Monday, August 17, 2009

Recent Happenings: TickTock, parallel queries, DryDrop, and more

Every month or so, we compile a list of interesting things in the community related to App Engine. Here are some recent projects and resources that you might find interesting:

Ubisoft's TickTock on Facebook

Ubisoft has released a fun game for Facebook called TickTock which challenges you to guess which of your friends have posted particular status updates. From the application page "TickTock is a Facebook trivia game that tests your knowledge of your friends. Use that knowledge to create playful devices to challenge others. Unlock items and create bigger challenges. Post them on your people's Facebook Walls, and see who knows their friends best!"

TickTock uses App Engine to serve the game content and store game information. We're excited to see this as a great example of a growing number of games which are using App Engine behind the scenes. Sign on to Facebook and give it a try.

Query the App Engine datastore in parallel with asynctools

Written by a group of engineers at VendAsta, asynctools is a rather nifty toolkit that allows you to execute datastore queries in parallel in the Python runtime. The interface is slightly more involved than using standard queries, but the ability to execute multiple queries in parallel can substantially reduce the render time for a page where you need to execute multiple independent queries.

Jason Collins has written a detailed article about how and why they wrote asynctools, which can be found here.

Easily host and update static sites on App Engine with GitHub

DryDrop is a new tool that lets you host your static site on Google App Engine and update it by pushing to GitHub. Thanks to GitHub post-receive hooks your App Engine site can be updated automatically when you push new content.

Installing Google App Engine applications into Google Apps

We have a new screencast up in the Developer's Channel on YouTube, this one covers Installing Google App Engine applications into Google Apps.

Recent open source developments

  • TwitterFollow (source) is an article and accompanying sample application demonstrating Twitter's REST API in an App Engine app.
  • Gaelyk (source), a "lightweight Groovy toolkit" that runs on App Engine's Java runtime, enables developers to deploy small Groovy applications on App Engine. It supports Groovy templates and Groovlets for separating content from presentation.

For more open source projects built on top of Google App Engine, see the Open Source Projects wiki page, and feel free to add your own open source projects to that page if you want to see them featured in an upcoming community update post.

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