Google developers play in the sandbox

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Google has released new sandbox tools for its iGoogle web service, allowing developers to create larger and more complex iGoogle Gadget apps..

A sandbox is an isolated environment in which developers can test and preview code without running it live.

Among the features in the new sandbox will be better support for Google's OpenSocial APIs and new view modes.

Developers will use the sandbox to piece together the Gadgets from a mixture of XML and JavaScript code.

A new 'Canvas' view lets developers run applications in much larger windows on the user's iGoogle page, allowing a gadget to run in a full window rather than a pre-determined box on the page.

The new tools will also allow developers to add Gadgets to a new navigation box which will appear on the left-hand side of the screen.

"Developers are an important part of Google's innovation ecosystem and we are always striving to provide tools to help them innovate in new directions that will ultimately make the web richer for all users," Google said in a statement.

"By building more powerful and interactive Gadgets for iGoogle, developers will have an opportunity to share their Gadgets with tens of millions of iGoogle users."

Google released iGoogle in April 2007 as a remake of the traditional launch pages. Users customise the pages with the Gadget applets that add various features.

The service is accompanied by the OpenSocial API, which allows other sites and services to create their own Gadgets for use with iGoogle.
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