Saturday, October 9, 2010

[Gd] Beta Channel Update

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Google Chrome Releases: Beta Channel Update

The Beta channel has been updated to 7.0.517.36 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame.

The majority of fixes in this release were related to stability and polish.  Of particular note, we also landed fixes for NTLM authentication and restored the ability to hide the most visited sites on the new tab page.  We've disabled plugin click to play for 7.0 (it will return in 8.0 once we've worked out some minor issues).

You can find more details about additional changes in this release in the SVN revision log.

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

Anthony Laforge
Google Chrome

Friday, October 8, 2010

[Gd] Webmaster Tools: Updates to Search queries, Parameter handling and Messages

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Webmaster Tools: Updates to Search queries, Parameter handling and Messages

Webmaster level: All

We've just released updates to several features in Webmaster Tools to provide you with more detail and more control of how your site appears in search results.

Search queries: Time does not stand still and neither should your site. With that in mind we've added a "Change" column next to the impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate (CTR) and position columns, making it easier to identify trends for each of these important metrics. The change column is tied to the date range you specify, which should help when you're trying to pinpoint when a particular change occurred.

Each query listed in Search queries now links to a query details page which includes a graph of impressions and clicks for that specific query, providing a quick visual of its performance in the search results over time. Below the graph is a table listing of the pages returned in search results for that query, along with impressions, clicks and CTR. Each column in the table is sortable, offering a quick way to re-sort the data based on what's most interesting to you. If you'd rather use your own favorite tool to slice and dice the data you can use the "Download this table" link to export all the information from the main Search queries page or from each individual query details page.

Better Parameter Handling: We've moved this feature under its own tab in the Settings section of Webmaster Tools, and introduced a new action to manage parameters. When we introduced Parameter Handling last year, we allowed you to specify URL parameters and whether they should be ignored or not. When you choose to ignore a parameter, you are telling us that this parameter has no impact on the displayed content. For example, consider a session id parameter, like “sid” in the following URLs:

Assuming that these three URLs display exactly the same product page for tasty Swedish fish candy, Google only needs to crawl and index one of them. You can simply select action “Ignore” for parameter “sid” in Webmaster Tools and Google will just crawl and index one of these URLs, avoiding duplicates.

In addition to the old functionality, you now have the ability to choose a specific value among the known values for a given URL parameter. This is important when a parameter is relevant to the content, but different values of this parameter lead to similar pages. For example, consider a sorting parameter, like “sort-by” in the following URLs:

These four URLs show products in the candy category. There are enough items in this category to fill two pages, and the products shown can be sorted by price, in ascending or descending order. Selecting action “Ignore” for parameter “sort-by” would be incorrect and could potentially limit our indexing of the site. This is because, after ignoring “sort-by”, we would consider the first two URLs equivalent and may choose to index the URL with ascending sort order. We would also consider the last two URLs equivalent and may choose to index the URL with descending sort order. In this scenario, we would be indexing the candy category inconsistently, with some candy products appearing in both of the pages selected for the index, while other candy products not appearing in either of them. The right solution comes from the new action “Use specific value” now available in Webmaster Tools. To avoid duplicates but still keep our indexing consistent, you can simply select action “Use specific value” for parameter “sort-by” and choose one of the valid values, say “asc-price”. After this, our indexing would be fully consistent, as we would focus only on the pages with products sorted by ascending price.

Messages: Some sites receive lots of messages in the Webmaster Tools Message Center. With this update we've added the ability to "star" specific messages that you deem important. There's now a separate "Starred" view where you can see all the messages that you’ve starred, making tracking and finding the most important messages for your site a breeze.

We hope these updates make Webmaster Tools even more useful for your site. Please post a comment if you have feedback on any of these updates; or if you have questions, post them in our Webmaster Help Forum.

Posted by Jonathan Simon, Webmaster Trends Analyst

[Gd] Control over your Autocompletions

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Google Custom Search: Control over your Autocompletions

Query autocompletion has been the most popular feature in the history of Custom Search. Users love it, and websites use it to help people find alternate queries that get them to the right information faster.

