Google Developer Day

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 quickly though.

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 excellent presenter.

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 JavaScript. The integration he was demonstrating with Eclipse was 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?