Google Wave Developer Preview Webcast

Posted on May 31, 2009  Comments (7)

Google Wave is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. The presentation was given at Google I/O 2009. The demo shows what is possible in a HTML 5 browser. They are developing this as an open access project. The creative team is lead by the creators for Google Maps (brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen) and product manager Stephanie Hannon.

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

Very cool stuff. The super easy blog interaction is great. And the user experience with notification and collaborative editing seems excellent. The playback feature to view changes seems good though that is still an area I worry about on heavily collaborative work. Hopefully they let you see like all change x person made, search changes…

They also have a very cool context sensitive spell checker that can highlight mis-spelled words that are another dictionary word but not right in the context used (about 44:30 in the webcast).

For software developer readers they also highly recommended the Google Web Development Kit, which they used heavily on this project.

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Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.

Back in early 2004, Google took an interest in a tiny mapping startup called Where 2 Tech, founded by my brother Jens and me. We were excited to join Google and help create what would become Google Maps. But we also started thinking about what might come next for us after maps.

As always, Jens came up with the answer: communication. He pointed out that two of the most spectacular successes in digital communication, email and instant messaging, were originally designed in the ’60s to imitate analog formats — email mimicked snail mail, and IM mimicked phone calls. Since then, so many different forms of communication had been invented — blogs, wikis, collaborative documents, etc. — and computers and networks had dramatically improved. So Jens proposed a new communications model that presumed all these advances as a starting point, and I was immediately sold. (Jens insists it took him hours to convince me, but I like my version better.)

We had a blast the next couple years turning Where 2’s prototype mapping site into Google Maps. But finally we decided it was time to leave the Maps team and turn Jens’ new idea into a project, which we codenamed “Walkabout.” We started with a set of tough questions:

* Why do we have to live with divides between different types of communication — email versus chat, or conversations versus documents?
* Could a single communications model span all or most of the systems in use on the web today, in one smooth continuum? How simple could we make it?
* What if we tried designing a communications system that took advantage of computers’ current abilities, rather than imitating non-electronic forms?

After months holed up in a conference room in the Sydney office, our five-person “startup” team emerged with a prototype. And now, after more than two years of expanding our ideas, our team, and technology, we’re very eager to return and see what the world might think.

7 Responses to “Google Wave Developer Preview Webcast”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Google Wave Developer …
    May 31st, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

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  2. Gorj
    June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    Interesting new tool, and what will be more interesting is to see what will be the Microsoft’s reaction to this and the fight between Google and Bing search engine that will be operational in 3 July . They promoted Bing very well but will it be even close to Google search engine ? We will see and every competition is good .

  3. Rob Thomas
    June 3rd, 2009 @ 7:57 am

    I love so much Google tools. They are simply for use, quality and with great customer support. I am very curious about Google Wave. Thank you for informing us about it. Keep up good work!

    Rob T.

  4. fayda
    June 4th, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

    intelligent thing google 🙂

  5. Suj
    June 6th, 2009 @ 1:49 am

    I’m seriously going to have to post more here. This site rocks!

  6. Beverly Lewis
    June 15th, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    I really cant wait to try this one up. Thanks for sharing!

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    April 13th, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

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