Google highlights potential of mash-ups

Google has set out its building-block approach for application development, featuring mash-ups and open source software, at the Google Developer Day 2007 event in California.

Share

Google has set out its building-block approach for application development, featuring mash-ups and open source software, at the Google Developer Day 2007 event in California.

Mash-ups link different internet applications to form a new application. They are becoming the model for developers to build applications, said Jeff Huber, Google vice president of engineering, during a keynote presentation.

Other building blocks in the company's application development model include advertisements and standards, Huber said. Google expects developers will use technologies such as a MySQL database, the Linux operating system and programming languages such as Ruby, Python, or PHP.

Using these building blocks would allow developers to create powerful applications in "a tenth the time" as was previously possible, Huber said.

Google was using its developer tools in a bid to make the web better - a move that might result in boosting traffic to the Google home page but not necessarily, Sundar Pichai, Google director of product management, said. The newly announced Google Gears project, for example, involves an extension to make web applications work offline, Pichai noted.

"To us, we believe we benefit, users benefit, and everyone benefits if the web works better," Pichai said.

In addition to formally unveiling Gears during the morning presentation, Huber discussed two other products: Google Mashup Editor, an online editor for building mashups with a few lines of XML, and Google Mapplets, for putting online gadgets on maps. With Mapplets, an application could be built such as one that searches for hotels near an airport, according to Google.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, the company's president of technology, briefly addressed the audience in California. The internet, he said, has reached the point where systems can re-create themselves, such as a mashup editor that creates Internet applications using Internet applications. A compiler, meanwhile, can compile itself, Brin said.

"For the Internet to be truly self-sustaining, you really need to get the person out of the loop, and that's why we corralled all of you here in one room today," Brin said in jest.

On a more serious note, Brin thanked the audience. "We want to do as much as we can to repay the community that creates such a fantastic ecosystem for us to work in," Brin said.

The explosion in interest in Google of late can be attributed to its brand awareness, said blogger Frank Taylor, author of the Google Earth Blog and an attendee at the event.

"Obviously, they just have a huge brand awareness and an ability to reach many people through their search engine," Taylor said. Even when other companies do the same thing as Google, Google gets more attention, he said. Google also is attracting top talent, said Taylor.

Huber called 2006 a spectacular year for the company, with its introduction of technologies such as its AJAX search API, the Google Web Toolkit, and Google Project Hosting.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs