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Google courts open-source developers

Search king's new Google Code site is intended to be a central resource for developers.

Google has launched a new site intended to serve as a central resource for developers working on applications related to the popular search engine.

The new Google Code will be a repository for source code, application programming interfaces, or APIs, and other tools to assist developers working on Google-related projects, according to a welcome note on Thursday from Chris DiBona, Google's open-source program manager and former editor of "News for Nerds" site Slashdot.

The site also will profile current and ongoing projects, DiBona said, to give developers a better sense of what's happening in the Google universe. "One thing we really wanted to put up on Google Code was a way of bringing recognition to those people and groups who have created programs that use our APIs or the code we have released," he said.

The initial tool releases include Perftools and Sparsehashtable, for developers working in the C++ language, and Goopy/functional, for Python developers. Tools will be distributed through the SourceForge open-source programming site, and releases targeting other languages and development toolsets will be made as the program matures, DiBona said.

"We know that this is a somewhat limited audience," he said of the initial focus on C++ and Python. "We made this decision specifically so we can work with a smaller community to iron out any bugs in our release and ongoing maintenance processes. Over time, we plan to release more tools useful to broader groups of developers."

Google has steadily recruited outside developers to expand forays into areas such as targeted advertising and desktop search. The search giant's latest effort has resurrected old programming tools to tap into new services such as Gmail and Google Maps.