Since launch, one of the most commonly requested features has been administrative control over the autocompletions that surface when people start typing their queries. We’re happy to announce that you can now control inclusions and exclusions to autocompletions.

For example, on our sample restaurant review search engine, typing “che” triggers an autocompletion for “cheese” and not “cheese jalapeno poppers", one of our tasty snacks. Typing “chicken” did uncover “chicken livers” (ugh!) but did not propose “chicken tandoori”, an interesting menu item that we’d like to promote to our users.

With the new inclusion and exclusion options in the control panel, managing autocompletions is a breeze: we just added “cheese” and “chicken livers” to the list of exclusions, and inserted “chicken tandoori” and “cheese jalapeno poppers” into the included autocompletion list.

A few hours of processing, and the new autocomplete modifications kick in.

We hope you enjoy the new controls that further enhance autocompletions on your search engine. You can even upload included and excluded autocompletions in bulk in the control panel. Let us know if you have any feedback, and enjoy your spicy cheese poppers!

Posted by: Andy Herrman, Software Engineer and Salmaan Rashid, Senior Technical Solutions Engineer

[Gd] Android Market New Country Roll-out Details

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Android Developers Blog: Android Market New Country Roll-out Details

[This post is by the Android Market team. — Tim Bray]

Last week, we announced that over the next two weeks, users in 18 additional countries would gain the ability to purchase paid apps from Android Market. Effective today, users can now see paid apps in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Taiwan.

For users to make a purchase of paid apps in these countries, they must have the latest Android Market client, which we have started to make available as a self-update and should reach all users within the next few days. This is a silent update; users will not see a notification and will not be prompted to do anything. If you want to accelerate the self-update process, launch Android Market, navigate back to the Home screen, and after 5-10 minutes, relaunch it. For more details, please refer to the Help Center.

No action is necessary if you have targeted your paid apps to be available to “All Locations” and would like to launch in these additional countries. If you have not selected “All Locations” and would like to target these additional countries, or if you have selected “All Locations” and do not want to launch your apps in these additional buyer countries, please visit the Android Market publisher site to make the necessary adjustments.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

[Gd] PubSubHubbub for YouTube Activities

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YouTube API Blog: PubSubHubbub for YouTube Activities

PubSubHubbub, for those not in the know, is a server-to-server protocol for notifying interested parties of events they’re interested in. Notifications are pushed out to subscribers via HTTP web hooks, which offers efficiencies over polling-based solutions. With PubSubHubbub, your server finds out about events in near real-time, without having to determine the optimal polling interval or repeatedly fetch individual activity feeds that haven’t changed.

We’re happy to announce that it’s now possible to subscribe to three types of YouTube user events via PubSubHubbub: video uploads, new subscriptions, and video favorites. The subscription requests need to be made on a per-user basis, so you will only receive updates for specific users that you’re interested in.

Your code can look for our PubSubHubbub hub address in the href attribute of the top-level <link rel='hub'> element in uploads, subscriptions, and favorites feeds. For example, the feed exposes the hub address in the <link rel='hub' href=''/> element.

More details on the PubSubHubbub can be found in the specification document. If you’d like your server to receive YouTube user event updates via PubSubHubbub, this list of libraries is a good place to start.

-Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team, in conjunction with the PubSubHubbub Team

[Gd] V8 Benchmark Suite Updated

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Chromium Blog: V8 Benchmark Suite Updated

The V8 benchmark suite contains a number of pure JavaScript benchmarks that capture the areas in which a JavaScript engine has to perform well to support the well-structured, maintainable, and high-performance web applications of tomorrow. These benchmarks have been useful for us when optimizing the V8 JavaScript engine and we have found that making them run faster leads to better performance for many of the web applications we enjoy using every day.

Today we have released version 6 of the V8 benchmark suite. The main changes are in the RegExp and Splay components of the benchmark suite. For reference, we describe each of the existing benchmarks in the suite below, along with any changes made in version 6.

