> Since Page wasn’t a world-class programmer, he asked a friend to help out. Scott Hassan was a full-time research assistant at Stanford, working for the Digital Library Project program while doing part-time grad work. Hassan was also good friends with Brin, whom he’d met at an Ultimate Frisbee game during his first week at Stanford.
> Page’s program “had so many bugs in it, it wasn’t funny,” says Hassan. Part of the problem was that Page was using the relatively new computer language Java for his ambitious project, and Java kept crashing. “I went and tried to fix some of the bugs in Java itself, and after doing this ten times, I decided it was a waste of time,” says Hassan. “I decided to take his stuff and just rewrite it into the language I knew much better that didn’t have any bugs.” He wrote a program in Python—a more flexible language that was becoming popular for web-based programs—that would act as a “spider,” so called because it would crawl the web for data. The program would visit a web page, find all the links, and put them into a queue. Then it would check to see if it had visited those link pages previously. If it hadn’t, it would put the link on a queue of future destinations to visit and repeat the process.
> Since Page wasn’t familiar with Python, Hassan became a member of the team. He and another student, Alan Steremberg, became paid assistants to the project. Brin, the math prodigy, took on the huge task of crunching the mathematics that would make sense of the mess of links uncovered by their monster survey of the growing web. Even though the small team was going somewhere, they weren’t quite sure of their destination. “Larry didn’t have a plan,” says Hassan. “In research you explore something and see what sticks.”
Levy, Steven (2011-04-12). In The Plex (p. 18). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
edit: Given this rewrite from Java into Python in the early history of one of Stanford's most famous exports, I find it kind of amusing that Stanford's intro to CS course teaches Java.
I am reminded of Linus's announcement of Linux:
I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, as they say.
The Go one is particularly interesting.
Or to riff off of the classic New Yorker cartoon: On the Internet, nobody knows that you may be the next great inventor.
Caveat: Thanks to Google's ubiquity, it's not wrong to use a pseudonym if you're really worried about your basic questions coming back to haunt you :)
Not that I like it, especially these days. These kind of things should be fixed properly.
Eventually, Google Groups came to be a glorified mailing list service. However, originally it was just a web wrapper around Usenet... and can still be used for that today.
"Google Groups became operational in February 2001, following Google's acquisition of Deja's Usenet archive. (Deja News had been operational since 1995.)" src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Groups
What's it written in now?
It was basically like Go is now.
As for what it's written in now: mostly C++ but some Java in the webserver and auxiliary services. Other Google products are mostly Java. Most internal tools were Python but a bunch have been recently rewritten in Java. Go is catching on with some early-adopter teams.