Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google+ - some answers

Some time ago at the last GDD in Munich I could talk to Ade Oshineye about Google Buzz. At that time Google plus was in the making, but he could not talk about it. But today I had the opportunity to hear him answering questions on the GTUG hangout with GTUG members from eastern europe. More exactly five GTUG chapters met last week in 5 Czech and Polish cities, connected via Hangout.
His answers shine some light on the development and future of Google+. As always, there was not definitive date for anything he talked about. But the following points are worth to mention:

  • Google+ for Google Apps is currently running at Google, but there are still things to decide about handling different aspects of Google+ in the enterprise
  • Google+ for businesses is on the way, but is not yet ready for roll out
  • Google+ API has some similarities with Google Buzz but is not the same. 
  • Google Buzz and Google Plus are different and have not yet been merged, because Google has not decided how to integrate both parts.
  • Google Buzz is a feed aggregator, where different sources like Twitter, feeds, Google Reader and so on are merged to a stream, but these sources could also be muted, if a reader does not want to see specific sources from another user
  • Google Plus does not have this aggregator feature and it looks that there is no easy solution how and even if it makes sense to integrate both services or keep them separate
  • Google+ API will be available throught the Google discovery API, which means, that a lot of clients for different languages are automatically available, after the discovery document (JSON) has been finally created for the Google Plus API
  • Ade is working on the Google Python client api and it is working for Google Buzz, prediction, custom search, lattitude and others, but Plus is not yet available, but will be similar.
  • Google+ is written in Java and GXP and Clojure are used for the front end
  • Other Google products like docs, calendar or others are not integrated and it looks there are no plans yet for it. But Google is open for good solutions and ideas how to integrate other Google products. But the main idea is, to see what developers build after the release of the API.
  • For the question, if there will be a possibility to transfer a personal Google+ account to a Google Apps account, Ade pointed to the Google Plus API and he said, that this would be something he is considering to write by himself - but this is no official annoucement about a transfer utility
  • Talking about gadgets Ade pointed to the integration of YouTube into Hangouts, which is a gadget that uses Google's Wave protocol.
  • Extending Hangouts to more than 10 users is a problem of bandwidth and resources on the client side. Hangouts do have now 10 input channels and are mixed on Google's servers and then send back on 10 output channels again. So extending the number to more users means also more channels and the resources are growing more with more users. So he is requesting ideas how to reduce the bandwidth and the resources needed on the server and client side. 
If I missed some points or something is wrong, please let me know and I will update this posting.
Some links, that Ade mentioned in the talk: