So, Google Wave.
What is it?
Above is a video of the Google IO developer conference preview of Google's latest project. The basic idea, on the face of it at least, is to integrate every communication system you've ever heard of on the web; e-mail, IM, BBS, blog, twitter, whatever. All integrated into a single user interface.
Now, this has been attempted before; various people have tried to integrate any number of chat protocols, you can e-mail to twitter and theoretically get an RSS back of the replies.
Wave is taking a slightly different approach; take the "conversation" concept from gmail and make it apply to everything. Then make it extensible with both client-side and server-side plug-ins that will allow two-way communication between multiple protocols and web-tools.
Google also have this
to say for themselves.
The developer preview includes, thus far:
- Combined e-mail- and IM-like behaviour for typed text, with live per-character updating
- Branching structures for the above, allowing you to interrupt a conversation to add a comment, starting a new sub-conversation
- Drag-and-drop web-integration using Gears to add photos and other media
- Live, simultaneous collaborative editing of all of the above by al participants in a conversation (Wave).
- Two-way communication with a blog - comments added to an article get updated in the associated wave and vice-versa, all in realtime.
- Similar two-way comms for Twitter, bug reporting tools, etc.
- Dynamic addition of new participants
- Playback - step forward and back through entire conversations so that latecomers can catch up.
- Multi-language support including RTL and complex input (they show Chinese and Hebrew being added to a document simultaneously)
- Mobile support (everything mentioned so far, except for the gears-based drag and drop, is HTML 5.0 code in a browser)
Google hopes to add more later:
- Spreadsheet-type functionality
- Two-way integration between multiple waves for collaborative document production
- Anything else you can think of - the whole shebang will be Open Source.
So, have Google done it again? I think they just might; I for one am thoroughly impressed and already thinking of ways to incorporate a tool like this into my office. I can see the addition of language tools to create translations, text-to-speech and voice recognition extensions, and so on. With the kind of extensibility they've shown in the preview above, I would not be surprised to see this getting absorbed into video-games as a chat client, if a lightweight enough extension/robot can be made.
Then there's the location-aware stuff; like automatically creating an open wave that adds people using mobile devices within an arbitrary distance, 50ft, say? Basically, this is the back-end all those Augmented Reality front-ends have been waiting for, I think.
Anyway, I could go on, but I want to know what Penny Arcade thinks:
Google done it again?
What would you add to/integrate with Wave?
Are we finally about to start living in The Future (again, for the last time, for the first time)?
Further information can be found on the Wave developer blog
, the development/API
section of the site, and by signing up to receive more information here
Since we are now getting invites in and out to peeps, I guess this is also now the Penny Arcade Wave Thread:
HOW I MINE FOR INVITES?!
So why hasn't a PA Wave been created and put in the first post?! ^_^
There is a PA wave, but I don't know why it's not mentioned in the first post.
Anyway, if you have wave
, just do a search for "with:public penny arcade
" (in the inbox/search panel - you may need to delete the "in:inbox" that's there already) and that should bring up a couple of waves.
OK, here's how it works:
It doesn't, not any more: As of a few minutes ago, wave.google.com
has started handing out wave accounts to anyone that signs up/in. [strike]days ago, I have been getting way more invite donations that requests. Accordingly, I am assuming that no-one else really wants an invite and am shutting this thing down.
If you get into the beta, PM me with however many invites you want to share with the PA crew and you get your name put up in lights in the OP here (if you want; say so if not).
If you want an invite, PM me with the address you want an invite sent to (one address ONLY
per applicant please) and you get your name up here too. I will then connect invites and invitees on a first-come, first served basis. If you get an invite this way, please give at least one back so we can continue the chain. Please also note that these are not
instamatic g-mail a-like invites; they are manually collated and processed by actual humans at Google and therefore may take a while to get out - we have seen averages of 2-3 days, with some outliers of a week or more.[/strike]