10 interesting projects from Google Code

by Jean. 48 Comments -

I may not like how Google is building a monopoly on the internet, but, I have to admit that most of their services are useful. As developers, it is useful to know that Google hosts a lot of open source projects. Today, let’s have a look at the 10 most awesome projects hosted on Google code.

ZeroClipboard


Do you remember the old days of web development, when IE6 was the king? (ok, it sounds soooo bad now but if you were already building sites in 2002 you know what I’m talking about!) It was extremely easy to force copy to clipboard.
But, for obvious security concerns, Firefox doesn’t allow clipboard access by default. This is a good thing, but for some sites, being able to copy into clipboard is a must.

Using powerful Javascript and a .swf file, ZeroClipboard allow you copy information into the user clipboard. For a live demo, just have a look to my Coupons For Bloggers site.
» Visit ZeroClipboard

yourls


As a blogger, I know how important Twitter is to stay tuned with my readers and share my favorite links with them. But as you know, Twitter allows only 140 characters in messages. In order to create shorter urls, you can use a service like bit.ly or Tinyurl.com, or you can get yourls, and create your own service.

Yourls is built in PHP and is very easy to configure. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll probably be happy to know that yourls has its own WordPress plugin.
» Visit Yourls

Minify


I know I already talked about Minify in a previous article, but I simply cannot resist to spread the word about this very cool piece of code.
Minify is extremely simple to install and will combine, minify, and cache JavaScript and CSS files on demand to speed up page loading.

Installing minify is extremely easy: you just have to upload a directory to your site document root and Minify will start to speed up your blog. Wonderful, isn’t it?
» Visit Minify

Thematic


Being a WordPress fan, I really love the concept of Theme frameworks. For those who doesn’t know what it is, Theme frameworks are WordPress themes which contain lots of functions and styles. You can extend both in looks and functionality by adding a child theme.
For example, my other blog Cats Who Blog is using the Thesis theme framework that I extended using my own styles and functions.

Many commercial frameworks are availables, but Thematic is 100% free. A definitive must download if you’re into WordPress!
» Visit Thematic

Flexlib


As you may guess, Flexlib is an open source Adobe Flex library. It provides lots of components that you can freely use in your Flex or Air projects.
The currently available components include: AdvancedForm, Base64Image, EnhancedButtonSkin, CanvasButton, ConvertibleTreeList, Draggable Slider, Fire, Highlighter, HorizontalAxisDataSelector IconLoader, ImageMap, PromptingTextArea, PromptingTextInput, Scrollable Menu Controls, SuperTabNavigator, Alternative Scrolling Canvases, Horizontal Accordion, TreeGrid, FlowBox, Docking ToolBar, and Flex Scheduling Framework.
» Visit Flexlib

Zen Coding


As a web developer, I often find it frustrating having to type lots of tags and attributes to reach the desired result. HTML tags are necessary of course, but that doesn’t mean it should consume so much typing.
This may be the idea Sergey Chikuyonok before he started to develop Zen Coding. What is Zen Coding? It is a handy set of tools for high-speed HTML and CSS coding. It integrate in your favorite text editor and then provide functions and shortcuts to speed up your development.

As an example, if you type this:

div#content>h1+p

You’ll get the following output:

<div id="content">
<h1></h1>
<p></p>
</div>

If you want to know more about Zen Coding, Smashing Magazine has a nice article about it.
» Visit Zen Coding

Sexybuttons


On the internet, design matters. Some people are good for designing, some, like me, aren’t. Happilly, those who aren’t designers (or who are bad designers!!) should take advantage of projects like this one.
Sexybuttons is a small CSS framework that allow you to instantanely create gorgeous buttons for your blog, websites and web apps. If you like CSS buttons, don’t forget to have a look to my Top 10 CSS buttons tutorial list.
» Visit Sexybuttons

jQuery transmit


Who doesn’t like jQuery? This very handy Javascript framework allows developers to enhance both the design and usability of your website. Thanks to plugins, jQuery can be easily enhanced with the functionalities you need. There’s a bunch of very cool jQuery plugins available from Google code so it was very hard to choose one. However, file upload has always been a major problem in web development and this jQuery plugin will be extremely helpful.