RegExp: Regular expression benchmark generated by extracting regular expression operations from 50 of the most popular web pages. The regular expressions are exercised a number of times to reflect their popularity on those top 50 web pages. Changed in version 6: each regular expression is now exercised on a number of different input strings instead of just one.
Splay: Data manipulation benchmark that modifies a large splay tree to exercise the automatic memory management subsystem. The benchmark builds a large splay tree in a setup phase and then measures how fast nodes can be added and removed. Changed in version 6: no longer converts the same numeric key to string repeatedly and updates the splay tree in a way that increases the pressure on the memory management subsystem.

Richards: Operating system kernel simulation benchmark originally written in BCPL by Martin Richards. The Richards benchmark effectively measures how fast the JavaScript engine is at accessing object properties, calling functions, and dealing with polymorphism. It is a standard benchmark that has been successfully used to measure the performance of many modern programming language implementations.

DeltaBlue: One-way constraint solver, originally written in Smalltalk by John Maloney and Mario Wolczko. The DeltaBlue benchmark is written in an object-oriented style with a multi-level class hierarchy. As such it measures how fast the JavaScript engine is at running well-structured applications with many objects and small functions. Changed in version 6: fixed a couple of typos that do not have any impact on the behavior of the benchmark.

Crypto: Encryption and decryption benchmark based on code by Tom Wu. The benchmark encrypts an input string, decrypts the result and verifies that encryption followed by decryption yields the original input. The encryption/decryption algorithm is RSA and the benchmark measures the performance of arithmetic operations on integers and array access.

RayTrace: Ray tracer benchmark based on code by Adam Burmister. The benchmark measures floating-point computations where the object structure is constructed using the Prototype JavaScript library. Changed in version 6: removed dead code that has no impact on the behavior of the benchmark.

EarleyBoyer: Classic Scheme benchmarks, translated to JavaScript by Florian Loitsch's Scheme2Js compiler. The benchmarks exercise important areas of the JavaScript engine such as object allocation, data structure manipulation, and garbage collection. The translated nature of the benchmarks make them appear foreign, but the runtime characteristics of the benchmarks are highly representative of many real world web applications.

Curious to know how your browser performs? Give it a spin on the new version of the V8 benchmark suite.

Posted by Kasper Lund, Software Engineer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

[Gd] Dev Channel Update

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Google Chrome Releases: Dev Channel Update

The Chrome Dev channel release has been updated to 7.0.544.0 for all platforms.  It contains a number of changes including the following updates:

  • Make it possible to completely hide sections in the NTP (hit close button that appears on hover of section header)
  • Numerous stability fixes
More details about additional changes are available in the SVN revision log.  If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug. Want to change to another Chrome release channel?  Find out how.

Jason Kersey
Google Chrome

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

[Gd] Join us at the Wave Protocol Summit

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Google Wave Developer Blog: Join us at the Wave Protocol Summit

The Wave in a Box project is shaping up well and we're now posting regular progress reports to the group forum (the most recent is here). We've also created a list of starter projects, easy tasks for developers to get started contributing to the codebase. You can chat with some of the Wave engineers at the upcoming online office hours (in Google Wave). The next one is on Monday (Tuesday down under) - details are in the forum.

To bring the developer community together we are hosting a Wave Protocol Summit in San Francisco, November 2010. Through the summit we aim to grow the Wave developer community, share technical knowledge, and discuss the future of Wave technology and its community. The summit will be targeted towards technical people interested in using, contributing to, or building on Wave technology. Content will include:

  • technical talks on specific aspects of Wave technology,
  • problem solving around open technical issues,
  • discussions about project organisation and governance, and
  • group coding sessions (fun!).

The summit will be three days of talks and discussion (November 8 - 10) followed by two days of coding (November 11 - 12) on Wave in a Box and federation. We're still working out the detailed schedule, so stay tuned to the forums for further details (and give your feedback).

If you would like to join us, you can request a seat (due to capacity constraints, we'll confirm your seat in the coming weeks). To help improve the summit, please also suggest or request session content of particular interest to you.

In the meantime, see you on the forums!

Posted by Alex North, Google Wave team.