I’ve just returned from my stint in the South East after being invited to attend Googles London Developer day on thursday and remaining there to hang out in Haddenham for the weekend. Theres a ton of photo’s over on a picasa web album which has been built up from peoples pics. I even got interviewed regarding using the google web toolkit, but my experience was not exactly extended so I don’t know if it would get used at all. Essentially the event was used as a launchpad for a number of new pieces of kit that Google are introducing:Google Gears – Firstly, google gears was pitted as much the golden child of the day, with google demonstrating the new offline-enabling of appications which functions much the same within a browser without an available connection. We were shown this with the new offline functionality which Googles rss reader has built in. It looked to be a quite powerful tool for those who may have intermittent internet connections. For the most part though, I wonder how useful really is when the problem more obviously is about having any connection at all to give synchronisation in the first place or having a connection all the time. This was kind of inadvertedly demonstrated through the event having a rather dire internet connection and later through a Mountain view webcast where the demonstrater couldn’t get rid of his connection. The web toolkit now features gears funtionality as well.Google Mapplets – Essentially a way of having several third-party google maps projected onto one map. So you could search say hotel rooms and weather conditions from a Met Office and Holiday in mapplet and see the two on the same map. Nifty, but I bet it might put a few people out of business…Google Mashup Editor – I hadn’t heard of this tool until the end of the day during the Mountain view webcast, but this is essentailly an editor to quickly produce mashups. You can read more of this here.Anyway, the whole day was great and Google even gave us a night in a fancy London bar too. I think the fish and chips served could have done with being about 10 times larger though. I met like-minded geeks, and thats never a bad thing.