Google Likes Healthy Desktop Plugins

    December 7, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Developers who have a truly great idea for a plugin for Google’s Desktop product need to keep an eye on their Ps and Qs when doing their QA work.

Google encourages developers to create nifty new plugins for its Desktop service. With thousands of talented programmers in the world, someone outside of the Googleplex likely has an idea that would be welcomed by the company as well as desktop users.

After lovingly crafting that plugin, developers need to take a few steps to ensure the plugin will play nicely with the Desktop. A post on Google’s Desktop blog offered several tips on avoiding some of the common pitfalls that trip up plugin developers.

Suggestions made by Google QA engineer Niranjan Tulpule really apply to any type of application development work. Along with ensuring the plugin works correctly, doesn’t crash Desktop or other plugins, and doesn’t hog system resources, Google suggested testing the plugin in offline mode to verify it still works correctly.

And the old saying that “real programmers don’t write specs” does not apply here. Google expects to see online documentation about the plugin and its use to help with testing.

Tupule also recommended developers post the plugin to a couple of related newsgroups dedicated to Desktop and its plugins, to garner additional feedback and find potential ‘gotchas’ in it as part of the submission process.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.