back to article Google Wave - interwebs idealism in real-time

When Lars Rasmussen first floated the idea, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wasn't impressed. "He came to me and he said 'This may sound kinda crazy, but we're going to reinvent communication and we just need a bunch of engineers to go of to Australia for a while and we'll get back to you after a couple of years,'" Brin remembers …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Like it - but the central resource is a no go..

    Like everything else they do, Google is understandably Google centric. If you take even something like MS Office you in principle working isolated and can thus secure your information.

    Can you imagine BAE doing their project work over Google? I can see the UK government putting health, HUMINT and all private prosecutions on them, but until a few weeks ago, their expenses would have never made a system like this, and neither would the Iraq preparations..

    So, unless it can be ran standalone it's only of use to people who don't have anything to steal (not hide). Cool, but if I were the NSA I would have closed several shops and handed the dosh to Google who do a much better job at grabbing information..

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Simple Common Sense meets Simply CompleXXXX Virtualisation

    "With engineering projects such as Wave, Gundotra later added, "We don't think about what competitors are doing... We believe that you build for the user and the rest will follow. Part of the excitement is rethinking the problem and coming up with a fresh approach.""

    Yeah, I can easily relate to that, and have even Registered it ....... "Share a Dream Freely, and if IT resonates and has Simple Clear Value, will it be Realised by ITCommunications .......... Man and Life's Course in the Hands of Machines?" .... ........ NeuReal White House Virtualisation Staff Needed ..... ASAP.

    Sadly and Pathetically though, is All and Anything that you would perceive of as being an Input/Output [I/O] of present Blighty Leadership, Bereft of Intelligence to Lead with Imagination and also have they Damaged and Impaired Vision and Lack of NEUKlearer Sight ....... for IT has been Shared with them Directly before now.

    They are as Fresh Water Stream Minnows in a World of Vast Deep Oceans and Great White Sharks? And only posed as a question to invite answers which Show your See.

  3. Sabahattin Gucukoglu

    Wave Is A New Protocol

    "But the thing to remember is that Google Wave isn't just an app. It's a protocol. Or at least it will be. The idea was to create a new communication paradigm that everyone will use."

    Good luck with that one, chaps. There's a very good reason SMTP and email are where they are today: they're simple, and they're everywhere. If you think even the hold of the 'net that XMPP has is a metric for success, you've got a very long time indeed to wait until world domination is yours, and that assumes people really want it the Google way on more sites than just Google. And that's not to speculate on the kind of tow-dragging those condemning IPsec and IPv6 are capable of.

    Yes indeed, Google, you've got a long fight ahead of you. Roll up them sleeves! Maybe you can do better than everybody else who complains that SMTP is 'Broken' and is 'Open to abuse', etc, but I doubt it. Well, if they can't, why should you? Perhaps Wave is wonderful. Or perhaps Google will be in denial before long. We'll see. In any case, I'll thank you kindly not to interfere with my use of Mutt for clear, speedy, concise communication.



  4. Colin Barfoot
    Thumb Up

    seen it before

    As I recall it was the Fisher Price Activity Centre.

    Here's a thumb to suck.

  5. DZ-Jay

    It'll fail flat

    >> "It occurred to us that by doing this live submission of characters – which by the way was how the original instant messaging clients worked"

    Back in the early days of the mainstream Internet, when dinosaurs roam the web, we had three distinct modes of personal communication: the public and very loud IRC, the personal peer-to-peer "chat", and of course, e-mail. People used to use e-mail for asynchroneous communication, and IRC for community building. Peer-to-peer chat programs (such as Talk and Powwow, among many others) allowed for real-time communication. This meant that you had to make a date to talk to people: you had to make sure they were there, and while you were chatting, they *had* to be there and pay attention.

    Each character was transmitted in real-time, and you could see every typo, backspace, re-type stutter in painful detail. You knew when the other party took a bathroom break or if their attention wandered by the mere fact that you were staring at the screen and no characters had come in during the past few minutes. You also knew when they weren't home, for your chat requests kept failing.

    Then one day IM, as we know it now, arrived. I remember ICQ when it started: it wasn't so much deferred "chat" as it was instant e-mail. You type a message, you send it when you're ready, you *may* get a response. You hoped that your party was there, but they didn't have to. They could be doing something completely different while talking to you, since it wasn't obvious when they were typing.

