Code Review: JavaScript, Gears, GeoLocation, Android, and more

AUG 28, 2008
By Dion Almaer, Google Developer Programs

Code Review is produced in a variety of formats, from text to audio (iTunes) and video.

The last several days have been exciting. We are seeing great new technology that can enable us to do new things, and have old things run a lot better.

Mozilla announced TraceMonkey, which promises large JavaScript performance improvements based on their trace based JIT technique. This, which backs on to the earlier SquirrelFish announcement from Apple and the WebKit team, and IE8 beta 2 arriving today with performance improvements too.

Running a new browser and seeing Gmail get a lot faster is just as good as buying a new computer to get a speed up!

Gears 0.4 has been released and people have picked up on the main points.

One side is Geolocation, and the two new ways to access location data through Gears and the Ajax APIs.

As an experiment, I wrote a shim that would bridge the W3C Geolocation API that Andrei Popescu of the Gears team is editing, and the other APIs. This is shown via a simple Where are you? sample application.

Giving you access to location information is fantastic, but this isn't all Gears 0.4 has to offer.

The new YouTube multi-file upload page gives you the ability to upload many files, with progress on the upload, and the ability to resume uploads after a connectivity problem. Brad Neuberg wrote a sample that ties together the new APIs (Blob, HTTPRequest improvements, Desktop API file system addition) and shows how you could create the experience too.

For more of this content, you can follow our two new series: Open Web Podcast, and the State of HTML 5.

Mobile News

A much awaited SDK update from Android that includes the new Home screen and many UI changes. New applications are also added (Alarm Clock, Calculator, Music player, etc) and new APIs and developer tools.

We also continue to add iPhone-friendly views of the Google world. THe latest is the Google Translate view.

Been playing with Google App Engine? If so, you should be aware of datastore updates that give you the ability to do batch updates, and discussions of indexing improvements. It is fascinating to watch cool new applications: from mini-services, to full applications, to platforms themselves, giving App Engine a go.

Open Source

The Google Summer of Code is moving along, and since we are now in August we get to see the progress that the students that have been flipping bits and not burgers this summer. One example is the work of 6 students working on the Git version control system.

Steve Weis has released Keyczar, a "toolkit that makes cryptography safer and easier to use". We all commonly make mistakes including the wrong cipher modes, bad algorithms, or working with keys incorrectly. Keyczar has got your back, is there to help keep your code secure.

Speaking of security, Thomas Duebendorfer of our Swiss office gave a talk titled Are internet users at risk? that delves into the practices of browsers and plugins, and how they update themselves. This just reaffirmed my desire to have silent updates getting pushed to me to keep me more secure!

Another video that we published that caught my eye was Where the hell is Matt?. Matt Harding is the guy who you may have seen on YouTube dancing badly around the world. We got him to the office and he chatted on his adventures. If you find yourself waiting for a compile (or a Map Reduce) this Friday, give it a watch while you wait.

Finally, registration opened up for the Google Developer Day events in India, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Russia. These join the first wave of events in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain. I really hope that we get to see you at one of those locations!

As always, thanks for reading, listening, or watching, and let us know if there is anything that you would like to see.