Starting on GWT

One of the discoveries made at Google I/O was the Google Web Toolkit (or GWT). I’m currently starting to learn how to use it to build a tool to curate our various data on Chinese media and potentially other projects.

I used to use Yahoo! User Interface (or YUI), which is not bad at all, but just a totally different model of Web user interface development.

Mes impressions de Google I/O (in French)

When I was at Google I/O 2010 last month, I found this cool YouTube upload booth, and decided to talk to it. I made a video explaining my thoughts up to Day 2 (in the morning), right after they had made the announcement for Google TV.

Not so much like what we might have thought, Google TV is to me another impressive demonstration that Google seeks to bring the power of the Internet to more places and hopefully make the Internet experience more and more seamless (more voice and gestures, and less keyboard and mouse).

Google I/O 2010 (Day II): Google TV, the HuffPost, NYTimes

Thursday, May 20:

Google TV

The second and last day of Google I/O was expected to be the big day for announcements. Google did not disappoint, when during the keynote speech, it unveiled the latest version of Android named Froyo and the much-anticipated Google TV.

Google calls Google TV an “experience”. In fact, it is a system that will be built in to television sets, blu-ray players and boxes that plug into HDTVs. It is not IPTV (television over the Internet) or an alternative to satellite dishes.

It would be simplistic to say that it is what Google does best, search, only that it is made for television. It is merely just Google entering your living room by the front door.

One of the most interesting feature of Google TV is that one of its most fundamental building pieces is the Android operating system (OS).

Known as the operating system for mobile devices (and recently of tablets and netbooks), the OS with the Green Robot expands to the big screen. In effect, developers writing applications for mobile phones can now consider writing them for the, now not so small, small screen.

Android 2.2 Froyo

To users, some of the new improvements of Android Froyo are obvious, such as support for Adobe Flash and official wifi tethering (sharing your phone’s internet connection as a personal wifi hotspot).

To developers, Froyo also opens a world of possibilities. The Cloud to Device Messaging Framework (a “push” technology) is intriguing. It would allow, for example, a user signed into his or her Google account on a computer paired with an Android phone to click on a link to, say a restaurant, and the mobile handset would immediately call the number. Now, what if a user could interact with the “cloud” using a remote control?

The following video contains a demonstration of the Cloud to Device functionality with real-life applications:

Digital journalism at Google I/O

Huffington Post at Google I/O

The Huffington Post

Noteworthy booths at the Developer Sandbox, a demo area occupying the first floor hall of Moscone West where the Google I/O was held, included The New York Times and the Huffington Post.

The HuffPost’s chief technical officer, Paul Berry, said the Post does not have project managers. Editors are thoroughly engaged in the production process. Ideas circulate fast between editors, Berry and developers, and can become published media product within days.

The New York Times

Over at The New York Times, software developer Andre Berhens was behind the wheel.

An interesting discussion ensued about the organizational structure of digital media companies, specifically the fine balance between having flexible resources and specialists in different roles (project/product managers, developers, designers, integrators).

Berhens is the man behind Times Skimmer, a beautiful and elegant website made in the new HTML5 standard. He makes use of Web workers (a browser feature to run scripts in parallel, thus overall much faster) and CSS transitions (in rendering animations for instance).

The New York Times is well-known in the media developer community for Open and Times Developer Network.

A Google I/O session

Google I/O 2010 Developer Sandbox

Google I/O Facts
– Held in late May since 2008
– Two days of Google I/O, one bootcamp day
– 5,000 developers
– 90 sessions

Originally posted on the main JMSC website