Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GDD08: The Opening Keynote

The keynote is apparently about what Google is doing for developers, and why we should care...

The opening keynote

The keynote is a hard sell for the "open web". Google believes that the browser is the client, but that modern web applications are pushing the limits of what is possible in the browser. We're getting a demo of some of the multi-process architecture of Google Chrome, and it's actually pretty impressive. I've already managed to test Chrome out, despite it currently being Windows only, and so far I must admit I'm pretty happy with it...

Next up is Gears, designed to allow you to extend the browser and enable richer web applications. The latest release has some interesting new APIs, the GeoLocation API, the Blob API and onprogress( ) events.

We're now talking about the cloud and, amougst other things, Google App Engine and the scalability advantages of using the Google infrastructure instead of your own.

Android running on mystery hardware

Moving on Mike Jennings is taking the stage, and demo'ing Android running on real hardware, amusingly with the vendor's logo taped over, although it looks like an HTC handset. The device has wireless, 3G, GPS touch-screen and accelerometers, looks good...

After the hardware demo we're back to talking to client, cloud and connectivity and GWT. A set of open source tools and libraries for writing really large scale AJAX applications. At a high level GWT is about writing your web applications in the Java programming language and cross-compiling to Javascript that is guaranteed to work on IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome.

The final topic in the keynote is Open Social, many sites, one API. But not, unfortunately, Facebook...

...and we're done. The rest of the day is devoted to more in-depth technical sessions.

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