    People saw the benefits of instant messaging, kind of real-time, but not necessarily; kind of personal, but not really; kind of peer-to-peer, but mostly federated. Eventually, real-time chat--with its attention and availability demands--died a painful death (IRC remained for various historical reasons, but did not survive in the mainstream consciousness). There's a reason for this. Perhaps it's the same reason why video phones, though technologically feasible, never made it as a commercial product.

    But more importantly, all throughout, e-mail remained king. Some would do chat; some others would do instant messaging; there were even those who would do IRC. But *everyone* did e-mail. There was--and still is--an appealing quality to e-mail's apparent deference to time and immediacy. The recipient has the choice--and this is well understood and expected by all users--of responding at his or her leisure, or urgency, as the case may be. There's no obligation; though a response is expected, the sender knows not to hold his or her breath waiting for one. And that is good.

    Now Google wants to go back to real-time, character-by-character chat--not as an improvement of instant messaging, but as a replacement of e-mail? Good luck with that!


  6. Seán

    I for one

    would like to welcome our Google overlords and wish them all the best.

    This is really incredible stuff, combining it with something like drupal could lead to incredible near unimaginable progress. Singularity inducing stuff.

    I see you didn't get Ted to review it doubtless he would think of it as a rip off of some MS idea and claim open source was wrong in every way. I'd see it more like Volvo giving away their seatbelt tech in the interests of safety rather than making money.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Like it - but the central resource is a no go..

    .. If I understood the presentation correctly, if all the users on a wave are on a private independent wave provider, Google never sees their data. So you can have 'secure' private communication that google has no oversight of. Things only get copied to other wave servers (i.e. google's) if a participant is using a different provider (i.e. google).

    Anyway, what I found most cool about the whole thing was the 'liveness' of everything, from typing through to game playing, maps etc. I'm not so entirely sure about whether the whole concept itself will take off or not, but I think 'liveness' like that would be welcome in a whole slew of contexts.

  8. Dieter Lunn


    I would like to point out that it is entirely possible to run an independent system using this technology. The demo stated so if you watched it.

    Sabahattin: you might be surprised to learn then that the wave protocol is nothing but an extension to the XMPP protocol, thereby making it even stronger than either would be separately.

  9. /dev/me

    And from a user perspective?

    This is absolutely brilliant!!!

    It's MSN meets Twitter meets Hotmail meets Blag meets Wiki meets Office. All you ever wanted when you have an attention span fitting a 2-year old. Which, frankly, describes the vast majority of the netizens.

    *sigh* I am sad now...

    The only positive thing I can think of to say about this, is that it wasn't thought of in Redmond or Cupertino. But as it is in Mountain View, it will truly be "all your data are belong to us" (anyone read the Privacy Statement?)...

  10. Jimbo


    Lars, you might be really smart, but you have some serious ego issues and really bad sense of humor. I would love to see your 360-review.

  11. Allan Rutland
    Thumb Down

    Hang on...

    doesn't offline IM messages already exist? its nothing but a fluffed up Googly offline IM app with documents shared...ok the documents part is very nifty, but the overall concept of replacing mail with it is a bit well...web based SMS :P

    It will no doubt be hugely popular...but really does it actually do anything really ground breaking, sadly not really. Should be interesting to see how "open" Google will be with this, but as mentioned above, will they allow even the server side out so people can run there own versions? can but hope but guess time will tell.

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Phorm meets Phish meets Pariah Protocol?..... or Pretty Private Piracy?

    "But as it is in Mountain View, it will truly be "all your data are belong to us" (anyone read the Privacy Statement?)..." ..... By /dev/me Posted Saturday 30th May 2009 15:29 GMT

    And we/they don't even have to go looking for it, /dev/me. But it is a nice App if you have something important you want everyone to see, and you can do your own deep packet inspection analysis of third party comments to discover what's in their minds. ...... and that's spooky territory, which can tell you more than most people will realise/can realise.

    Although that can also be said of comments here too .... but Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear is a sound Maxim for World Wide Web Clubbing ...... and Information is easily Trailed to Groom All, from the Amateur to the Zealot .... for the Mind is like a Sponge which can be easily Filled/Brainwashed with all Sorts of Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails, Sugar and spice, and everything nice, which other can assume to be true reflections.

