The Code Review: Ajax APIs galore, YouTube, and some I/O

MAR 21, 2008
By Dion Almaer, Google Developer Programs

I got to meet developers in Colorado this week. Working from the Google Boulder office with its fun climbing wall (*so* Boulder) was a treat, and there were several API announcements that were really exciting.

First of all we had the YouTube API update. The new APIs for YouTube are very broad. Not only do you have new access via AtomPub (e.g. to upload), but you can now have fantastic control of the player with a very simple JavaScript API.

In a matter of minutes I was able to create a simple HTML little language that allows me to annotate my YouTube videos with a table of contents that jump to the correct place.

To listen to the great new features, listen in below:

Then we had the rash of new AJAX APIs.

Google AJAX Language API:

The AJAX Search and Feeds team is happy to announce a new member to their API family -- the Language API. This new API boasts two functions, language translation and language detection - which cover 13 languages and 29 translation pairs.

All this with a couple of simple JavaScript calls such as this:

google.language.translate('Gato', 'es', 'en', function(result) {

Google Visualization API:

We are excited to launch the Google Visualization API, a new API designed for visualizing structured data. The API adds the ability to send queries to data sources and process the response. The first data source that already supports this API is Google Spreadsheets. We are also launching a set of visualization gadgets that use this API.

With this API, you can read data from a data source that supports the API. You can read an entire table, or you can run a query on the data source using the API's query language. The query response is an easy to process data table designed to simplify data visualization. It includes both the underlying values and the formatted values, column types, headers and more.

Staying with visualization and charting... we had a great response to the initial Google Chart API launch, and the team came back with new features allowing very cool new graph types, and lifting the limits on chart calls.

All of these APIs share the same property of doing their thing very well, and providing a simple API to the developer. I hope you will agree, and if not, let us know what you need!

In the land of Google Gears, a couple of external libraries were features. Malte Ubl provided a nice little abstraction for cross domain messaging which uses HTML 5 postMessage(), else Gears, else a browser hack to make the beast work on all browsers.

That is for Worker pools, and with the Database API we saw Aptana releasing an update to their server-side JavaScript database API allowing you to use the Gears API on the server.

Google Code itself got some love. We have improved performance on the site and Jacob Moon shared how we did so.

Then we added an interactive developer guide that allows you to try code on the fly as you go through the GData JavaScript API. It feels good to be able to massage and play as you go.

Finally, we announced Google I/O which is "a two day developer gathering on May 28th & 29th in San Francisco. The purpose of the event is to bring developers together to learn about products, tools, and techniques which are moving the web forward as a platform." If you would like to mingle and join Google engineers, and other Web luminaries as we discuss how to move the Web forward, join us!