RealTime IT News

Google Has Goodies For Developers

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With the passing of each fiscal quarter, it's increasingly clear Google's got a good thing going connecting the world to the fruits of Web developer labor. And it's not about to let up.

Today at its Google Developer Day event here, Google vice president Jeff Huber emphasized the search giant's plans to help developers "integrate, reach and build." In his keynote address, Huber brought out a series of company engineers to talk about the latest tools, Google Mashup Editor, Mapplets and Gears.

Starting with "integrate," Google  product manager Paul McDonald took the stage to help Huber explain Google Mashup Editor. McDonald said the tool is designed to help developers build mashups  --the small Web applications that tap into Google's various APIs--by providing server, hosting, data bases, and authentication and other Web services, all brought together in a single AJAX interface and coupled with an editing screen and easy access to Google-supported sandbox testing.

Turning to how Google can help developers with "reach," Huber touted the over 500 million unique visits to Google's site each month.

"The good news is we like to share," Huber said. He pointed to the room Google makes for third party Gadgets all over its network. For an example of the kind of impact this sharing can have, Huber pointed to a pair of small, seemingly simple applications--a PacMan gadget and To-Do list gadget--and drew an audible reaction from the audience after telling them those application developers combined to draw over 11 million unique visitors last week alone.

The idea behind Google Mapplets is that it will make these sorts of gadgets easier for developers to combine with Google Maps, thus making them even more appealing to the millions of visitors to Google's network. Examples Product manager Tai Tran demonstrated WalkJogRun.com, which makes a gadget available for those who want to use a Google Map in planning their exercise routes.

The last product manager to join Huber on stage was Othman Laraki, who detailed the new Google Gears, a Web browser plug-in that allows Web developers to add offline access to Web applications such as Google's own Gmail.. Google announced it's already used Gears to adapt its Google Reader application for use offline.

Huber stressed that Google hopes Gears will become an industry standard. Adobe  chief software architect Kevin Lynch, joined Huber on stage and gave Gears a strong endorsement.