level: All

Recently at SMX West, I gave an Image Search presentation that I'd like to share with our broader webmaster community. The goal of the presentation was to provide insights into how image search is used, how it works, and how webmasters can optimize their pages for image searchers.

You'll see more information about:
  • Some background on the reach of Image Search
  • Interesting findings on the behavior of image searchers
  • Our efforts at handling multiple image referrers
  • How to best feature images (image quality and placement, relevant surrounding text, etc.)
Take a look and let us know your thoughts in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.

Posted by Peter Linsley, Product Manager

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

[Gd] AdWords Downtime: March 14, 10am-2pm PDT

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AdWords API Blog: AdWords Downtime: March 14, 10am-2pm PDT

We'll be performing routine system maintenance on Saturday, March 14 from approximately 10:00am to 2:00pm PDT. You won't be able to access AdWords or the API during this time frame, but your ads will continue to run as normal.

-Jeffrey Posnick, AdWords API Team

[Gd] Steve Souders: Life's Too Short, Write Fast Code (part 2)

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Google Code Blog: Steve Souders: Life's Too Short, Write Fast Code (part 2)

By Steve Souders, Member of Technical Staff

I've been working on a follow-up book to High Performance Web Sites called Even Faster Web Sites. As I finish chapters, I talk about the findings at conferences and tech talks. The first three chapters are Split the Initial Payload, Load Scripts Without Blocking, and Don't Scatter Inline Scripts. You can hear about those best practices in my video from Google I/O.

This talk presents the next three chapters: Couple Asynchronous Scripts, Use Iframes Sparingly, and Flush the Document Early.

The adoption of JavaScript is growing, but the blocking behavior of external scripts is well known. That's why it's important to use one of the techniques to load scripts without blocking (see the Google I/O talk). But loading scripts asynchronously means that inlined code that uses symbols from the script must be coupled in some way. Without this coupling, undefined symbol errors occur when the inlined code is executed before the external script arrives.

There are five techniques for coupling asynchronous scripts: hardcoded callback, window onload, timer, script onload, and degrading script tags. All of the techniques work. Degrading scripts tags is the most elegant, but isn't well known. Script onload is the most versatile technique and is the one I recommend people use. In the talk, I then go into detail, including many code examples, on how to load scripts asynchronously and use these coupling techniques to speed up your web page.

Iframes have a negative impact on web pages. They are the most expensive DOM element to create. They block the parent's onload event (although there's a workaround to this problem in Safari and Chrome). Also, the main page can block resources in the iframe. It's important to understand these interactions if you use iframes in your page.

Flushing the document early allows the browser to start rendering the page and downloading resources in the page, even before the entire HTML document has arrived. But getting flushing to work can feel like trying to get the stars to align. You need to understand PHP's output_buffering, HTTP/1.1's chunked encoding, Apache's DeflateBufferSize, the impact of proxies, minimum HTML size requirements in Safari and Chrome, and the need for domain sharding to avoid having the HTML document block other downloads.

If your company wants a better user experience, increased revenues, and reduced operating costs, the key is to create even faster web sites. For more information on these best practices, watch the video below and read the slides.

Check out other talks in this tech speaker series:

Monday, March 9, 2009

[Gd] Dev Update: Fixes New Tab/address bar focus

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Google Chrome Releases: Dev Update: Fixes New Tab/address bar focus

Google Chrome's Dev channel has been updated to This is a minor bugfix release. See the release notes for a complete list of changes. Find about the Dev channel and how to subscribe at

Notable Changes:
  • Fixed the address bar not getting focus when you open a new tab. You can once again press Ctrl+T and start typing.
  • Increased the amount we scroll when you use the mousewheel.
Known Issues:
  • Issue 8526 (and others): You might have issues with Google Chrome in maximized window when you change screen resolutions, exit the screensaver, or unlock the screen.
  • Issue 8438: Browser hangs if history page shows after clearing history
  • Issue 8456: History tab search tab eats every alternate clicks
  • Issue 8453: Regression: about:network dialog shows up behind current Google Chrome window
  • Issue 8399: Bookmarking a page not reflected on history page when open
  • Issue 8318: "Exit Full Screen" link does nothing
  • Issue 8372: Background paint issues with Task manager in maximized mode.
  • Issue 8289: Drag drop of bookmark from IE/FF crashes tab and then loads the page
  • Issue 8071: Javascript debugger doesn't come up for constrained windows
  • Issue 8040: Zoom is broken in [New Tab]
  • Issue 8527: No context menu with one tab
Let us know about any new issues you find by filing a bug.
--Mark Larson, Google Chrome Program Manager

[Gd] Software Update Available for the Android Developer Phone

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Android Developers Blog: Software Update Available for the Android Developer Phone

Back in December, the Android Dev Phone 1 (ADP1) went on sale, giving developers access to unlocked hardware for their work. A few weeks ago, consumers with retail devices received an over the air update with the 1.1 release of Android. I know that many developers will be pleased to hear that today, our colleagues at HTC have released a 1.1 version of Android for the Android Dev Phone which you can install on your device. If you have questions about the process of updating your device, you can ask the mailing list we've set up for such questions.

This new system image is fully compatible with Android 1.1. To see a list of everything that's new, you can review the notes from the 1.1_r1 SDK. This update also includes support for searching by voice, and priced apps in the Android Market.

Some developers have asked about the support for copy-protected apps on developer devices, and indeed there is a limitation you should be aware of. Many developers are concerned about the unauthorized redistribution of their applications, so they make use of the copy-protection feature (known as "forward locking") which prevents applications from being copied off devices. However, developer phones like the ADP1 allow for unrestricted access to the device's contents, making it impossible to enforce copy protection. As a result, the Market application on such devices is not able to access copy protected apps, whether they are free or paid. If you choose to add copy protection when you upload your application to the Android Market, then you won't be able to test it on the ADP1's Android Market client. Your application will always be accessible to users who have standard configurations though, and if your application (whether it is free or paid) is not copy-protected it will appear on all devices, including developer configurations.

If you own an Android Developer Phone, I definitely suggest you take advantage of this update. There's lots of good stuff in there, and the new software is backward compatible with Android 1.0, too. The original 1.0 system image is also now available, you need to downgrade for any reason. Happy coding!


[Gd] Now Accepting Applications for Google Summer of Code 2009

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Google Code Blog: Now Accepting Applications for Google Summer of Code 2009

By Leslie Hawthorn, Open Source Team

Google Summer of CodeTM, our flagship program to introduce college students to open source development, opens today. Over the past four years, we've seen nearly 2,500 successful students "graduate" from the program, and we're looking forward to welcoming another group of students for our fifth year. We're now accepting applications from open source projects who wish to act as mentoring organizations and will begin accepting applications from students on March 23rd. For more details, check out the Google Open Source Blog.


Sunday, March 8, 2009