Friday, June 18, 2010

Google Releases Command-Line Tool for YouTube, Calendar, Docs, and More

Google has launched a simple but very useful app for computer nerds everywhere: GoogleCL, a command-line tool that allows users to do everything from upload folders to Picasa to adding appointments to a Google Calendar.

Google CL is a Python application that makes Google Data API calls through the command line. A command-line interface (CLI) is an interface where the user can tell the computer to perform specific tasks by typing commands. You’ve probably seen them before, most likely via the MS-DOS command-line interface. The CLI is in contrast to the mouse-based interface that we all use today, known as the graphical user interface (GUI).

Googlers from the Street View team created the application for their own use, but have now turned GoogleCL over to the general public. It accepts commands to Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Contacts, Picasa, YouTube, and Blogger. Here’s an example command:

$ google calendar add “Social Media Day SF Party at 7pm”

For us computer nerds, this tool is going to be a big productivity saver. There are many instances where we just want to skip using the web interface because the command line is often faster. I’ll admit, I downloaded GoogleCL the moment I saw it was available.

Google has provide a list of sample scripts to get started, but we bet that page will expand with more commands and more supported Google services over time. It’s a great combination of the command line and the cloud. If you want to get started, you can download GoogleCL and the necessary Python library client here and here.