Friday, June 19, 2009

[Gd] Flash indexing with external resource loading

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Flash indexing with external resource loading

Webmaster Level: All

We just added external resource loading to our Flash indexing capabilities. This means that when a SWF file loads content from some other file—whether it's text, HTML, XML, another SWF, etc.—we can index this external content too, and associate it with the parent SWF file and any documents that embed it.

This new capability improves search quality by allowing relevant content contained in external resources to appear in response to users' queries. For example, this result currently comes up in response to the query [2002 VW Transporter 888]:

Prior to this launch, this result did not appear, because all of the relevant content is contained in an XML file loaded by a SWF file.

To date, when Google encounters SWF files on the web, we can:
  • Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
  • Discover links within Flash files.
  • Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
  • Support common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, such as SWFObject and SWFObject2.
  • Index sites scripted with AS1 and AS2, even if the ActionScript is obfuscated.
If you don't want your SWF file or any of its external resources crawled by search engines, please use an appropriate robots.txt directive.

Written by Janis Stipins, Software Engineer

Thursday, June 18, 2009

[Gd] The new Task Queue API on Google App Engine

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Google App Engine Blog: The new Task Queue API on Google App Engine

With release 1.2.3 of the Python SDK, we are psyched to present an exciting new feature - the Task Queue API. You can now perform offline processing on App Engine by scheduling bundles of work (tasks) for automatic execution in the background. You don't need to worry about managing threads or polling - just write the task processing code, queue up some input data, and App Engine handles the rest. If desired, you can even organize and control task execution by defining custom queues. A quick example:

# for each user, add a task to send a custom email message
for u in users:
params=dict(, subject='Hello ' +, body='this is a message!'))

return # finished now, emails will be sent offline when tasks execute


# task handler at /work/sendmail, automatically called for each task created above
class MailWorker(webapp.RequestHandler):
def post(self):

We're eager to help you learn and experiment with Task Queues. The team recently presented the feature at Google I/O and the video is now available (slides are here). We've also prepared a set of demos to help you get started. And of course, don't miss the feature documentation. The Task Queue API is Python-only for now; we'll have a Java language version available soon.

Please note that the Task Queue API is currently a Labs release - we want to get your feedback on its usability and functionality before finalizing the API. You'll notice that its Python import path currently includes the 'labs' module (google.appengine.api.labs.taskqueue). Before the feature is promoted out of Labs, we may need to:

  • Change the quotas and limits which apply to Task execution (definitely, we hope to raise the number of Tasks you can use per day).

  • Change the API itself if there are usability or functionality issues.

  • Change how we bill for Task Queue usage.

Once we're ready to promote the feature out of Labs, we'll give weeks of notice and provide a transition path for our developers.

Last but not least, the 1.2.3 release is full of other new stuff as well! Stay tuned to the blog for more updates or check the release notes for exciting info on:

  • Asynchronous urlfetch support

  • Django 1.0 support

Visit the Downloads page to get SDK 1.2.3 now!

The Task Queue API is the first milestone of our plan to deliver rich support for offline processing. There's more to come, but we hope the simplicity and power of this first release opens a new range of possibilities for our developers. Try it out and let us know! We'll be watching the Group for your input.

-- The App Engine Team

[Gd] Simple Update Protocol for User Activity Feed docs are now available

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YouTube API Blog: Simple Update Protocol for User Activity Feed docs are now available

At Google I/O 2009, we demoed a nifty sample application that tracks updates to any number of YouTube user activity feeds. The technology behind the application is the Simple Update Protocol (SUP), a simple and compact "ping feed" that enables your application to efficiently monitor changes to a large number of user activity feeds.

If you run a social network with tons of users who also happen to be active on YouTube, you should consider using SUP to let your users easily share their updates on YouTube with their friends through their social graph on your site. See the docs here.

