Thoughts about Google Wave

Google presented the Wave project this week at its development conference Google I/O 09. A lot of blogs (ok, maybe nearly every one) covered Wave in the last days so I have also to write something about it after watching the presentation:

  • The presentation of an conversation between several participants is very natural: people can enter and leave conversations, no matter if online or offline, add additional information and fork new ones. The features of Mail, IM and Wikis are finally merged.
  • Updates of information snippets work in near real time. This is definitely possible today and will become a lot easier with the availability of Web workers.
  • The conversation stream, called Wave, can be edited concurrently and they are versioned so they can play back in time.
  • Participants in the conversation can not only be persons but also automatons like translation engines and automatic content enrichment. The presentation of Google’s spelling and grammar proofing Robot and the automatic translation engine was awesome.
  • Wave will use important HTML 5 features and will push the evolution of the web browsers massively. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera are leading here, not only on the desktop but more important on mobile clients (maybe also Palm Pre will be an important platform here?), Microsoft is a generation behind here and maybe will catch up with their completely new browser engine after IE 8.
  • Wave can be federated. This means that you can have your own Wave servers active, participate in open Waves but keep your conversation private.
  • The Wave project will be open sourced, not only the API and the protocol but also the reference implementation. With Google Maps they overlooked how fast and creative the community worldwide reacted now they plan to use this potential directly.

I really was surprised by this presentation; I think nobody has expected something like this. If Google gets this of the ground Wave will have the biggest impact in how we communicate and process information since search engines and Email itself. Because of the openness of the platform and the inherently possibility to federate the infrastructure this concept can work. Something remains me here of Gelernter’s ideas in Mirror Worlds


1 comment so far

  1. Uche on

    Thanks for this blog post. I was meant to be there for the conference, but missed it due to circumstances.

    I totally think that Wave will kill off Twitter and facebook.

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