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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Language, Timothy! A simple Google Wave robot

posted by Duncan at 10:47 pm on January 3rd, 2010

In late May last year Google first announced ‘Google Wave‘ at their IO conference. If you haven’t already, I advise you read all about it, and watch the introductory video.

Now I heard about GW early on, but didn’t really make any time for myself to understand the concept, or find out about the inner workings. In fact, like may people I know, I just thought it was an exercise in swapping invites, and once I had one, and had a very quick play, I didn’t get it.

Well, now I’ve read all the documentation, watched the videos, understood the concept, I tend to agree with the team. This could indeed be a gamer changer. We do need something to replace the increasingly old fashion email (40 years old), and this not only does that, but merges in a whole bunch of tasks and possibilities as well. It could be the future.

Now for developers, one of the things that GW comes with is the Wave API. The API allows you to use and enhance GW in a couple of ways. By extensions, or by embedding GW in other web pages.

So in order to understand the API more, I thought I’d build a simple Extension. In this case a robot, that when added to your GW conversation, will remove all the bad words it catches people using. This simple example starts allowing me to understand how the API works, and how I interact with Waves, Wavelets and Blips.

Google Wave Robot

Now, it is a very simple example of what’s possible via the API and what will be possible in GW, but it’s a good example of how you get up and running with the Python SDK. I am of course assuming you have a App Engine account, and downloaded the SDK.

If you’d like to see the robot in action in a wave, just add the contact:

and then add this contact as a participant in your wave conversation you want monitoring. I only tried it in conversation with myself, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. The robot is also in the wave sample gallery.

As always, grab the code over at Github.

Is Chrome really just for Google

posted by Duncan at 9:22 am on September 3rd, 2008

So Google have just released their new web browser, Chrome (in beta on Windoze, other OS’s following soon). I’ve had a play and much like many other people have found it:

  • Lightning fast UI
  • Lightning fast JS execution thanks to V8
  • Lightweight, or at least it gives that impression as the UI is very, very simple
  • Stable *well this is to be seen, but each tab running with it’s own process should help*

Google Chrome

Now, I don’t think Google built this browser with the main intention of trying to compete with other browser vendors. I think they built it as a UI for all their web apps. If you want to use it to browse other websites, then obviously it does that just fine, but it has been optimised to make Google’s suite of web apps ( Gmail, Calendar, Docs etc ) run super smooth, like desktop apps, and with Gears you can work offline, like desktop apps. You can see this in the design; the V8 JavaScript Engine has been “specifically designed for fast execution of large JavaScript applications”, the fact that each tab runs in it’s own process. If you have Gmail in one tab, Calendar in the other, it’s the same as having two applications open, if one crashes the other one just keeps working fine. The simple UI design. It wants to be as simple as possible, if it’s just a frame for the application inside.

I think that people could end up using Chrome AND another browser in tandem, and just using Chrome for their web/desktop apps ( Email, Calendar etc ). I personally hate mixing my web browsing with email and calendar, it all gets so messy and I like to have that distinction.

I’d be interested in what other people think, and if/how they will use Chrome?

Googles Chart API does QRCodes .. very well

posted by Duncan at 4:05 pm on August 1st, 2008

They just make this stuff so simple and user friendly to use. A quick example. Here’s a QRCode for this site using Googles Chart API, with maximum error correction:×177&chld=h|1

Google now has Google Calendars

posted by Duncan at 10:17 am on April 13th, 2006

This is really nice. I’ve had a quick play today and it has better functionality that some dedicated apps I’ve used. There’s lots of JavaScript cleverness going on behind the scenes as per normal with the latest batch of google tools. Go have a play.

Google Earth for OSX now available

posted by Duncan at 9:54 pm on January 11th, 2006

I’ve been lucky enough to have had a copy for a while now on OSX Tiger and I have to say even after previously trying it on a PC, it’s amazing. It seems to be even better on a Mac but I think I’m just being biased. So anyway you can download Google Earth on OSX here.

Google maps the moon

posted by Duncan at 10:53 am on July 20th, 2005

In honor of the first manned Moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969, Google added some NASA imagery to the Google Maps interface to help you pay your own visit to our celestial neighbor. Try a full zoom for the comedy effect.

Google go satellite in London

posted by Duncan at 11:04 pm on June 29th, 2005

This is a quick post just to say that Google Maps have started to provide close satellite shots of the UK. So far personally speaking, I can only see my own flat in London, oh and check out the fact the shot was taken when a plane was flying over head. Also, because the shot is taken at a slight angle the actual position of our flat is slighly out on the satellite view. I can’t yet see my mums house down in Dorset, but hey they getting there. Man Google so rule the world right now.

Update: They have also released their API to the public at last. You can get an API key here. The documentation is here.

Google maps + flickr

posted by Duncan at 9:29 pm on May 23rd, 2005

I have only just seen this. These guys have hacked google maps and are using it to show flickr photo locations in. This process is known as GeoTagging and this is the cleverest version I have seen; and I might add, is apparently ok with google (so far). I also read whilst snooping that one of the google maps engineers hinted that google may well realease an API for google maps so people would no longer need to hack it. I look forward to this.

Google Maps UK

posted by Duncan at 10:28 am on April 19th, 2005

At last google have finally created Google Maps Uk. This is what we’ve all have been waiting for. I have briefly tested it with various peoples homes and random places and there is definately some minor tweaking to be done, but as an overview it’s amazing. I guess multimap and streetmap might as well pack there bags and go home?

Update: People have been having fun with google maps in the US since they added Keyhole satellite imagery. Here my favourite so far.

Google create Maps

posted by Duncan at 10:46 pm on February 10th, 2005

Even though I live in the UK, I have been playing with Google Maps since it’s new beta release. What a really clever bit of coding. It uses javscript and much use of the XMLHttpRequest object to access all the XML information in the background.

If the UK gets added to this mapping system, Muiltimap and Streetmap watch out!

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