Mike Chirico on 6 Aug 2008 15:56:16 -0700

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[PLUG] Google - A lot of Open Source Tools and Services for Free

>From what I've found, the following three Google services are licensed
under the Apache License, Version 2.0 and develop nicely under Linux.

Google App Engine:  

This service allows you to create and script web pages. The pages can
first be tested and run on your local Linux box. It works with Windows
too. Here's a brief summary:

Scripting Language: Python and Django Forms
Database: BigTable - Not fully relational, but supports 1-to-many and many-to-many
          mappings. Very scalable. Supports transactions.
Authentication: Gmail accounts or accounts setup with Google Apps
Number of Accounts: 10 accounts per cell phone
Cost: Free for 5 Gigs total storage. Sometime they'll upgrade for free 
License: Apache License, Version 2.0
Notes: No cron feature, Yes you can map DNS CNAME and A records. You can
also use Google Analytics (track who is hitting your website - whether they
did a search query to get there, and where they are from).

Google Web Toolkit:

This is a nice tool for building AJAX applications. Simply put, it
translates Java into Javascript. I was impressed with this, especially
with the latest version which supports Java 1.5. 

Browser support: IE, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, and Opera
License: Apache License, Version 2.0
Notes: GWT pages can be launched from Google App Engine

Google Apps:

This is really gmail under you're own domain name. I think you get up
to 250 accounts for free. More than enough for a small company or
family. You can map MX records. I've found it convenient to use
http://www.everydns.com/ for the mapping. These accounts can be used
for authentication under Google App Engine.
Notes: If you're familiar with Sendmail/Postfix and fetchmail you can
mail transfered to your local Linux box and send email from mutt (with
all GPG options etc). You also have the option of sharing documents
with all users in the group, plus facilities for uploading documents.

Google Code:

Source forge is great if you have a designated project. Google code is nice
way to share and backup quick code routines. It supports a Wiki interface.

Disclaimer - I do not work for Google, and I don't own any stock in Google.
However, I'm happy to see they are supporting Open Source.


Mike Chirico

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