I still don't know...
I still don't know what wave is.
Google has boxed up its unsuccessful Wave project and handed the unwanted code to open source developers. The company announced the “Wave in a Box” project yesterday, and said it had already dished up two hundred thousand lines of Wave protocol code. Mountain View plans to beef up its existing Wave server and web client …
It looked like the bastard child of Google Documents mated with Google Mail. It had no clear purpose or compelling features that would have made it succeed. I think it was meant to be collaborative whiteboard kind of thing which would be great except it didn't do anything that couldn't be done with standard tools like mail, IM & calendar - all things Google already offers.
If Wave offered free phone conferencing, screen sharing & whiteboarding I think it may have had a lot more impact than it did.
Kudos to Google for sharing at least some of the code running it.
I think, in a nutshell, its like a bulletin board with lots of flexibility where you can invite people.
Think of creating a bulletin board for a particular topic which you only want a select group to use but you define the access (no need for central admin). Then the board has ability to attach pictures and is fast response etc.
How much of developers / users lack of interest, is due to Google never actually realesing code that worked with the Federation Protocol (and thus enabling dev's / companies to set up their own Acme Wave (as at Google IO)? That would have provided the perfect test environment for their enhancements, and also get companies keener to get on board.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think I'm pretty much on the ball. But lets analyze what wave did
1) a thread list of conversations
2) the ability to add/remove people from a conversation
3) each conversation can post messages, reply to existing messages and nest them like a giant conversation
4) record timestamps of events, so you get playback
5) share media like youtube, or flash documents, also integrated with google docs etc
6) federate (fancy way of saying integrate) with external servers running the wave software
Hmmm, I've run out of things to mention.
200,000 lines of code for that???? I can tell you from PRACTICAL experience, I can deploy a similar application on your server, with some tweaking and it'll run barely past 4,000 lines of code. It'll be completely self contained, etc.
Why is it so dammed complicated? Perhaps thats why they failed.
I can't see where the other 196,000 lines of code are going..... I have a practical demonstration of something similar running on a clients server now (don't ask, I won't show you, it's a client dammit)
so can someone explain to me what I missed??
1) Thanks for explaining the google wave to many of us.
2) They need more lines of code possibly because it needs to hook into google sign on, big table and scale for all the users. Or, maybe as many of us have seen that while a demo needs barely 1000 lines of code, the real app runs into 100s of 1000s.
3) I think it failed coz it was a seperate app instead of integratinginto gmail or buzz.
Is that it was not integrated with Gmail.
That is the only reason it did not success.
If one needs to maintain both gmail and wave accounts, gmail wins.
If they were integrated, so one can choose to use either interface, the users would have embraced this app, as it's a very good one !
Google Wave is what you get when you IRC, SharePoint and PHPBB get drunk one night and decide to do something unspeakable in a needle-ridden back alley. The outcome is a lot like the Octoparrot from the Simpsons.
"Polly shouldn't be!"
Give it a few generations of revision by the open source community to discover a purpose for it, and it might be grand...but by that point, it won't be Wave anymore...
For me the key feature was the ability to plug in robots to integrate with other systems and services. This is what made it different from mail/IM etc. It could have enabled all sorts of commercial scenarios with different ERP systems having their own robots participating along with ERP users, suppliers and customers.
In that sense it was more of a collaborative, interactive workflow system than a fancy email system.
The reason it failed in this context is that the developer experience was awful. Poor documentation, non-existent test servers, lack of "local wave servers" for devs, unpredictable changes with little or no warning. The list goes on.
Compare this to the developer experience around force.com or Windows Azure. Both of these companies understand what it takes to develop good quality systems in the real world. If you buy into Google, you are buying a support nightmare. Who wants that?
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