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6/21/2010
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Google Introduces Command-Line Tool

A handful of Google services like Blogger and YouTube now accept a limited set of command-line instructions.

Having previously referred to its search technology as a "command-line interface to the world," Google has decided to implement an actual command-line tool for several of its services.

On Friday, Google announced the availability of GoogleCL, open-source software for Linux, Mac, and Windows that allows users to perform sophisticated tasks on a handful of Google sites.




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"GoogleCL is a command-line utility that provides access to various Google services," explain Google engineer Jason Holt and former Google intern Tom Miller in a blog post. "It streamlines tasks such as posting to a Blogger blog, adding events to Calendar, or editing documents on Google Docs."

While Google provides instructions for installing GoogleCL on Linux, it only points to online posts by third-parties that describe how to install the software on Mac and Windows. Mac installation is made easier if the user has already installed software like MacPorts or homebrew.

The open source project Wiki indicates that easier Mac and Windows installation may available in the future.

GoogleCL is a Python application that uses Python gdata libraries to make Google Data API calls from the command line.

It currently provides access to the following services, arranged in order of implementation completeness: Picasa, Docs, YouTube, Blogger, Calendar, and Contacts.

Users can employ GoogleCL to do things like list, delete, and create Blogger posts, Picasa albums and images, or open Google Docs in an editor like vim.

There are other open source projects -- goofs and Goose, for example -- that aim to provide similar functionality for Google Calendar and Google Search. At some point, these projects may be merged with GoogleCL.

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