Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Google IO 2011 (#io2011) - day one recap

The official Google code site  has the lowdown on all of the announcements that came thick and fast today (some 11 major items last time I checked and plenty of API revs and upgrades) and I won't replay them all here.

Specific announcements that interested me today:

Google Go is about to become an officially supported language on App Engine, alongside Python and Java (it's currently in "Trusted Tester" mode).

Rhetorical question: what value does a complete end-to-end technology stack with no overhanging IPR issues or blockers have to Google as a potential insurance policy in case the Oracle lawsuit does not go in their favor / be settled reasonably? Two things I heard today convinced me that there is now serious engineering investment going into Go (as opposed to a small, talented team cranking things out as they work down the list):

(a) The afore-mentioned App Engine support (this won't have been trivial to implement - Go is the first compiled language to run on App Engine after all for one thing)

(b) The info that a "comprehensive" Go library for ultimately all of the Google APIs is in development and will be with us "soon".

Go is a very nice language to write in, and the App Engine support announced today addresses one of the major gaps I identified when I took a look at Go when it was first released in Nov 2009.

Three final comments on day one:

1. Press articles I read in March / April this year about the +1 button being a make or break deal for Google to compete with Facebook seem overblown. The +1 button has merited just one session so far and apart from that you wouldn't even know Google had it. Either that or the memo didn't make it to the IO organisers in time.

2. It's instructive to watch Google see the mistake that companies like Sun Microsystems made and impressive to watch how they studiously avoid it. It's not enough to develop great code / software / hardware - you have to have people **using** it. Google's continued push into content ensures that usage. Google is not just the place you go to find content on the web, it's also where you consume that content (first youtube, but now books, movies and music too). I'm glad Google don't have a social network offering in their portfolio of services - they would be simply too powerful if they did.

3. Google IO seems to be **all** about Android so far - it's absolutely everywhere you look and consumed the entire keynote this morning (Ice Cream in Q4 that unifies tablet and phone, Futures (Android @ Home), open accessories etc.). Barring some crazy and unforeseen announcement tomorrow, I'd say Chrome OS has been given the last rites internally. But then again, who knows what day two will bring?

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