First day @ G-Pals was the geeky day with lots of engineers coming from all over the country. Meeting with these many developers was fun, and the fact that Google were a little bit careful with the selection made it very nice: we all share the same interests.
The day starts as always with greetings, saying great things about the Palestinian people which we love to hear. Personally, and behalf of the Palestinian people, if they allowed me to do so, I will thank Google back for coming into this spot of the world, and for the feeling they have for us, and for the knowledge they are trying spread. It's a long list, so just many thanks to Google and to googlers :-).
Mohammed Gawdat's talk was inspiring, nice, and the fact that it was in Arabic was wonderful.
Technology and cool stuff came next, for people who used Google before, and for someone like me totally hosted on Google this information was basic, but I believe it was a great introduction for lots of developers.
I've always said this, and will repeat it again. Generally speaking, we are, in the Arab world, good in using technology, but not in inventing it. This is not always true! And Google wasn't so different in this area in their presentations, except that they encouraged creativity, and made the tools they used, their infrastructure available to our/all developers: AppEngine, OpenSocial, and other.
The day was a quick kick off for Google technologies, and was good for beginners or people who are not familiar with Google products. From the questions being asked in the registration form, you would've had the impression that it will include some deeper coverage of technical stuff, however, even if I liked it, it wasn't so deep.
Open API's: Google data, docs, sheet, translation, youtube and much more are all available to developers to build/customize/invent new software applications. Google infrastructure is open to developers: AppEngine, it's limited to Python for now, but I got the feeling that the Java version will be out soon :-) Wish that is true .... it would be great. You know, GWT in the front end, written completely in java, interact with the server (RPC/REST/others) running java inside the AppEngine which in turn, the java application, interact with the BigTable backend! This sounds like magic, sounds too perfect to be true, but I guess this is Google, all about things that are so cool and usable. Surprise us Google! I wish this is true.
Just a side note, Appengine has the advantage over EC2 in that you don't need to worry about the infrastructure, I mean you don't need to install an operating system, manage the server, etc. EC2 provides more flexibility over the appengine in that it's a server, you can do whatever you want with it. For software applications that is just Web, AppEngin is easier to use, deploy, yet comes as I said with limitations. BigTable share some of the limitation founded in SDB, like for example: no join. BigTable supports locking, SDB doesn't ... Maybe I'll work on a post about the differences between the two, but for now I guess I delivered the basic difference between the two.
The second day was a little bit more inspiring, business people are more in talking and cool stuff I guess. Mohammed Gawdat started with the same talk of the first day, with some more spices that triggered something inside us. Business sessions were just fine, putting in front of the audience some real stories for people making it to the world just by being passionate about what they are doing, and using the right tool and technology, which Google by the way makes a lot of effort to make it available to everyone.
Information, information and then more information: a lot of talk were on the fact that information are available out there, using Google search capabilities you can locate the right information about what you are looking for.
Sabri Saidam touched us deep inside with his talk, standing up at the end of the event was just great. Google really deserves it, they even deserve more :-).
Special thanks to Gisel Hiscock, Mohammed Gawdat, Adam Mathias, Ahmad Hamzawi, and for all Googlers that made it to the Westbank, and also for Googlers worldwide. BTW, I liked the candy :-).