I just got back from a trip to Belgium that had me speaking at JavaPolis, a conference full of Java and Web folk from Europe and beyond. Google engineers were all over, and we gave talks on Gears, GWT, Google data APIs, Guice, Google Java Collections, and Java language issues. It was capped off with an informal pub meetup where Google and Atlassian took the bill. Remember, they take pride in that Belgian beer.

GWT was in full force at the event. Many people came up to me to discuss their GWT implementations, and a lot of cool APIs and applications have been announced recently. For example, JSTM, the Java Shared Transacted Memory for GWT is a promising new library that gives you a transactional cache that can keep clients in sync. Map this onto Google Gears, and you can get offline caching. The author of the library is taking a lot at that feature right now. We also saw GWT Voices, which gives GWT developers with a cross browser sound API. Finally, Chronoscope showed us that you could take a GWT application, and with a small amount of work get it running on Android. A huge benefit of using the Java programming language across the board.

Speaking of Android, we got to have a nice long chat with Dianne Hackborn and Jason Parks of the Android team about many facets of the platform.

We also got to speak to developers from Zoho, on the release of Zoho Writer that uses Google Gears for full read/write access.

OpenSocial has been chugging away too, and it was exciting to see Apache Shindig, the open source set of components around OpenSocial, get released. This release includes a core gadget container foundation and an open source version of the gmodules.com renderer.

A fun new API was released recently too, which got a lot of buzz in the community. Out of the Zurich office, we saw the Google Charts API, which allows you to create dynamic charts in very short order. You can even integrate the new API with KML for quick data visualization.

The open source side of Google Code has had a busy time too. We released the Google Mac Developer Playground, which is a home for useful open source code produced by the Google Mac team, and any engineers at Google. With this release, Dave MacLachlan announced Statz which has already seen a major upgrade, allowing you to talk to a large swath of services.

On the back of the Google Summer of Code project, the team wanted to keep spreading open source goodness, and announced the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, and have already updated us of its performance. It is outstanding to see so many people coming together to help the myriad of open source communities out there.

To finish up, how about taking a peak at the new Knol effort, or looking at the new developer community calendar, or firing off a video download in the background to watch:

As always, check out the latest tech talks, subscribe to the Google Developer Podcast and visit the Google Code YouTube channel.