Posted by Kuan Yong, YouTube APIs and Tools Team

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

[Gd] Dev Channel Update

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Google Chrome Releases: Dev Channel Update

Google Chrome has been released to the Dev channel for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Highlights for this release:

  • Lots of crash fixes and code stabilization.
  • All extensions now require signing, all unsigned extensions have been disallowed.
  • Extensions are, at least for the moment, disabled in incognito mode.
  • Fixed a session history bug which prevented proper backward and forward operation for certain sites.

Version Changes:
  • V8 - 1.2.8

The release notes are available as well as a detailed list of all revisions.

You can find out about getting on the Dev channel here:

If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug at

[Gd] Important Updates for Extension Developers

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Chromium Blog: Important Updates for Extension Developers

We're excited to see many people are experimenting with the upcoming extension features of Chrome in the dev channel. We're getting a lot of great feedback and are working hard to bring extensions to the stable channel as quickly as possible.

First of all, we've set up a new discussion group for extension-related topics. Going forward, chromium-extensions will be your one-stop shop for extension development news, feedback and questions. If you're interested in developing extensions, we invite you to join us at chromium-extensions.

Second, as part of the latest dev channel release, we've had to make a breaking change to the crx format. This change adds signatures to our package format, which are necessary to enable automatic updates. Unfortunately, this means that any existing extensions will stop working, and will have to be repackaged.
  • If you've developed an extension, you can learn how to repackage your extensions for Chrome v in the packaging doc on our developer site. Note that your extension ID will now be your public key, so you'll have to change any code that uses that.
  • If you're using an extension someone else has developed, you will have to reinstall it once the developer has repackaged it (as described above). We've already updated our sample extensions.
Even though the whole point of the dev channel is to make our APIs available early while they're still changing, we don't make these changes lightly. Once we push the extension system to the stable channel, breaking changes should be very rare (we'd like to say non-existent, but we don't want to jinx ourselves).

Posted by Nick Baum, Product Manager

[Gd] Reconsideration requests: Now with notifications

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Reconsideration requests: Now with notifications

If you've submitted a reconsideration request via Webmaster Tools, you've probably wondered what happens once Google receives it. We've always done our best to act upon these requests as quickly as possible, but until now we haven't notified webmasters once we've processed their requests.

As of last week, after your request has been processed, we'll confirm this by sending a message to your Message Center in Webmaster Tools. (Prefer to be notified by email? You can do that too.) Sometime after you receive a reconsideration request confirmation message, check your site's performance in search results. If it's doing well, it means that Google has reviewed your site and believes that it adheres to our Webmaster Guidelines. If your site still isn't performing well in search, we recommend reviewing our Webmaster Guidelines and also checking out these possible reasons why your site might not be doing as well as you expect.

Posted by Ben D'Angelo, Software Engineer, Search Quality

[Gd] GTAC: Call for Proposals

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Google Testing Blog: GTAC: Call for Proposals

Posted by Juergen Allgayer - GTAC Conference Chair

GTAC 2009: Testing for the web

The 4th Google Test Automation Conference brings together a selected set of industry practitioners around the topic of software testing and automation. This annual conference provides a forum for presentations and connects professionals with each other. To increase outreach, presentations are published online for everybody to see.

This years theme is Testing for the Web, topics may include:

  • Testing the UI of modern web applications (HTML5, Ajax)
  • Testing applications on mobile devices
  • Testing in the cloud
  • Web testing tools (Selenium, Webdriver and co)
  • Testing distributed asynchronous applications
  • Testing for web browser compatibility
  • Testing large storage systems
  • Load and performance testing
  • Finding and reproducing failures that matter
  • It seemed like a good idea (things you expected to work, but that didn't)

Presentations are targeted at experienced engineers actively working on problems of quality, test automation and techniques, but also include students and academics. We encourage innovative ideas, controversial experiences, problems, and solutions that further the discussion of software engineering and testing. Presentations are 45 min in length and speakers should be prepared for an active question and answer session following their presentation. While ideas are good, ideas refined by experience are even more interesting to participants at GTAC.