    Go, Google, Go ..... the World needs a Change and IT Needs it Now.

    And the Jolly Roger is very fitting, whenever one can be so very pleasantly shafted ........ for don't forget, there is no such thing as a free meal, only one which you are happy for someone else to pay for, for your good company/Intellectual Property?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I'm not really one to jump on the bandwagon of web things. I don't use facebook, twitter et al as I don't have enough spare personal time to waste but after watching the demo I think the collaboration part was amazing and will prove so in the business world. At work how much time do we all spend emailing office documents back and forth within the team v1, v2, v3, v4, etc. all the time hoping someone else isn't making changes whilst you are, meaning a painful merge later. The concept of a single copy of the document that everyone can edit and comment in parallel is very valuable.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Some idiotic comments as usual

    How many of you actually watched the video of the Google I/O presentation? Not enough of you obviously. This is an application based on an open protocol XMPP. It changes the game for a number of reasons, not least the real time language translation. Didn't you notice that? Yes, you can have an IM conversation with someone speaking any one of 40 languages and have what they type translated into your language in real time.

    This is going to be huge. I don't care that Google has done it or ifthey are the new bogeyman in town. I'm jumping on this bandwagon. You luddites can stick with ICU - stick being the operative word.

  15. rectaldisfunction

    Holy crap

    Mind <-- Blown

    Agree with AC @ 21:50 - collaboration is the killer feature for business users here. And frankly may engender a whole new era of informal social collaboration on the interwebs, simply because we've never before had a tool that makes it so straightforward and natural.

    They've obviously properly thought about the privacy and data sharing issues as far as restricting shared data to appropriate servers. But I still see some big gaps here:

    - No mention of encrypted transmissions between the servers and clients.

    - And I didn't see any native feature that allows authorized users to enforce restricted distribution lists for certain documents, or particular portions of documents. But seeing as you're working with centralized resources, at least it should be possible to develop such restrictions. Something that is patently not feasible with email.

    This is definitely game changing tech. Just, wow.

  16. Zubin Wadia
    Thumb Up

    wave thoughts for ecm... - Google Wave Analysis.

  17. Oolon Colluphid
    Thumb Up

    Re Security


    I'm guessing that good old TLS would be used to secure the communication channel between the client and server.

    As far as enforcing distribution restrictions, it sounds like this sort of thing could be easily done by an extension on the server (a 'robot' in the parlance used in the demo).

    And as someone else said, take the time to watch the video.

  18. Jeff Wolfers
    Thumb Up

    More wow

    I use Google Docs today to co-edit docs with colleagues, a bit clunky, but is a HUGE help and speeds the collab process up in amazing ways. Wave takes that basic concept and wraps all the mail, etc tools around in in a very modern way.

    Wait, this discussion could be a Wave!

  19. Steve


    Looks good, very Google like - but for reasons mentioned above it doesn't seem very "new".

    It's email, IM and document sharing. So if your a company with Exchange and Office (who doesn't) and slap in SharePoint Services (free) then your pretty much there. Although you do need Office Comms server for enterprise IM...

    Meh - collaboration like this can be done on various products. SharePoint, Zimba, couple of workspace ones hosted by 3rd parties etc. Everyone has email, and IM can be done to.

  20. Macka
    Thumb Up

    Re: Holy Crap

    I'm with you, and AC @ 21:50 .... the people tossing their negative comments around in here either haven't bothered to really discover what this is about, or just don't get it.

    Wave = Google at the moment because they're launching this, but Microsoft, Apple, Joe Bloggs or anyone else could write their own Wave server and deploy it anywhere they like. Where ever you find an SMTP/POP/IMAP email server today, you could install a Wave server right next to it. Years from now maybe those email servers will be switched off for good.

    I know that most people are focusing on the social collaboration capabilities that Wave provides, but I'm more excited about the potential to improve project communication in business. As the years roll by I move from project to project, and company to company and I'm constantly horrified at the archaic, antiquated and user unfriendly methods some people use to drive team communication. Wave has the potential to change all that.

    Watch the demo people ... 1hr20 is quite long, but it's worth it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 21:50

    Ja! Ja! Google, wir folgen Dir!

  22. Barney Carroll
    Thumb Up

    Practical uses

    Given how comprehensive the 1:20:00 demo was, I fail to see how people can claim this doesn't have any real practical game-changing opportunities.

