Weekly Google Code Roundup: New Gears libraries, fixing mashups, GWT marries the iPhone, and more

September 28, 2007

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It was perfect timing for Doug Crockford, the legendary Ajax curmudgeon, to come to Google to discuss Gears and the mashup problem. The same week that he chatted about the issues that we face, we saw some innovation and fun mashups abound (for example, this Campaign Trails mashup created with the Google Mashup Editor).

Just a few days after we released the ability to do authenticated, cross domain mashups with Google Calendar the JupiterIT folk created Traffik, a mashup that combines your Google Calendar with a Google Map, allowing you to login to view private events and create news ones. It is great to see early experiments with the API such as the Digg Oracle's use of WorkerPool that we went into more detail on.

Vortex is another library that sits on top of Google Gears to add functionality through a nice layer of abstraction. The library will detect if you are online or offline, and have a system to handle one use case for sync issues. Brian Dunnington liked what he saw with the Dojo Offline Toolkit, and took a lot of the ideas from there, giving us a version that isn't coupled to a particular Ajax library. Libraries like this are exactly what we want to see. Gears is aiming to give the community rock solid, low level components, and we expect to see interesting abstractions on top. XMLHttpRequest is to Prototype/Dojo/GWT as Gears it to [insert your cool new offline framework here].

After the GWT 1.4 launch / coming out of beta was announced, Bob Vawter of the GWT team was able to let his hair down and he created a GWT application for the iPhone to see what the experience was like. His take-away was:

The Google Web Toolkit can be used to create applications that, in the same code base, work well on an iPhone and a traditional desktop browser.

You can read more about the development of the GWT Feed Reader.

In other GWT news we interviewed folks from Queplix, an open source CRM company, about their experience building their products which use a lot of GWT, various Google APIs, and even the Google Mini!

Sticking to JavaScript for just a touch more, the Google Maps API team have added a new Local Search Control which makes it simple to search the map that you are on. You can add this control to your Maps mashup with a line of JavaScript.

In other API news, Jeff Scudder announced a new release of the GData Python client library which gives you access to various new releases and a refactored codebase.

What else?

As always, check out the latest tech talks, subscribe to the Google Developer Podcast and visit the Google Code YouTube channel.