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We are very pleased to announce a new Sidewiki “sidebar” web element. Google Sidewiki allows visitors to your website to contribute helpful information and read other visitors’ insights alongside the pages of the website. The new web element is a Sidewiki button, which, when clicked, displays a fully functional Sidewiki sidebar to the left of the page content. This means that your visitors can see the Sidewiki content for your page even if they don’t have Google Toolbar or the Sidewiki Chrome extension installed.

You can choose from several different look and feels created by Google or even create a new custom one. Use our wizard to choose the desired look and behavior, embed the generated code in your page, and you’re done. Here's a sketch of what it looks like when a visitor is looking at the Sidewiki content.

Go to http://www.google.com/webelements/sidewiki/ to get started. If you'll be using the element on your site, we’d love to hear about it via @googlesidewiki on Twitter.

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Today we've added four new Google Web Elements: Sidewiki, Checkout, Wave and Virtual Keyboard. These are all designed to help you quickly and easily integrate Google products into your website.

Sidewiki element
Google Sidewiki makes it easy for visitors of your website to share helpful information with each other. Unlike regular comments, all Sidewiki entries are ranked by usefulness so that the best ones are shown first. The element was built entirely on the Sidewiki API and can be customized in many ways to fit into your site. Sidewiki originally launched as a feature of Google Toolbar and as a Chrome extension - this element is our newest step in making Sidewiki more open and accessible across the web. If you'll be using the element on your site, let us know via @googlesidewiki on Twitter!

If you're looking for a way to add commenting to an otherwise static page, the Google Sidewiki element gives you an easy and simple way to collect and display comments about a page. One of the new and exciting features of the Sidewiki element is that it allows visitors to leave a comment even if they do not have Sidewiki or Google Toolbar installed. Like all Sidewiki entries, the comments in the element will be ranked to show the most useful items more prominently.

Checkout element
The Google Checkout element allows you to quickly and easily create an online store using a spreadsheet. Once you have a Google Checkout merchant account, you just have to add details for each item you're selling into a Google Spreadsheet, then use the wizard and copy/paste the code into your website. The element is compatible with Blogger, Google Sites, iGoogle, and personal websites where HTML can be modified, but doesn't require any programming skills or experience. In fact, you can get your first online store up and running in under five minutes.




Wave element
The Google Wave element enables you to quickly drop a wave -- a shared workspace -- onto your own website. The wave could be used for many different things, including: encouraging collaborative discussion among the visitors, or as a means of publishing content on the page. For deeper integrations of waves onto your own site, please check out the recently improved Wave Embed API. For more information on embedding waves, see the Google Wave Developer Blog post.






Virtual Keyboard element
Adding a virtual keyboard to your site just got easier with the Google Virtual Keyboard element. After choosing a keyboard layout, copy and paste the HTML into your page and voila, a virtual keyboard will be able to enter characters into any text input or text area on your page. If you've never heard a virtual keyboard, it's an on screen keyboard which translates the input from one keyboard layout to another and it allows users to type their own languages on foreign keyboards or by clicking the on screen display.





Google Web Elements are great for folks who don't have much time or experience. However, even for advanced developers, elements are a great starting point, as most are backed by an underlying API to give you even more control over the content or look and feel. Take a look at all of the elements at http://www.google.com/webelements and stop by our help forum if you have any questions.

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At Google, we strive to make the web faster. Today, we’re proud to take our first big step in making APIs faster by introducing two experimental features in the Google Data Protocol, partial response and partial update. Together, partial response and partial update can drastically reduce the network, memory, and CPU resources needed to work with Google APIs.

It’s easy to understand the benefit of partial response and partial update. Imagine that you are writing a new Android calendar widget, and you want to display the time and title of the recently changed events on your Google Calendar. With the old Calendar Data API, you would request your calendar’s events feed and receive a large amount of information in response -- including lots of extra data like the attendee list and the event description.

With the addition of partial response, however, you can now use the fields query parameter to request only relevant information -- in this case, event titles and times. Constructing such a request using the fields query parameter is simple:

GET http://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/zachpm@google.com/private/full?fields=entry(title,gd:when)

By including the entry argument and specifying title and gd:when, this request ensures that the partial response contains only the title and time for each event, along with a small amount of wrapping metadata.

But say you want to also enable the widget to change the time of calendar events. With partial update, you can easily accomplish this: simply edit the data you received in the partial response and use the HTTP PATCH verb to send the modified data back to the server. The server then intelligently interprets your PATCH, updating only the fields you chose to send. Throughout this entire read-modify-write cycle, the unneeded data remains server-side and untouched.

Now for a quick demo. If you’re currently logged into a Google account, compare the size of your full calendar feed and your partial calendar feed. When we ran this test, our full calendar feed contained 160 kB of data while the partial feed only contained 8 kB -- the partial response successfully reduced total data transfer by 95%! Performance enhancements like this are especially apparent on a mobile device, where every byte of memory and every CPU cycle count. In nearly all clients, partial response and partial update make it more efficient to send, store, parse, cache, and modify only the data that you need.

As of today, partial response and partial update are supported in four Google APIs:
... and we’re planning on adding support for most of the APIs that are built on the Google Data Protocol soon. Stay tuned for more information, and if you can’t wait, feel free to lobby for partial update and partial response in your favorite API’s public support group. And for those of you who’ll be at Google I/O this year, be sure to check out the Google API sessions that are in store.

Thanks for joining us in our effort to make APIs on the web as fast and as efficient as possible!

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Alongside the exciting release of Google Sidewiki today, we're also happy to announce the availability of the first version of the Google Sidewiki Data API. Google Sidewiki is a new feature of Google Toolbar (for Firefox and Internet Explorer) that lets everyone contribute helpful information next to any webpage. Our post over on the Google Blog goes into more detail and also has a video that shows Sidewiki in action. To start using it yourself, go to google.com/sidewiki and install Google Toolbar with Sidewiki.

On the developer side, we're releasing a Google Sidewiki Data API today that lets you work freely with the content that's created in Google Sidewiki. You can use it to retrieve all entries written about a particular webpage as well as all entries written by a given Sidewiki author.

So after you've played with Sidewiki in the browser, give it a whirl in your console too -- we have client libraries, documentation and code samples ready to go for you. We'll be excited to see what gadgets, projects and extensions you'll think of. A translation gadget that displays and translates Sidewiki entries on the fly? A Google App Engine-powered browser of all Sidewiki entries? Your own browser extension or Greasemonkey script?

The Google Sidewiki API is available in Google Code Labs and is read-only at the moment. We've set up a developer-oriented discussion group and issue tracker where you can discuss your experiences with the API and where we'd love to hear about your feedback and projects. Keep us posted!