    The days of plowing through MS Exchange, base camp, MSN, AIM, and emailed .DOC files are over when this comes out.

    As a central hub (that's user-centric, not Google-centric - as many have pointed out, this can have secure installs wherever you want them) for communications of any form, this will make collaborative work so much easier. Say I'm working on a brand new collaborative capital project that needs to be designed from scratch with major stakeholders in two other companies - the amount of nonsense averted is massive. And then with the lack of ambiguity of the 'wave' object, live demonstration, playback... And say one of the key collaborators has Chinese as a first language... No problem.

    Everybody's on the same page, that page can do everything and more we've come to expect from highly dynamic rich web apps, and where that page is at is completely unambiguous.

    Whoever doesn't relish the opportunities this will offer them, whether they're an in-house programmer, CEO or freelancer, has something broken in their imagination.

  23. John Fairhurst

    Real Cool Demo

    This looked really cool based on the demo video - which is it's job after all!

    However, there are several interesting developments in Wave, including the ability to playback the editing history, the apparent ease with which participants can be added to a wave and this seems to be under the control of the participating members so you don't appear to be able to just add yourself to a wave though there doesn't seem to be anyway for a person to be blocked out altogether so later participants could in theory add a person that the original creator may not want in.

    The ability to run a wave server internally must count very much in a system's plus as must the design of internal forms.

  24. /dev/me


    Is this groundbreaking technology? "yes"

    Will this catch on Big Time? "absolutely"

    Did I watch the vid? "ehm, about half of it"

    Maybe with my comment, I threw the child out with the bathwater. Maybe this kind of online collaboration is exactly what business users need. Sure! Most 'private users' will find an utterly trivial purpose for the technology. But maybe there's more to it than Just Another Social Network here. Maybe I didn't see the true merit of the technology.

    I may have been to cynical. It's just that, I don't know if I can stand one more avenue people use to share pictures of their cats. Lulz I can haz unlain cullaburationz... pleez

    But the technology itself is impressive, yes. And the concerns about privacy and data safety remain, as ever.

    I don't need my coat, it's 26C out there.

  25. Tony Hoyle

    No spam controls

    That's the first thing any email 'replacement' needs. In fact it's worse.. anyone can edit previous messages.

    That'll work until the first chinese link spammer gets an account. You publish a blog and bang.. all its contents instantly turn into adverts for penis enlargement. I can see that feature not getting out of beta.

  26. Lionel Baden
    Dead Vulture

    de ja vou

    either the matrix is fucking up real bad

    or ...

    The reg is recycling its stories even more !!!

    getting annoyed

  27. Vision Aforethought
    Thumb Up

    Google first to demo, not first to conceive

    I proposed real-time shared document space(s) in 2003 and possibly earlier - originally to run our own projects - and then to commercialise. Called them 'Chatboxes' or 'chatspaces' and all my team know of it. The reasons behind the chatspace idea were also identical to Google WAVE, and I also specified using distributed content to reduce the need for a central 'provider' / host. However, kudos to Google for doing it and best of all, they have the resources to pull it off and scale it - in particular thanks to their faith in the open source community to extend the concept. Their translation system may well be amazing, but is it wise to substitute learning a language, something that is part of the challenge of life? On the other hand, learning Chinese to discuss something for a few minutes with a distant collaborator may be an argument in favor! This is all very Star Trek either way.

  28. Greg Trocchia

    Some concerns

    I stayed until the end of the video and was quite impressed by the functionality that has been put into Wave. A couple of concerns spring immediately to mind though. First, it seems to me that Wave provides a lot more ways for the wave user to commit a nasty faux pas, for instance making a snarky comment about someone and then realizing that the subject of the comment has access to the wave. E-mail, of course, had ways to do this too, the infamous "reply to all" oopsie for instance. But it seems to me that the number of ways to shoot one's self in the foot will be multiplied considerably when using wave.

    The other big concern I have is along the lines that Tony Hoyle mentioned, although I am more worried about the use of Wave as a potential whole new attack surface for malware exploits than about spammers. I wonder how much though (if any) Google put into the security implications of widespread Wave usage. After all if, with benefit of hindsight, we had the opportunity to go back and redo SMTP, I would think that high on the list of things we would want to retrofit in would be functionality aimed at making spamming hard to do and easy to stop as well as making it harder to propagate malware downloads, fishing, etc. via e-mail.

