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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My postmortem of Google Wave... why i believe that great new wave failed

ok so heres the news:

  • News for google wave

    New Zealand HeraldGoogle Killing 'Wave' Over Lack of Interest? - 4 hours ago
    By SCOTT MORRISON SAN FRANCISCO—Google Inc. said Wednesday it is pulling the plug on its "Google Wave" collaborative messaging service due to a lack of user ...
    Wall Street Journal - 219 related articles »
  • I believe this video is a good point for why it had a rough start... first they released their 90 min video to try and explain the very powerful yet complicated idea and it was just too big for people to understand implications of what they were saying. I was begging, pleading trying to find someone that hookup on the invites, remember they decided to release it like gmail where it was once again the ability to see an exclusive preview into the genius. Like the idea to rewrite the internet with todays knowledge they had reinvented email, and fixed our problems, we could update photo galleries with multiple people on our blog in real time with edits going straight to the web, Rosie the translator bot which promised that globalization would continue even faster was missing in the release. i mean now chrome auto translates for me but then where is the inline translator so i can leave my comments in broken french or whatever? yes you could argue i should just use their API and write it but theres only so much open source code you can write (j/k i dont write that much open source code but im making the effort to release more and be open with my cool new ideas) but im rambling a little with this stream of consciousness post so lets hit a couple more points

    so it can make collaboration on a document a breeze and provide a reviewable history with branches for all versions. but its like three things but all I remember is how complicated it was... i mean its its a protocol its open it can practically do magic. Here are starts at some of my work on wave, i was trying to create an othello like game... it was a game that changed over time greatly and was also based on a board like chess so i thought it would be neat to be able to replay the games. alas i gave up after trying to get the styles to behave correctly and understand how to control state in the wave

    Apparently you cant embed waves you arent a part of... wish now you could make them totally public

    and here is another example of one of few times i ever used wave... pretty dull convo so dont think theres any harm in sharing. It was cool to see real-time typing but all the bubbles and changes all got all caught up. i really think theres a specific type of job wave is good for and isnt really this realtime typing as they first pitched it. people only are writing all over something at the same time if its a get well soon card. all the other time we are reviewing the edits and trying to make our own so them pushing it as going realtime was wrong idea (in my opinion well this whole article is I guess) its history makes seeing and reviewing these edits easy its power isnt in realtime

    Apparently you cant embed waves you arent a part of... wish now you could make them totally public

    its flow was too bad... now for collaborative document editing I think its a think of beauty and I even recommend it if people are all trying to work on website copy I mean the uses that are listed in this original video are incredible...
    i never thought that key by key would be so fast over the wire... but i still feel it was sluggish... not because of network but the speed of JavaScript rendering and rebuilding the DOM tree... with chrome its all gotten much faster but when it was all first starting and there was a free for all on public waves you saw the scalability fail... there was just too much in the documents and they had to lock them down. the version im playing with now is much more polished and looks like they got UI designer in there just a little too late. but there were other things... it needed adoption by a large community of developers for it to grow, the potential for games is so cool because it saves the entire history, so things like chess are very cool... but It was trivial to cheat and I could just tear open the javascript and find the answers to the puzzles saved in the state info.

    So will we ever pick it back up in the future i have no idea... i really think it was cool but the technology just isnt there yet for doing the type of realtime stuff they were first demonstrating. I really think its an awesome product and its sad that its adoption was so slow they had to kill it. Id love to hear your options, add them below or bother me on twitter in @cartercole

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    Link to this post if you found it usefull

    My postmortem of Google Wave... why i believe that great new wave failed