The conference is a two day event comprised of a single track of talks. Our philosophy is to engage a small set of active participants who all experience the same topics carrying the discussions into lightning talks, speaker Q&A, and topical discussion groups. Each year we have worked to identify a location that has a unique profile of technology professionals. This year the conference will be held at the Google office in Zurich, Switzerland on October 21 and 22, 2009.

Submission of Proposals

Please email a detailed and extended abstract (one page at most) to Your submission must include the name of topic, author(s), affiliation, and an outline of the proposed talk. We strongly recommend you to also submit one or two highlight slides of the talk. Submit your proposal before August 1, 2009. We will acknowledge reception within one business day. Where employer or disclosure authorization is needed, authors need to obtain it prior to submitting. The program committee will evaluate proposals based on quality and relevance. All submissions will be held confidentially prior to contacting the selected presenters.

Notification of Acceptance
Notification of acceptance will be sent out on or before August 8, 2009. Authors of accepted proposals will present at the conference and their talk will be made available to the public on YouTube.


GTAC requires authors to present at the conference and permit their presentation to be made available on YouTube.

To ensure active participation and provide a variety of technical perspectives, we select applying attendees. Further information will be published via a call for participation at a later time.

Important Dates
August 1 - Deadline for presentation proposals

August 8 - Notification of acceptance

October 21+22 - GTAC conference (Zurich, Switzerland)


If you have questions regarding the submission process or potential topics please email us at:

We will add more information to the Google Testing Blog as we get closer to the dates.


[Gd] Best practices for Product Search

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Best practices for Product Search

Webmaster Level: Beginner to Intermediate

If you run an e-commerce site and you'd like your products to be eligible to be shown in Google search results, then check out our "Product Search for Webmasters" video. In addition to the basics on Product Search, I cover:
  • Attributes to include in your feed
  • FAQs
    • Will my products' rankings improve if I include custom attributes in my feed?
    • Do product listings expire after 30 days?
    • How often should I submit my feed?

More information can be found in the Product Search Help Center.

Written by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

[Gd] TwilioBot: Bringing Phone Conversations into Waves

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Google Wave Developer Blog: TwilioBot: Bringing Phone Conversations into Waves

Evan is Co-Founder and CTO of Twilio and he shares his experience building twiliobot on the Google Wave API.

One of the powerful features of Google Wave is the ease with which developers can integrate it with existing APIs. Lars and Stephanie demonstrated several Wave extensions that leverage other APIs such as Mappy using the Google Maps API and Rosy using the Google Language API. At the Post-I/O hackathon, I used the Twilio API to extend Wave into the world of telephony.

The result was twiliobot, a robot written in Python that uses the Twilio Phone API to create "voice waves." When a user adds twiliobot to a wave, the robot automatically finds and transforms the phone numbers in that wave into click-to-call links. When a user clicks a link, a call is placed to the user's cell phone or landline and to the phone number in the link and the two are connected. The subsequent phone conversation can then be recorded, transcribed, and automatically inserted into the wave as text with a link to the audio of the conversation.

Phoning from a wave with twiliobot

Here is a video of twiliobot in action, and a quick look at the code:

You can view, download, and see instructions on using twiliobot here.

The twiliobot code in svn is still very much a work in progress. For example, there's currently no way to store your own phone number and the logic for recording and transcribing calls isn't checked in yet. We'll be working on improving twiliobot over the next several weeks. If you have patches or ideas please submit them to the issue tracker. Also, feel free to drop us a line at help at

Easy API Integration

If you are a developer and thinking about building something on top of Google Wave — do it! Google has provided an amazingly powerful API, and I bet you'll have real code running in Wave in under an hour. At Twilio, we appreciate what it takes to build a straightforward API. Check out our docs, demos, and sign up for 1000 free minutes you can use to experiment with phone integration for your Wave extension or web app.

A big thanks to the Google Wave team for the opportunity to attend the hackathon and experiment with the API.

Posted by Evan Cooke, Twilio

[Gd] Automatic transliteration for Custom Search

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Google Custom Search: Automatic transliteration for Custom Search

Posted by: Mohamed Elfeky and Adel Youssef, Software Engineers

Typing is harder in some languages than others! When you're searching for content in a specific language, it is often convenient to think in that language, but type in another, e.g., English.