  29. Mike VandeVelde

    colour me ambivalent

    "So if your a company with Exchange and Office (who doesn't) and slap in SharePoint Services (free) then your pretty much there. Although you do need Office Comms server for enterprise IM...

    Meh - collaboration like this can be done on various products. SharePoint, Zimba, couple of workspace ones hosted by 3rd parties etc. Everyone has email, and IM can be done to."

    Yeah, or Domino and toss on Sametime. Woop-de-doo. Google has wrapped it up nicely with a bow on top I'm sure, with some nifty bells & whistles features, but really nothing nobody hasn't seen before. "Fisher Price Activity Centre" - just what I was thinking! Best of luck to them anyway.

  30. jim
    Thumb Down

    bad UI

    Google's UI designs are invariably burdened with too many borders, tabs and toolbars. They just don't play on netbooks.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    OK, so it's cool

    But look at it from the data mining perspective; clearly a double edged sword. Sorry, I don't blindly trust any of the players involed in web 2.x or 3.x beta. For example, I'm a 'dilbert' style manager and think this would be a great way for my global staff to collaborate, share data, that by itself isn't classified, but given google's ability to make damn near everything available through its search engine, who's to say all of that non-sensitive data can't be connected into a document that contains company or government sensitive data?

    I'll pass.

    To elaborate on what another poster commented on, I'm sure HR wouldn't be too terribly amused IF Google logic started injecting adverts into documents, and if someone, say a female engineer, were working on something that had the phrase "vacuum pump" in it, she'd be pummled with ads for penis pumps. That's lawsuit material where I work...

  32. James Halliday

    Exchange Beater?

    Problem with Exchange is that well everybody uses it.

    Other standards (possibly better) come along - but nobody will break from exchange - well rather the first one to break gets kicked back into line.

    People try to make things work with Exchange - but never quite make it as they're not Exchange - so back into line they go.

    Google aren't directly taking out MS from the centre of the office with Wave - but they're handing out guns and ammo to all takers.

  33. Andrew

    federation model

    I am with the zealots, on the whole. Already thinking how to work this tech into my projects.

    One concern is that the federation model is not yet stable. From the draft protocol spec :

    "2.5. Wave ownership and server authority

    The operational transform used for concurrency control in wave is [currently] based on mutation of a shared object owned by a central master. "

    Reading here and elsewhere in Wave's docs, it appears that (elements of) Google would like Wave to be more federated than it currently is. Because this uncertainty lies at the root of the system and because 'architecture is politics' , we might expect a lengthy period of wrangling before a standard becomes stable.

    Either way, I hope the notion that Google must sit astride all Wave data has been put to bed. That is simply incorrect. Wave is truly an open system in principle. In practice, system designers and application owners will need to step up and compete with Google if it is not to remain a de facto Google platform.

  34. David S


    Um. Wasn't there mention that internal comments and communication happening within a given wave server wouldn't leave that wave server? So if you build your own wave server and use it to host your own internal waves, there need be no communication with the outside world unless it's needed.

    And, being open source, you'll be able to check that the server isn't sneakily CCing your internal messages to the Google mothership. Hmm?

    Me, I'm with Barney. I've run so many projects which have become a nightmare of split-version documents, people working from the wrong versions, etc etc etc; I understand there's no such thing as a panacea, but this looks like a potentially very powerful tool. The live translation thing? I mean to say, come on. Seriously. How can you not like the look of that, if you've ever done anything across a linguistic divide?

    Looking forward to trying it out for real...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live character by character chat?!?!

    I like being able to "compose" a message before I send it (applies to email, sms and im) - less misunderstandings that way. It also has the added benefit that sometimes I can "compose" a rant to let off steam, then delete it all and reply "Yeah fine". I also often use the process of "composing" a comment as a way to sanity check the assumptions on which I'm basing my argument or opinion... when I get it wrong (which, to be honest, happens pretty often ), I like the fact that nobody else can see just how wrong I got it.

    Ok, there are sometimes that realtime chat "might" be useful (like seeing others Freudian slips to see what they really think), but if things do go this way, I'll be composing all my responses in a text editor and then pasting them into the chat.

