Google like it's 1981 with command-line tool

It's not for everyone, but for the technically sophisticated, Google now offers command-line controls for several services.

Google has released a tool to let command-line aficionados use several of the Net giant's services with the full glory of a text-based interface.

The tool, called GoogleCL, offers commands to control the contents sites of YouTube, Blogger, and Picasa, and the Google Apps sites of Docs, Calendar, and Contacts.

For example, people can create a photo album, change a document in a text editor, delete all blog posts mentioning a certain word, list all videos, or add a calendar appointment.

Command-line tools aren't for most folks--do you relish the prospect of typing "google youtube post --category Education --devtags GoogleCL killer_robots.avi"? But they're useful in many contexts--notably automation. Sysadmins love to write scripts that ease their lives, and command-line tools could, for example, periodically upload a graph of a server's performance characteristics to Picasa. Or a technically sophisticated person could automate the internationalization of phone numbers by adding "+1" in front of appropriate entries.

Other command-line fans might want to check out a Goosh, a Web-based command-line interface to Google , and Goose, which unlike GoogleCL provides an interface to search results.

Update 2:52 a.m. June 19: For information on how to get the tool working on Windows, check Isaac Truett's helpful instructions; the GoogleCL requirements page has pointers for Linux and Mac OS X users. The GoogleCL manual also gives usage instructions.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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