I went to Google
Developer Day today and learnt a lot. There's some very clever
people doing some very clever stuff.
The sessions I went to in the morning were iGoogle gadgets, which
is some very interesting stuff. We're thinking about using some of
this kind of stuff for usage indicators and the like. it's remarkably
easy to knock up a cool little gadget. Next was the YouTube where I
mostly read my emails, as I'm not that fussed.
OpenSocial is very interesting. The open approach definitely
appeals -- I was using Friendster, Orkut and the like long before
anyone discovered Facebook, and got pretty over the idea pretty
quickly. I'm quite interested in the possibilities of some social
networking apps, done right. Last.fm is brilliant, and gives me
information about music I really care about. LinkedIn is very good
for professional contacts, and does that one task well. So the open
API really appeals so you could integrate all your social networking
stuff. But from the sessions I went to, the OpenSocial stuff Google
has is alpha quality at best right now. I'm sure it'll improve quite
Mapplets was very interesting. It's much like the Maps API but
designed to let the user put your data in as a layer amongst many,
which has many possibilities. The presenter seemed very nervous
talking in front of the crowd, but he actually did a really good job
of explaining it, so hopefully he'll get over the nerves and become an
One of the items in the morning keynote was GWT, which is a toolkit
that allows developers to write Java code that compiles into optimized
amazing. Almost makes me want to learn the acronym-soup that is
Java. But not quite enough.
It was a great day, with as you'd expect from Google excellent
catering. Pretty amazing the stuff they turn on for developers, but
then I guess they get the opportunity to poach the best and
brightest. My only complaint would be the ditchwater coffee. It left
a bad taste in my mouth all day! Ugh. It was like the worst business
hotel or Amercian diner percolator shite. Maybe I'm just picky?