Simon Willison’s Weblog

279 items tagged “google”


The Google App Engine model class, db.Model, is not the same as the model class used by Django. As a result, you cannot directly use the Django forms framework with Google App Engine. However, Google App Engine includes a module, db.djangoforms, which casts between the datastore models used with Google App Engine and the Django models specification. In most cases, you can use db.djangoforms.ModelForm in the same manner as the Django framework.

Google App Engine docs # 8th April 2008, 1:48 pm

Running Django on Google App Engine. Django 0.96 is included, but you need to disable the ORM related parts and use the Google App Engine Bigtable interface instead. # 8th April 2008, 1:15 pm

Google App Engine. Write applications in Python using a WSGI compatible application framework, then host them on Google’s highly scalable infrastructure. The most exciting part is probably the Datastore API, which provides external developers with access to Bigtable for the first time. # 8th April 2008, 7:25 am

An OpenSocial Foundation. “Today we are pleased to announce that Google is joining together with Yahoo! and MySpace in the creation of a non-profit foundation for the open and transparent governance of the OpenSocial specifications and intellectual property.” Good move; I’d personally love to see this happen with Google Gears. # 25th March 2008, 2:51 pm

Introducing the Google Contacts Data API. Brilliant! (and about time)—now there’s no excuse for asking your users for their Gmail username and password so you can import contacts from their address book. Yahoo! and Microsoft need to catch up on this one fast. # 6th March 2008, 11:29 pm

The real reason Google’s clicks are flat. Rich Skrenta explains that Google’s recent reduction of the clicable area in Adsense ads, while reducing click-throughs by 60%, will eventually balance out due to non-accidental click-throughs being worth more to advertisers. # 4th March 2008, 4:34 am

Social Graph API. This is freaking awesome. Input one or more URLs to your profile pages and it returns a huge dump of crawled relationship data, based on XFN, FOAF and OpenID links. No API key required and it supports JSON callbacks so you can incorporate it in to a site without even needing to write any extra server-side code. # 3rd February 2008, 10:34 pm

New feature: Blogger as OpenID provider (via) You can now enable your Blogger blog as an OpenID. # 18th January 2008, 1:38 pm

Poorly Macbook, ineffective error message design. Nat’s MacBook died the other day, throwing out some impressively meaningless error symbols. How exactly are you meant to Google for a circle with a line through it? # 13th January 2008, 11:31 pm

Google apps for your newsroom. How the LJ World team use online tools like Google Spreadsheet, Swivel, ManyEyes and Google MyMaps to collaborate with the newsroom and build data-heavy applications even faster. # 7th January 2008, 9:24 pm

Everyone applauds when Google goes after Microsoft’s Office monopoly [...] but when they start to go after web non-profits like Wikipedia, you see where the ineluctible logic leads. As Google’s growth slows, as inevitably it will, it will need to consume more and more of the web ecosystem, trading against its former suppliers, rather than distributing attention to them.

Tim O'Reilly # 1st January 2008, 11:29 am


OpenID and Google’s Blogger. Blogger gets it wrong by displaying a nickname derived from the OpenID URL (in Malcolm’s case, “blog”) instead of the user entered nickname. # 30th December 2007, 10:35 am

EU: Microsoft’s Last Stand Against Google’s Acquisition of DoubleClick. Notable for some truly incomprehensible chartjunk from Microsoft. # 27th December 2007, 12:26 pm

David Airey: Google’s Gmail security failure leaves my business sabotaged (via) Gmail had a CSRF hole a while ago that allowed attackers to add forwarding filter rules to your account. David Airey’s domain name was hijacked by an extortionist who forwarded the transfer confirmation e-mail on to themselves. # 26th December 2007, 12:16 pm

Google Reader ruins Christmas (via) New sharing feature automatically reveals shared items to Gmail contacts, causing political rows. # 25th December 2007, 2:59 pm

ExtInfoWindow 1.0: Ajax powered, CSS customization. Finally, a semi-official way of creating customised info windows for the Google Maps API. You lose the default shadow but gain the ability to style the entire info window using CSS. # 15th December 2007, 12:22 pm

Negative numbers in the Google Chart API. Stuart has some ingenious tricks for showing negative values on Google Charts, based on transforming the data to positive values and then relabeling the axes. # 8th December 2007, 9:03 am

Unfortunately, I was shocked, horrified and moderately surprised to see that nowhere is there any mention of how to encode negative numbers. Google, I appreciate you trying to help, and I understand that this grew out of needs for Google Finance, where stock prices can never dip below zero. But there’s really not that much data out there in the real world that always exists solely above the origin.

Marty Alchin # 7th December 2007, 4:47 pm

Google Chart API (via) Really neat charting API from Google—simply encode your chart data and configuration options in to a URL and Google will serve up a nicely rendered PNG. No API key required. It’s like a documented version of the Google Groups rounded corners API. # 6th December 2007, 5:37 pm

The companies that couldn’t beat Microsoft have all died, and evolution has resulted in three very different types of companies that are each immune to Microsoft’s strategies in their own way. Yet all are still vulnerable to the same thing: a better product. For the end users, this is a good position for the industry to be in.

Ian Hickson # 6th December 2007, 3:43 pm

Blogger: OpenID commenting (via) I may be wrong, but I think this is the first Google property to support OpenID in any way. # 30th November 2007, 7:10 pm

google-axsjax (via) “The AxsJAX framework can inject accessibility enhancements into existing Web 2.0 applications using any of several standard Web techniques”—including bookmarklets and Greasemonkey. The enhancements conform to W3C ARIA, supported by Firefox 2.0 and later. # 14th November 2007, 5:18 pm

Gmail Greasemonkey API (via) The new version of Gmail includes API hooks for Greasemonkey script authors. The documentation is by Mark Pilgrim, author of Greasemonkey Hacks. # 7th November 2007, 10:38 am

Figuring out OpenSocial

So it’s out, and lots of people are talking about it, but I’m still trying to work out exactly what it is. There seem to be two parts to it: a standardised set of GData APIs for accessing lists of friends and their activities (like the Facebook news feed) and a bunch of JavaScript APIs for enabling developers to write hostable widgets and “container sites” to embed those widgets.

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“The web is fundamentally better when it’s social, and we’re only just starting to see what’s possible when you bring social information into different contexts on the web,” said XXXX.

Google's unreleased OpenSocial Press Release # 31st October 2007, 6:39 pm

Marc Andreesen on Open Social. Marc describes it as an open standard for implementing Facebook style “containers” that other applications can live in. My initial assumption that it was an implementation of the Social Graph paper ideas was incorrect. # 31st October 2007, 4:58 pm

Google Announces the OpenSocial API. I doubt the similarity between this and Brad Fitzpatrick’s social graph paper are a coincidence—what IS impressive is that he only joined Google a couple of months ago. # 31st October 2007, 4:34 pm

Mailplane (via) A commercial OS X Gmail client built around a site-specific browser. # 25th October 2007, 7:57 am

The password anti-pattern. What I don’t understand is why Google / Yahoo! / other webmail providers haven’t just deployed a simple OAuth-style API for accessing the address book. Sites have been scraping them for years anyway; surely it’s better to offer an official API than continue to see users hand out their passwords? # 12th October 2007, 9:25 am

BarCampLondon3. 24th-25th of November in Google’s London offices (by Victoria train station). The last BarCamp London was a blast—I’m really looking forward to this. # 10th October 2007, 5:20 pm