Using jQuery transmit is incredibely easy :

$(document).ready(function() {
    var options = {
        allowedFileTypes: [{
            description: "Images",
            extensions: "*.jpg; *.gif; *.png"
        }]
    };

    $("#transmit").transmit("http://mysite.com/upload/", options);
})

» Visit jQuery Transmit

dompdf : Convert HTML to PDF using PHP


The PDF format is useful for many thing such as invoices, and is largely used in business. dompdf is an advanced HTML to PDF converted which can download and read external stylesheets, inline style tags, and the style attributes of individual HTML elements. It also supports most presentational HTML attributes.
» Visit dompdf

stop-spam


Spam is definitely a big problem for blogs and websites. Although it is still impossible to completely prevent spam, some tools can help you a lot to fight it.
Stop-spam is one of those tools. It is lightweight, compatible with all blogs and forums (WordPress, PhpBB, Movable Type, etc) and easy to install. It automatically blacklists well known domains and IPs used by spammers. Of course, you can edit lists to blacklist/whitelist to add more domains and IPs.
» Visit stop-spam

Any other you’d like to mention? Don’t hesitate to let me know in a comment!

  • http://www.thepeachdesign.com Peach

    Nice post. Zen coding is something i really wanna try. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://web-consulting.at Kurt

    don’t forget webkitpdf.
    http://code.google.com/p/wkhtmltopdf/

    it’s an almost perfect solution to convert your html to pdf.

    regards, k.

  • http://wackychammomile.blogspot.com mythmystic

    I learn a lot, really appreciate this post!

  • http://www.wowitsalightbulb.com alan

    Zen coding is an absolute must have! Minify looks fantastic. I’ll have to test it out today.

  • http://www.cooltricksntips.com Rahul Jadhav

    Nice post. Thanks for the info

  • http://www.tuliptechsolutions.com kalvin

    Thanks for nice information , I ll try it tonight .

  • http://c0de.at c0de

    Thx for this! Those are really Good Tipps!

  • http://tweeaks.com Jared

    When I went to that coupons for bloggers site, Mcafee popped up saying it detected a virus. It was a trojan that was detected as, Exploit-InvCSS. Just want to let you know. I don’t know if the site has a virus or what. But you should be aware.

  • http://www.wprecipes.com Jean-Baptiste Jung

    @Jared : Don’t worry, it is my IE6 killer (<STYLE></style>@;/*) which is seen by McAffee as a virus.
    See http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=107634 for more details :)

  • http://www.mmcmsp.com maria porto

    uau! great list!

  • http://www.creativefusionpro.com Jen

    Zen Coding looks awesome – going to have to try it today and see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

  • http://www.hilario.lu/ djavu

    I did some Project with Flexlib. They have some nice components but if you look for some advanced scheduling features you should look for other librairies (iLog Elixir, not free for commercial use) or you should be motivated to continue developping Flexlib’s scheduler.

    Btw nice article

  • James Pasion

    The thing about Zen Coding is, at first, it might seem like more effort. Considering you have to remember new things (or learn a new way of doing things, I should say). But after a day or two you’re wondering how this couldn’t have come sooner! Zen Coding is awesome.

  • http://tweeaks.com Jared

    Oh okay :iu) Just making sure it wasn’t something more serious, though I knew it wasn’t. I usually hear “virus” and go hunting for it, and download it just for the fun of removing it. lol I get bored I guess.

    Nice post though btw. Some really useful stuff here. :D

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  • http://code.google.com/p/jquizme/ Larry Battle

    Great Article. I wonder how sexy sexybuttons can get.
    Don’t forget jQuizMe.
    http://code.google.com/p/jquizme/

  • http://www.inConcertCC.com ichramm

    Well, this article was very good, but I think you should choose another name because you are talking about “10 interesting WEB projects from Google Code”

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  • Ramadass.Krishnamurthy

    Excellent article. All-in-one-place for web developers

    Thanks

  • Cindy Meeker

    My favorite is Google Charts. Easily does all kinds of charts and graphs within your site.

