dinsdag 9 juni 2009

Google wave

Saturday I had a party with my family in-law. Serge asked me whether I'd heard of "google wave" already. My interest was peaked and I checked it out on sunday evening on wave.google.com. I watched the entire 1h20 video of the demo at the google i/o conference.

There are two things I'd like to mention. First of all, I found the presentation pretty amateuristic. The presentation was pretty mediocre at some parts and the jokes were not really funny. How can I teach my students that they have to prepare decent presentations when even google's people don't do it? And the excuse "it was just a developer release" would be an insult to developers, I think. So I would have appreciated a 15 minute version with most of the chatter cut out.

But then the thing itself. Google Wave is a "communication and collaboration tool". In short, they set out inventing email as if they were inventing it today with all the technology at hand. But to say Wave is email, is not correct. It's like a combination of email, instant messaging, blogging, a photo site, wiki all in one. It integrates with your blog and your social network. You can collaborate with multiple people (demo was four) on a piece of text in real-time. It has playback functionality like walking through a revision history in source control. Etc. etc.

Google also thought about federation. This means companies will be able to set up their own wave-server and create wave-accounts just like you can do with mail. And open sourcing it after creating open API's means developers will be able to create extensions for waves at several levels (i.e. at product or protocollevel).

So did google succeed in impressing me? Yes! (Despite the crummy presentation :-)