back to article Why Google Wave makes Tim Bray nervous

Before Google’s founders were ordering pizza in their Stanford University dorm rooms, Tim Bray was working to commercialize search technology. At start-up Open Text Corporation, he was using the massive University-of-Waterloo project to put the Oxford English Dictionary online. And before Amazon Web Services was a glint in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Spare me the real-time audio/video

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    I can scan a written transcript of an event in a minute or two and get the message.

    Please - do not make me wait through a five to ten minute (or more) audio/video presentation that will dole out the same content - perhaps loaded with time wasting 'you know' and 'uhhh' and so forth. Please.

  2. iamapizza



    Isn't calling something "the next twitter" a bit insulting?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The man has a point ...

    "I tend to be a little bit nervous and suspicious of something that tries to do everything at once,"

    Too right - I was taught, many moons ago, that it's preferable (although not necessarily desirable, depending on circumstance) to write a number of programs, each of which does one thing well, rather than some monolithic behemoth which does a number of things adequately at best.

    As for the languages thing, I don't have much exposure to Erlang and I do most of my coding in Java at the moment. As for writing software for distributed systems, when I earned a living doing that I used Python. Horses for courses.

    Now if we could just torpedo the marketeer's myth that 'cloud computing' is something new and funky ... it ain't.

  4. Patrick O'Reilly

    "didn't try to boil the ocean"

    Haven't gotten to listen to it yet but from the sounds of things, "didn't try to boil the ocean", he's been hanging around Accenture too much.

  5. James Hughes 1

    I'm with AC

    Not really too clever to be watching videos at work, surely? Even if they are partially work related, you still need to explain it.

    Anyway, must be off, there is a lot of porn out there, and it doesn't watch itself. (Apologies to Gregory House).

  6. raphink

    Erlang and Wave

    It is interesting to notice that one of the major Jabber servers is written in Erlang, and that Google Wave is a set of extensions built on top of XMPP. So, it might be very possible to build a Google Wave server on top of Erlang pretty soon.

    As for Google Wave trying to do everything altogether, I don't quite agree.

    I think XMPP has the potential to do all these things. Look at the laconica software for example, an open-source clone of Twitter, which powers and among others, and is based on XMPP. Online messaging is made of many software not because it is a requirement, but because of historical reasons : email was not an instant protocol, so IM protocols were built apart ; IM protocols (apart from XMPP, which came later) were not centralized or federated, so new protocols were created for social networks ; communication over IM protocols did not allow documents collaboration, so wikis were created. Of course, this is really schematic, but my point is that all these things are separated not because they need to, but because they came one after the other, and the existing protocols didn't fit the new need.

    I believe XMPP+Wave extensions allow to do all this, and do it well, so I don't see why it wouldn't.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Video and audio suck

    Low information density; take too long to play; trash the bandwidth for everyone else; irritating noise (for the listener and everyone else); can't copy and paste interesting bits; pain in the arse clicking pause just so you can look up a new term on google.

    Can we stick to plain text, please.

  8. OkKTY8KK5U

    Just chiming in to agree with request for transcript

    As the title indicates, I completely and wholeheartedly agree that, while video and audio are sometimes useful and interesting, they're stupid unless they genuinely add something that you couldn't get from a transcript. They suck up bandwidth, time, and attention for no purpose other than, apparently, to do so. Obviously, something intended to be entertaining (music, for example) is a different story... but if the goal is information, let's please just have plain text.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Transcripts preferable here, too

    Like the manifold comments above, I'm far from enamoured with audio or video as they waste bandwidth, time and concentration.

    Sorry if this is a blow to your Web 2.0 new media aspirations. And, yes, that was a calculated shot based on everything The Reg holds vile.

  10. BlueGreen

    transcript please

    per title, TIA

  11. Anonymous Coward

    started to listen

    but couldn't stand the icky / schmaltzy american love in thing.

  12. Ed

    I agree, written is better

    Video is fine for some things, but written is much faster to read. Have both, if you wish, but when I'm at work, I don't have the time to watch a 10 minute video to see if it's got anything I'm interested in - I can scan an article in a few seconds.

  13. Jimbo 7

    to hohoho

    "but couldn't stand the icky / schmaltzy american love in thing."


  14. E 2


    I cannot listen to a transcript while walking to work or walking home, or while lying on the couch with my eyes closed. Maybe transcript OK, but MP3 better.

  15. OkKTY8KK5U

    @ E 2

    That just means you're using this as entertainment, and you're intending to plough through it irrespective of its content. That's fine; there's a place for that. There's even a place in the world for Flash. The point here isn't that one or the other is "better" in some objective sense, but rather that an MP3 is appropriate in certain circumstances (listening to while engaging in some other activity that would otherwise be intellectually dead-time) but grossly inappropriate in others (any sort of active but critical interest in efficiently reviewing the content).

    In other words, yeah, MP3 is better if your goal is to kill time. MP3 isn't better if your goal is NOT to waste time.

  16. alaricsp


    "XML laid the foundations for interoperability between competing systems and for the exchange of data that many today take as a given."

    Lies! Lies! *foams at the mouth*

    There were plenty of mature technologies for interoperability before XML came along. It added yet another format to write things in (yay, another standard to choose from! That'll help interoperability! :-), and the media buzz at the time at least got people *thinking* about interoperability a bit more, but there's nothing about XML that makes interoperability really any easier than existing technology; sure, it has a few nice things, but it also has a lot of really horrid things too.

    Sorry to rant, but I suffered badly due to people thinking that data encoded in XML would somehow be more interoperable than data encoded in TSV... there's a lot of different ways of representing a table in XML!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    The next Notes....

    ...might not be a bad thing. The current one is broken and bloated, and the original purpose (yes, there IS one) has been lost in the cloud of bling it's been burdened with. It should simply be shot and buried in a shallow grave in a desert somewhere.

    As for transcripts: I am not now and never will be a podcast consumer (the word alone - *shudder*). I am not an Auditory. I am a Visual, like 60% of my fellow geeks. Transcripts or be ignored. Be tole.

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