    For the record, I'm 35-40, I do use email, sms, im, and facebook (but rarely if ever update my status), I don't blog, microblog or twitter (I actually have a real life so I don't need to invent a virtual one).

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Lionel Baden

    It's spelt "deja vu". Am I getting the sense here that anything non-Windows is an issue for you ? It seems to be a reoccurring theme across anything you post on.

  38. Wolf Clostermann

    This is just a massively complicated excuse ...

    to shoehorn a Firefly reference into a major piece of technology.

  39. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Light Years ahead ...... or merely a Special Application of ProgramMING away.

    "Ok, there are sometimes that realtime chat "might" be useful (like seeing others Freudian slips to see what they really think), but if things do go this way, I'll be composing all my responses in a text editor and then pasting them into the chat." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 1st June 2009 03:52 GMT


    Some time with a shrink may resolve that inadequate paranoia ..... and may open the door to AI and ITs Brave New Worlds ..... which posits and effortlessly supports the NeuReal Maxim ... I actually have many virtual lives so I can live in ITs Real Ones and not in Past Existences under Establishment Rules and Regulations, rather than being confined to a myopic "(I actually have a real life so I don't need to invent a virtual one)"

    Although IT is a System Change which is Well Beyond both the Earthly Ken and Ethereal Dream of any Short Sighted Idiot and Cuckoo Pretender to the Perfect Prefecture of a No10.

    There's a lot going on in the Sort of Intelligence Circles which you would not normally be made aware of, by Virtue of the Nature of their State Security Remit, but which Freedom of Information Fervour can QuITe Legitimately Uncover/Discover, should one be so Inclined as to Specifically Pursue. :-)

  40. Conrad Longmore

    Elevator pitch

    The problem with a product like this is trying to explain it. What's the elevator pitch? How can you sum it up in a couple of sentences? "Ummm... it's a collaboration tool" is the best I can come up with. The likely response to that would be "Meh".

  41. Anonymous Coward

    We need to rid of SMTP

    This protocol is nearly as old as the internet itself. Its so insecure.

    We need a whole new secure protocol to help curb so much damn spam and phising etc.

    I do trust Google though.

    I like Google even though its spies on me

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did'nt watch the vid

    Or even get to the second page of the article - I lost interest.


  43. W

    Can't believe I'm responding to amanfromMars...

    but here goes...

    The line that jumped out at me from this whole article was "When you send an IM, each character appears on your buddy's screen as you're typing".

    I agree firmly with AC @ 03:52 that "I like being able to "compose" a message before I send it (applies to email, sms and im) - less misunderstandings that way."

    amanfromMars wrote: "Some time with a shrink may resolve that inadequate paranoia."

    Er, does 'inadequate paranoia' mean 'an insufficient level of paranoia' or does it mean 'paranioa based on a feeling of inadequacy'? Anyway, on to the reply...

    <mode: amanfromMars>

    This is my response to you, Mister/Mystery amanfromMArs (in your own in^H^H completely imitable stylee):

    Sir, it's a Really quITe Simple Syndication of information. Justly because UR system Paranoid/Android, IT doesn't mean the A.I. Google/Global Brave New World No.1 is not after you.

    </mode: amanfromMars>

    Although having said that, the fact that amanfromMars has replied in perfectly understandable prose, on occasion in the past means that, I'd actually _prefer_ to converse with him via Google Wave. Perhaps I might get to see the version of his posts pre- rhymes / capitalisation / rhetoric / sci-fi affectations.

    Seriously though, although, I haven't watched the vid yet (1h 20!), Wave looks like some sort of Wiki/facebook hybrid that seems well placed to eradicate the whole v1, v2, v3, v4, v4, v4, d'oh & merge scenario. And it _may_ take off in the way that MSN, myspace, and facebook have on the raplacing-email-as-chat front. But funnily enough, email (as in electronic mail) is still the best electronic replacement for mail.

    Don't forget that there's already a real-time electronic version of IM to complement the new ways to collaborate, to chat and to send mail. And it's still going strong after over 100 years of use. Most employees use it daily. Most mobile personal computers have it hidden away as one of their functions. It's called the telephone.

    One final thing, if everything is subject to infinite real-time edits and refinement that will eradicate all errors, ^H^H^H jokes may well make a real comeback.

