Google launches Google Code project, showcasing open source code, APIs

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Google announced the Code project in San Diego, California.
Google announced the Code project in San Diego, California.

On Thursday, March 17, Google announced the launch of, a new website for its open-source software (also known as "code") and APIs, for use by external developers. This launch is the first significant contribution Google has made to the open-source community. The release was announced at the end of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego.

Google's announcement comes two weeks after Yahoo announced its own Developers Program, offering access to a new collection of its APIs, at the Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo in New York. Chris DiBona, Google's Open Source Program Manager, spoke about the release, emphasizing their desire to feature good programs that were being developed using their APIs. Two XML feeds are currently offered on the site, one for general updates to code hosted there, and another for changes to the weekly featured content.

The initial software projects provided on the Google site are narrowly focused, consisting of tools for debugging and compiling in two computer languages, C++ and Python, particularly when handling multi-threaded code. Google says this is in part to get feedback from a particular audience, before expanding the scope of the project.

These tools are all available under the BSD open-source license, though the site's FAQ notes that it is not tied to any particular license, and in the future is likely to include code released under a variety of free licenses. Google has said that it is developing this site, in part, in the hopes that it can use some of the resulting code in the future.