announced today the launch of a new site, Google Code Labs, where developers can find links to all the major code projects that Google staff is working on. It's a central place to find APIs that 3rd parties can build off of and it includes a clarification of what projects Google has made a long term commitment to and what they have not. We were a little surprised to see what the company considers "graduated" from Labs and what's still there.Google
Perhaps nothing like this should be a surprise coming from a company that built the leading webmail product online and still calls it Beta five years later.
By clarifying what's still in Labs and what's not, though, Google may enable other companies to know what they can depend on for building into products and what they might want to be cautious with. The Code Lab is not to be confused with the older and more general purpose Google Labs.
Who's worn the virtual cap and gown already? Twenty seven projects are listed as graduates, including the YouTube APIs, Maps APIs and (thank goodness) Contacts API. We've been wondering why more developers aren't using the Contacts API but instead keep asking us for our precious Google passwords. It's been out for a whole year now. Now there can be no excuse! The Contacts API is real, it's solid and Google is committed to supporting it.
Google APIs are an incredible resource and today's announcement should further their adoption. We'll be monitoring the Code Labs page for the experimental availability of the inevitable Google Brain Implant API, but until that day comes we feel almost unconditionally excited about the code projects the Google teams are working on.