  44. Karim Bourouba
    Paris Hilton

    This is actually quite exciting

    I know a lot of Googles endeavours are (obviously) just there to further their own business etc, but this is quite cool. I am not a fan of Twitter (and neither is anyone I work with), but I can see instant benefits from using this, the real time collaboration and translation are fantastic tools.

    I am actually looking forward to this one from Google, and I can say that before I have been brainwashed into thinking everything they do is perfect!

    Paris, well, because real time IM will make everyone think about what they are typing.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    +1 to the google overlord data issue, many organisations will not be able to use this without exposing themselves to unacceptable levels of risk.

    Also I am struggling to see anything particularly innovative about this. About half of what this app does is provided if you use SharePoint, Communicator and Groove together and the rest can be provided via several third party add-ons.

    If google want to take this route they first need to sort out map/reduce and GFS so you can siloise data, then figure out how to let people securely pipe data in to those silo's. A very large selling point of using SharePoint, Drupal etc is that you can integrate it with your back office systems and centralise your knowledge management as a result, if users have to visit a dozen different places to find things what’s the point of investing in systems like this?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If nothing else, you must admire the timing. MS must *hate* them..

    As I said, I actually really like the concept, even though I worry about the security more than most of my clients would.

    But what *really* deserves applause is how utterly thoroughly this thing nuked the Microsoft "me too" announcement of their search engine. There is barely a column inch out there about it which strikes me as extremely funny as MS used to do this to others.

    I am in no doubt that there must be a complete van worth of new chairs on their way to Redmond - it's like they never said anything.


  47. Lionel Baden

    @AC 07:23

    its worrying to think i may be becoming a M$ fanboi (i would love to be using linux but its not practical :( )

    But i wouldnt count google as anti windows tbh

    i dont have a prob with other products, as long as they are good :) (i will openly admit a serious dislike of macs though (had to network macs back in 1999 affected me for life !))

    only thing that was starting to tickle me is to keep on re-reading the same article expressed slightly differently by another author.

    "To many cooks" comes to mind.

    i like the reg dont really want to go anywhere else to get my news. also love the comments section

    cracks me up most of the time !

  48. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Real World Virtual Applications ....... a NIRobotIQs Forte.

    I wonder if Google would like to trial Waves in Cabinets/Legislative Assemblies. I'm sure the Northern Ireland Assembly Executive would make a Perfect Master Pilot BetaTest for IT. And I would hereby Boldly Go and Propose it to them Both.

    "Sir, it's a Really quITe Simple Syndication of information. Justly because UR system Paranoid/Android, IT doesn't mean the A.I. Google/Global Brave New World No.1 is not after you." ... By W Posted Monday 1st June 2009 10:25 GMT


    Such is the Supposed Snooping Power of Technology and Analytical Algorithm, that one can be guaranteed that they will be after you. And some would even lay them a trail which even a blind man on a galloping horse could follow.

    The Power which is then supposed to Offer Better Lead Control though, is then easily proven to be a IMPotent Myth whenever they tilt at windmills and soldier on in the same old fashion.

    And if introduced into the Parliamentary System, would there be no need for Second Homes and Expensive Fiddling, for Business could all be done Online from Home and Transparently too.

    And a Successful Model working in one Government/Country, will be a successful Model easily exported to All Countries for the Gangs which would think to Lead them?

  49. Sitaram Chamarty
    Thumb Up

    to the tin-foil-hatters

    this is your president speaking. I am more paranoid about google's evil potential than all of you put together.

    But (if they do what they said they would) this will be something you can run on *your* own servers.

    Ease up on the worrying!

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. ard

    Bing FUD?

    "As the company rolled out the developer preview at Google I/O, you almost got the impression it was a last-minute decision."

    Probably to deflect attention from Bing ...

  52. Jasper Westaway

    Enhance or reinvent?

    I love the way Google is putting collaboration on the agenda and I think thrust of their approach is right, bringing the document and conversation closer together.

    But I do wonder if this is a step too far for a mainstream audience? In particular, does it require us to give up the tools we use today just to have a better conversation?

    At we use many of the same techniques (e.g. operational transforms) and tech (e.g. GWT) but apply them to familiar desktop apps such as MS Office and Photoshop.

    I think this way we enhance how we work rather than reinvent everything in the browser.

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