Google Developer Day Berlin, 2011


Interesting day at the GDD Berlin. Didn’t learn anything that blew me away, but it was good to see Google’s enthusiasm for sharing their technology with developers. Still not convinced about DART, but the food wasn’t bad.

all the slides from GDD Berlin are now available online

Got to ICC Berlin at the ungodly hour of eight in the morning - but they had human beat boxes so that’s ok.

The introductory keynote was good. Two thing that caught my eye - with Ice Cream Sandwich you can put two mobiles back to back and tap one to whatever app is open at the time and it will be sent to the other device. That works with contacts, locations on a map, homepages of a game, etc.

And the Google+ Hangouts API is quite impressive, I see a lot of potential as a s cheap platform for broadcasting.

They also talked about Cloud SQL, and different type of certifications you can get for Google Apps.

Android Market for Developers, Sparky Rhode

Richard Hyndman wasn’t available, so the keynote was done by someone else, who obviously hadn’t had enough time to prepare. Doing the keynote while wearing lederhosen was also a not entirely successful idea. The slides looked interesting though, hoping to get hold of them at some stage. He mentioned RenderScript and provided a useful bit of information - do not just copy the sample code for the payment API as there are people scanning for it and they can replace it their ID for yours.

Working Off the Grid: HTML5 Offline, Ido Green

Didn’t go to this one, my colleagues did and said it was good. Slides for Working Off the Grid: HTML5 Offline

Using the Google+ APIs, Chris Chabot

I went to this keynote instead, very interesting all around. It is obvious that Google are being extremely cautious with social, but slowly they are opening it up. Chris Chabot is the public face of Google+ APIs, good to know.

Google TV: Open for Android Developers, Christian Kurzke

Another good one from Christian Kurzke. He suggested, among other things:

  • using the Search Provider API to add your app’s result to the TV “more search”

  • add more sound feedback instead of haptic (but quietish sounds that works in someone’s lounge)

  • use the open source Android remote software either as is, or as the basis for your own

  • he introduced 9 patch images

  • showed Panoramio as an example of a well designed app

  • pointed out the ‘safe area’ is actually registered at the top left corner;

  • mentioned the Geolocation API is based on the post code you enter when you register the TV, and there is also a Channels API

  • all apps in the Android Market can potentially appear in the GoogleTV list too, as long as they only use the allowed APIs (a subset of all the available ones); use aapk dump to check none of the disallowed ones is imported as a dependency

Modern Web Applications, Mike West

Mike West gave an excellent talk and put the slides up very quickly afterwards. Again, nothing entirely new, but still a good talk.

Dart: a new programming language for structured web programming, Anders Sandholm

So, then, Dart. It looks like JS the way “proper” engineers (i.e., Java / C++) would have liked it to be.

Anders started off by making the claim Dart is needed because (a) JS is not suited to large apps - not quite sure how Dart solves the problem; (b) JS is untyped - he didn’t say why that is a bad thing, after all it outlasted Java applets (remember them?), although he did hint at V8 optimization having reached the limit of what can be achieved with a dynamically typed language; and (c) JS doesn’t have a clean library model, (choosing to ignore ES6’s modules). All in all, not impressive enough for me, I wasn’t the only one walking out half way through.

GDD Berlin, a good event

It was an interesting day out, learnt some new things, but Berlin was the last stop of a two months long eight city tour, a lot of the information had been knocking around already for a while. Impressive turn out, and enthusiastic speakers.