We've just made this easier to do in Custom Search. We've enabled transliteration in Custom Search for a set of languages, making it easier to find news in Arabic, Indian news in Hindi, your favorite Bollywood song lyrics, or local content in a bunch of other Indic languages - Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Other languages will be enabled soon.

The Google Arabia blog recently posted information on Google Ta3reeb, enabling Arabic transliteration in various modes, including within Custom Search.

Here's a screenshot from, a website that has enabled transliteration in a set of Indian languages.

Users can type in English; automatic transliteration converts the query to Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, or Telugu, and helps find relevant content in that language.

Automatic transliteration can now be easily configured in the Custom Search control panel using the Language settings. It will enable conversion of Roman characters to the above languages, allowing users to search for content in these languages. After you turn transliteration on, you can select the specific transliteration languages your users can use.

After enabling transliteration, you can preview your search experience - a language button will show up before the search box, alerting users to the fact that transliteration is enabled, and that they can issue queries in that language while entering the queries in English. In fact, multiple languages can be selected for transliteration. As a query is entered, it is transliterated into the selected language in real-time.

Hit search, and results in the desired language are presented. Voila!

For more information on transliteration, you can check out our help center. As always, we're looking forward to your feedback on our user forum.

Monday, June 15, 2009

[Gd] Come hear about GWT at the Googleplex tomorrow night (June 16, 2009)

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Google Web Toolkit Blog: Come hear about GWT at the Googleplex tomorrow night (June 16, 2009)

For those of you in and around Silicon Valley, I'd like to invite you to see my Google Web Toolkit presentation titled "GWT Overview and Feature Preview" at the Silicon Valley Web Java User Group. I'll start with an overview of current GWT features and functionality. Towards the end I'll cover some of the features you can expect to see in GWT 2.0, many of which you can try out now if you don't mind creating your own builds. Of course there will be plenty of time for Q&A and some time to network with other developers in the community.

The meeting will be in the usual place on the Google campus. Please register here ( If you can't make this particular meeting, you can catch up on GWT when you have a moment by watching any of the Google I/O GWT session videos and slides you missed. If you live further away, you could always start a local Google Technology User Group.

Hope to see you there.

[Gd] Webmaster Central YouTube update for June 8th - 12th

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Webmaster Central YouTube update for June 8th - 12th

Want to know what's new on the Webmaster Central YouTube channel? Here's what we've uploaded in the past week:

Matt Cutts answered a few new questions from the Grab Bag:
Matt also went over a great example of whitehat linkbait:

And if you've ever thought about hiding text, here's one technique that didn't fool Google:

Feel free to leave comments letting us know how you liked the videos, and if you have any specific questions, ask the experts in the Webmaster Help Forum.

Posted by Michael Wyszomierski, Search Quality Team

Sunday, June 14, 2009

[Gd] Google Test Automation Conference 2009 - Zurich, Switzerland

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Google Testing Blog: Google Test Automation Conference 2009 - Zurich, Switzerland

We have already received several inquiries about this year's GTAC - thanks for your enthusiasm, here's the news you've been waiting for - we will host the GTAC 2009 October 21 and 22 at the Google offices in Zurich, Switzerland.

As with previous years, the focus of the conference will be on solving software engineering challenges using tools and automation. This year will have a special focus on "Testing for the Web". We are looking forward to getting together to sharing lessons learned and practical experience testing web apps, services, and systems. We are also encouraging a discussion on effectively testing apps and services for mobile devices.

We will have a call for proposals coming out very soon - watch this space!

One of the strengths of the conference is that it's driven by a peer group and vocal participation. As in previous years, GTAC is an invitation only conference to share great ideas and to have your thoughts challenged and refined. When you apply, we want you to tell us what ideas and questions you'll bring to the conference, and how you can further the discussion. We will open the application process in late July 2009.

Please send suggestions, questions and recommendations to:
or post your comments here to this blog.