App Engine Launcher for Mac OS X

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 12:25 PM

By John Grabowski, Google Mac Team

As you probably know, Googlers are offered 20% of our time to work on what we're really passionate about. On the Google Mac Team, one of our passions is keeping the Mac a first-class citizen for Google products and services.

When I first saw Google App Engine, I was excited at the possibilities. It is still amazing to realize that Google will let external developers run web applications on Google infrastructure. However, integration with the client was a little basic. Simple tasks, like creating "hello world", required quite a bit of typing. We can do better, and Mac users want more.

Talking with UI Designer John Skidgel and Software Engineer Brett Slatkin, I heard some great ideas on what could be done. So I jumped in with 20% time and wrote GoogleAppEngineLauncher.app, a project manager for Google App Engine client work. On the Mac, the Google App Engine SDK will be delivered with this launcher from now on.

The Launcher isn't intended to replace a full-blown IDE or editor. However, basic tasks are now trivial. To create "hello world", you now just type a name and click twice. And deployment of a finished application to Google is a single click away. With the Launcher, you can focus on your app instead of the tools.

The Launcher is a true native Mac application. Installing the Google App Engine SDK, embedded in the Launcher, is a drag install. App Engine projects can be added to the Launcher with drag and drop. And your deployment password is saved in a Keychain (if you want).

If you are signed up for Google App Engine and develop on the Mac, try out the Launcher, and let us know what you think on either the Mac Group or the GoogleAppEngine Group. You can find the Launcher on the Google App Engine Downloads page.