Google Wave API and Google Web Toolkit for Web Developers

By Scott Clark

Last week we discussed the Google Feed API v2, Google Cloud and the WebM project. This week we'll show developers how they can use the Google Wave API and Google Web Toolkit, and tell you about the Chrome Web Store while we're at it!

Google Wave for Online Communication and Collaboration

Google Wave enables users to communicate and collaborate on the web. A "wave" is comprised of equal parts conversation and document, and allows your users to communicate and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. It is actually a platform with a rich set of open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to embed these waves in other web services as well as build extensions that work inside the waves.

The Google Wave API enables developers to use and enhance Google Wave two ways:

  • Extensions: You can create robot extensions to automate repetitive tasks or create gadget extensions to provide unique ways for users to interact. If you're interested in the Google Wave Robot API, there is new information about it here.
  • Embed: You can make your site more collaborative by dropping in a wave. The Embed API now includes support for anonymous (i.e. users without a Google Wave account) to view the wave content without write access.

Chrome Web Store: An open marketplace for web apps

This was another Google announcement we couldn't leave out. Announced recently, the Chrome Web Store is scheduled to open later this year. End users will find a wide range of web applications there, while web app developers will be able to reach millions of new users, since the only apps the Chrome Web Store will accept are written in HTML, JavaScript and CSS, and should run in any standards-compliant web browser, on any OS.

For information about how to prepare your web application for their store, you can read Google's initial Chrome Store App documentation and/or join their developer discussion group.

Here is a video from the Google I/O Conference last week which discusses the Chrome Web Store:

The Google Web Toolkit 2.1

The Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a development "toolkit" which enables developers to create and optimize complex browser-based applications. It's used by many Google products and services, including Google Wave and Google AdWords and is open source--and free. Google Web Toolkit 2.1, which was introduced last week at Google I/O, includes the following new features:
  • Data Presentation Widgets enables developers to create efficient views on top of large data sets. For your site's users this means the initial load is faster, and the data presentation widgets use a 'flyweight' design.
  • The MVP Framework is an app framework which makes it easy for developers to connect Data Presentation Widgets with data. Using this framework you can create views that are "focused on displaying data, Activities and an AcivityManager which are the 'presenters'."
  • Server-side Speed Traces - Speed Tracer is a tool that enables identification and performance problem solving in web applications, not just client-side code issues.
You can download the latest GWK here, and it includes the SDK, Speed Tracer and the Google Plugin for Eclipse. Here is some footage from Day 1 keynote at Google I/O 2010 where they discuss the GWT:

Additional Google Tutorials

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