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Per this post on the Google Blog, we're posing a challenge to college and university students in the United States - the Google Gadget Awards! Here are the details:
  • Both universal and desktop gadgets are accepted
  • Submissions are due November 1, 2006
  • Submitted gadgets will be testable while the contest is on
  • Winners will be announced in December
  • Awards categories include: Best overall gadgets (both universal and desktop), Most useful gadget, Most intelligent gadget, Gadget most likely to help you get a date, Most addictive gadget, Prettiest gadget, and Top university for gadget submission
  • The panel of judges includes: Chris Anderson, John Hennessy, Rob Malda, Randy Bryant, and Gina Pell
The Rules page has further details - time to get hacking!

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Post by Michael Bolin, Software Engineer, Google Calendar

Google Calendar recently added support for some fun new features: you can now access the weather, phases of the moon, and even recent Google Doodles directly from your calendar. These new calendars are based on a kind of event we've added to Google Calendar, which we call "web content events." The idea is simple -- it's often useful to have content in your calendar that isn't about a specific meeting or appointment; you might want to see the scores from your favorite sports team, or see when your friends have posted new photos.

By using web content events, publishers can now expose web content of any sort directly within Google Calendar, simply by publishing a calendar with some specific additional fields, or using the Google Calendar Data APIs to programmatically modify a calendar.

We think this opens a whole new world of calendar content, and we're excited to see what developers and publishers will come up with. For more information on how to create a web content event calendar, take a look at our tips for getting started.

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Mark Lucovsky's been doing more interesting hacking with the AJAX Search API, only this time it's in the context of a weblog: http://ajaxsearch.blogspot.com/

A post on the API's blog explains some of his tweaks and integrations:
  • Google Search form in the sidebar does parallel searches of several indexes, as well as site-restricts
  • Video Search form in the sidebar returns results (and can play them) inline
  • Map Search is scoped/embedded in the sidebar, and can be augmented with searches/favorite places/etc.
  • javascript: URLs can drive the any of the sidebar's Search API modules

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Several students who participated in GSoC 2006 have been invited to present at universities and conferences worldwide:

Anant Narayanan, who worked on a web-based editor for GuideXML, was invited to speak at the recent FreeDel 2006 conference. If you're interested in learning more, Anant has posted the slides from his presentation, "Web Development Using JavaScript."

William Candillon created several new features for phpAspect and was invited to present on his project at L'École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Should you find yourself near Olomouc, Czech Republic next week, be sure to stop by the Openchange conference to hear Andrezj Zaborowski discuss his work on porting the Linux kernel to handheld devices.
Note: The Openchange website is in Czech.

And for those of in Argentina October 13-15th, you can visit Matias Capeletto at the sixth annual Journadas Regionales de Software Libre conference, where he'll be talking about his experiences writing a C++ library for Boost this summer.
Note: an English Translation of the Journadas Regionales de Software Libre site is available.

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We recently noticed a post on the Data API Discussion list in which Philipp Kewisch started an unofficial Google APIs IRC channel (network: irc.freenode.net, channel: ##google-apis):
"I was working on a program that uses the Google Calendar API and thought it would be great if there was a channel that could answer my small questions quicker than the groups. I myself can offer some insight into raw protocol usage in some languages, javascript, php, and probably a bit of perl - all focused on the Google Calendar API."
We won't be staffing the channel ourselves, but we're really excited to see Google API developers helping each other!

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Two of the program administrators at Drupal have recorded a great podcast about the organization's participation in Google Summer of Code 2006. Angela Byron (who participated as a student in last year's GSoC) and Robert Douglass review some new functionality available in Drupal as a result of their students' projects, and discuss some of the ways Drupal organized their community to support the efforts of their GSoC students.

If you'd like to dive deeper into the code produced for Drupal this summer, Rob posted an invitation to "test the results" of this year's Drupal's GSoC projects.

Congratulations to Drupal's students and mentors for their tremendous success this year, and many thanks to Drupal for joining us in the program once again!

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According to its weblog, Django now includes a Sitemap Generator courtesy of a contribution by Dan Watson:
"A sitemap is an XML file on your Web site that tells search-engine indexers how frequently your pages change and how "important" certain pages are in relation to other pages on your site. This information helps search engines index your site. The Django sitemap framework automates the creation of this XML file by letting you express this information in Python code."

"In the grand Django tradition, it's simple yet powerful and flexible. Just write a Python class and hook it into your URLconf, and voila: You've got a sitemap. This was so easy to do that we set up a sitemap for djangoproject.com. It's something we probably never would've done otherwise, but it was so easy to do that we figured we might as well. I suspect others will follow the same path."

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The Marketing Team at Ubuntu has published a wrap up of all things Ubuntu accomplished by the project's GSoC students this summer. Ubuntu worked with twenty-two students in the program this year, many of whose contributions are now released for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Bazaar.

If you'd like to dive deeper into their students' experiences this year, the newsletter has links to several of the student's blogs. Among my favorite post titles: "Wait, you're doin this for free?". We're hoping our other GSoC students feel the same way and continue their work in FLOSS long after this summer ends.

Congratulations to this year's GSoC students and mentors for Ubuntu!

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Check out this example of Google's AJAX Search API + Maps in action at the Future of Web Apps conference site:

Enter your own search query (or click the Hotel titles) to see the integration in action; clicking the small green triangles to the right of the search box shows nearby restaurant and hotel listings.

A number of us from Google will be attending the conference this week in San Francisco -- including Tom Stocky from the AJAX Search API team, Jeff Veen from the UI team, Carl Sjogreen from the Calendar team, Eric Case from the Open Source team, Dan Peterson, Peter Deng and Paul MacDonald from the Developer team, Vivian Li from the Web Toolkit team, Othman Laraki from the Client team, Ryan Barrett and Andrew Bowers -- so be sure say Hi if you'll be there!

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Post by Mendel Chuang, Product Marketing Manager

Thanks for all your submissions to the Google Desktop Gadget Contest! We saw very creative gadgets and also some great uses of our advanced APIs. But we'll cut right to what you've been waiting for - the winners:

1st Place - diGGGadget by Marius and Yannick Stucki - This useful gadget helps you stay on top of the latest stories from digg.com. Click on a few buttons and you'll know why we think it's so great. It also takes advantage of our advanced APIs to allow for sharing of news with friends and personalization based on your interests.

2nd Place - Multiplayer Reversi Game by Turhan Aydin - This visually rich gadget allows you to immerse yourself in the fun game of Reversi. Not only can you play against the computer, but this gadget also takes advantage of our Google Talk API so that you can also play with your friends.

3rd Place - Day/Night World Clock by Beatrix Gottanka - We couldn't have designed a better world clock. Not only does it show you the local time, but there's also a map that changes with the night and day (and lots of other options as well).

There were so many good submissions that we had to recognize some honorable mentions. Check out the Google Desktop Blog to find out more. We hope you had as much fun learning to use the Google Desktop SDK as we did from these creative entries.

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The improvements just keep rolling in from the One Laptop Per Child Program -- Ars Technica reports that the newly named Children's Machine 1 will be going through field tests in September, and will feature the contributions of Google Summer of Code student Erik Pukinskis. (code from Erik's GSoC project to adapt AbiWord for use with the CM1 has been integrated into the device's Sugar user interface system.)

Ars Technica has further details.