Google Code Labs is an environment where the Google engineering teams have a chance to explore ideas and where the development community can get involved with Google's products early.
on March 3 launched Google Code Labs,
which the company described as
"a home for developer products still in their early stages of
development." The site will, among other things, provide developers with
clarity about the company's APIs that are still being developed.
A Google spokesperson said the goal of Google Code Labs is to offer the
Google engineering teams "a chance to explore ideas" and for the
development community to get involved with Google's products on an early basis
and participate in that exploration.
In a blog post introducing
Google Code Labs, Tom Stocky, director of Google Developer Products,
there are currently more than 60 APIs and tools on Google Code and "we
credit much of this growth to a culture of exploration and rapid iteration, and
to the invaluable feedback and insights we receive from you about each product
as it evolves."
Stocky also said the company was "announcing that several of [Google's]
best-known and most-used APIs and tools are among the first set of Google Code
Labs 'graduates'-including App Engine, Google Web Toolkit, AJAX Search API,
Maps API, Earth API,
Calendar Data API, YouTube APIs and
According to Stocky:
For these graduates, we're increasing
our commitment with published deprecation policies and other critical support
services. The Visualization API terms,
Contacts Data API terms, and Picasa Web Albums Data API terms include good examples of transparent
deprecation policies. They state that we'll support each version for at least 3
years from when it's deprecated or a newer version is introduced. We're working
to get policies posted for the other graduates as well, though the time period
may vary a bit from product to product. It will be 3 years for most, but it
might be less for some. The AdWords API, for
example, has a policy of supporting old versions for 4 months.
Of course, even established products
need a way to experiment with new features. With that in mind, some products will
have features labeled "experimental" that could change (or even be removed)
at any time, while the rest of the API is
covered by a deprecation policy with long-term support.
There are additional hurdles for an API to graduate from Labs. They include requirements
like having a dedicated, ongoing engineering team and comprehensive test suite.
Stocky also said Google will be doing away with its SOAP (Simple Object
Access Protocol) Search API, which the
company says will be "sufficiently" replaced by the Google AJAX