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Google Wave - Most Innovative Product of 2009?

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Yesterday at Google I/O attendees got to see a preview of the new Google Wave communication system. Developed out of the Google Sydney offices, Lars Rasumussen says that Wave is "what email would look like if it were invented today".

The team that developed the application are brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon. The Rasmussen brothers are the geniuses behind Google Maps, which was a significant change in the way we look at the web today. I'm happy to see they haven't stopped thinking about innovation since then. 

So what is it all about? Wave combines GMail, GTalk, GoogleMaps and Google Docs all together into a truly collaborative, online workspace. The following summary from the creators of the technology describes what it can do nicely:

"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content -- it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave to see how it evolved."  - Lars Rasmussen

There's also a full Wave API allowing developers to enhance Google Wave. You can build extensions or embed it into your site. Ola Bini has already developed an example of an Ioke Wave Robot. Google also wants to expand ther platform to different providers through the Wave Federation Protocol. Apparently it will be available for all sometime this year.

Google have done a great job of creating a feel-good conference, even during these times, by giving out a free HTC Magic (G2) phone running Android to all attendees. Man, I wish I was there!

The excitement around this announcement does make me wonder why there isn't more interest in the Eclipse Communications Framework project. In ECF you get real time shared editing, instant messaging - real collaboration all within you Eclipse IDE.  As always, I encourage you to get involved in projects like this, so we can have innovation in our IDEs as well as in our browsers.


James Jamesson replied on Fri, 2009/05/29 - 10:26pm

I watched the video. Except the desktop drag and drop of images to browser which lives in the dreamland (no browsers out there supports that), the other stuff were built on top of facebook ideas. Okey they have taken it a little further. Moreover, my key strokes instantly shown on the other side?! although it sounds good, that I wouldnt like. Why would this be the product of 2009? and How is this related to Java?

James Sugrue replied on Sat, 2009/05/30 - 3:17am in response to: James Jamesson

Well, it's just an opinion that it could be the product of 2009. It looks good, and it will change the way we look at the web. As for it's relationship to Java - I think it's something that all developers would be interested in


Onno Scheffers replied on Sat, 2009/05/30 - 6:01am in response to: James Jamesson

> and How is this related to Java?

Well.. it's built on Google Web Toolkit and you can use Java to build extensions?

Plus it helps a great deal in making communication easier in a development team. I for one am looking forward to start using Google Wave.


James Jamesson replied on Sat, 2009/05/30 - 10:37am in response to: Onno Scheffers

>Well.. it's built on Google Web Toolkit and you can use Java to build extensions?

If you consider GWT as a Java technology that would be very true, wouldnt it?

Toby Reyelts replied on Sun, 2009/05/31 - 6:45pm

If you consider GWT as a Java technology that would be very true, wouldnt it?

It's not only GWT. Wave robots are written in Java that runs on Google App Engine.

Given that you can extend Wave by modifying its Java client code or by writing Java extension points, I think it's pretty safe to say that Wave is very interesting to Java developers.

James Jamesson replied on Sat, 2009/05/30 - 12:33pm

I see so "Wave robots" should make it all very interesting. Fair enough. Happy roboting.

Maricel Quesada replied on Mon, 2009/06/01 - 9:41am

I think it offers a lot of advantages to collaborate in real time, plus having real time conversations with your friends. Also, I think you can control if the other people on the wave see or not what you are typing on real time. So far, it is one of the best products I've seen this year, it has a lot of features that are very innovative like the spell checker by context and the translator Rosy. Sounds really promising and since extensions can be written in Java, there is a lot potencial there for making it even better.

Liezel Jane Jandayan replied on Thu, 2011/08/18 - 8:34pm

A robot is an automated participant on a wave. They read the contents of a wave in which it participates, modify the wave's contents, add or remove participants, and create new blips and new waves. Robots perform actions in response to events. For example, a robot might publish the contents of a wave to a public blog site and update the wave with user comments. Robots may be added as participants to the Wave itself . In theory, a robot can be added anywhere a human participant can be involved.



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