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  • http://www.pixelzeesh.com Zeesh

    Very nice post!!

  • http://www.serradinho.com/ George Serradinho

    Wow, some of them I knew about and others are very new to me. Just goes to show that us bloggers always learn something new.

  • http://www.holidaycottagecornwall.org/ Kathy Cornwall

    I agree! It’s almost complete. This would surely help us web developers. Thanks a lot for sharing this to us. :)

  • http://khoz.me Rajib Roy

    Nice post. Zen coding is something i really wanna try. Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://teachmewp.com Dave

    Wow thanks for dompdf… I have been asked by customers if their web site could create PDF files… I had no idea it was so easy.

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  • http://sites.google.com/site/michaelsafyan/ Michael Safyan

    Regarding minify… Google Closure (http://code.google.com/closure/) includes a free JavaScript compiler service (http://closure-compiler.appspot.com/) that not only minifies but can also optimize (e.g. propagating constants, inlining functions, etc.) JS code.

  • http://www.trainbreaks.com Andy Holiday

    Mifiny alone is great. That has cut my bandwidth bill by over 40% alone! Thanks for the others. I was not aware of about a third of these projects. I use a lot of Googles tools like webmaster tools and analytics. I don’t like their domination but they seem to know what we all need and want.

  • JP

    I use zen coding and I love it, very easy to use, also you can add your own snippet.
    Example: I added lorem in the file so when I type “lorem:p” I got a nice paragraphe of lorem.

    Do a find of html’: {‘snippets’: in the zencoding.js file and add your own stuff.

    ul>li*22 will give a list with 22 li in a ul.

    J-P

  • http://www.thomascraigconsulting.com Thomas

    Excellent post, will be checking out a couple of your references, especially the wordpress themetic and jquery transmit.

  • http://oscience.info subash

    Nice post.

    great projects i will try some of them.

  • http://www.algarve-lifestyle.com Jom

    All of the projects looks so interesting. I am most interested in the last two, converting of PDF files and no spamming one. Hope they come out soon.

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  • http://naijacomputernerds.com chibexme

    Your collections rocks. Keep it up.

  • http://jewelry123.over-blog.com/pages/sterling-silver-earrings-2301620.html Malko

    Great post by the poster, programmer can go ahead to participate in this code contest, please share this types of post in future also.

  • http://blog.perfectedperspectives.com Andrew Rodgers

    Nice post, I like the idea of Zen Coding, I think I’m going to try it soon… Do you use it?

    Do you think frameworks (hook and filter based) dev results in lower performance sites? It just seems like the more hook and filter calls the slower things will be…

    Andrew Rodgers

  • http://www.wprecipes.com Jean-Baptiste Jung

    @Andrew Rodgers : No , I don’t use Zen Coding currently, but I plan to do so asap!

  • http://www.soloaga.com.br Renan Soloaga

    Great post ! jquery Transmit is very useful. Thanks.

  • http://soundenergyflux.blogspot.com Alejandro

    Nice post! I find php-reader http://code.google.com/p/php-reader/ a nice project to read audio and video files metadata.

  • http://www.webdevelopmentcompany.com Azterik Media

    Great list. Thanks for pointing out dompdf , that is going to save a lot of headaches in the future!

  • http://droope.wordpress.com droope

    AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks :) I love this blog.

    Cheers!
    Droop

  • http://siftage.com Brad Proctor

    Great list! jquery is my favorite. It makes working with Javascript tolerable.

  • http://1cupcoffee-maker.com Andrew Bush

    I didn’t realize Google is working on so many things. No wonder it seems like they are taking over the internet.

  • killer

    great list! How do you put zeroclipboard working in wordpress?

  • http://www.mybudgetbreak.co.uk Paul

    Am going to have to try out Minify. Definitely something worth looking into.