Have you heard about this new wave that is coming towards you at rapid pace? Or should I said the wave which has already hit some of us and some of us are about to be hit by it. Whatever is your current status, this wave surely promises to drown you in near future. And believe me, I think you are going to enjoy it and won’t mind it a wee bit to be overwhelmed by it. Have you already guessed it? Some of you might! But for those who haven’t you can actually go and Google it, I mean search it. And when you search for the word “wave” the first result that you get is not of any other wave, but of “Google Wave“.
Yes all that foreplay I did is for Google Wave. It is surely now one of the most talked about things in the technology world. Google Wave is “a personal communication and collaboration tool” announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on May 27, 2009. It is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to bring e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking at one place and one platform. It has a strong collaborative and real-time focus. Not only this it is being supported by extensions that can provide, for example, robust spelling/grammar checking, automated translation between 40 languages, and numerous other extensions. Initially released only to developers, a “preview release” of Google Wave has been extended to about 100,000 users on September 30, 2009. At first glance doesn’t that sound amazing!! If the answer is in affirmative then read on!!
A wave is equal parts conversation and document i.e. a wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared. Any user can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add other users at any point in the process. Then the playback option lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when. This enables everyone to be at the same platform in the communication process and provide them the opportunity to take a break for sometime as he/she can rewind and get back in the process.
A wave is live i.e. it has real time interaction capabilities as with live transmission as you type, other users on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time. So there is no time lag as everything happens real-time.
Some exciting technologies makes Google wave more fun. Some of them are listed below:
1. Real time collaboration: The exciting part about this is that it allows all the people in the wave to modify i.e. edit rich media at the same time. This is being made possible in the wave by the concurrency control technology. In case you want to know more about it through a descriptive video click here.
2. Natural Language Tools: This is another tool which can come in very handy and can actually be of lot of use for the users. It is a server based model which will help users by providing suggestions and spelling corrections based on the context. Check out this video for better understanding of the same.
3. Extending Google Wave: And yes you can make Google wave larger in terms of its applicability. This can be done in two ways. One, you can use wave to build extensions either to automate certain tasks or to do certain things in a new way. Secondly, you can embed the wave in some sites like the social networking sites and make them more collaborative. Read about the APIs that can help you achieve this here.
I would not go into the technical details about how this next generation of Internet communication is built, because I feel that would be too complex. But yes as in many other case Google plans to release most of the source code as open source, allowing the public to develop its features through extensions. Google will also allow third-parties to build their own Wave services as quickly as possible (be it private or commercial) because it wants the Wave protocol to replace the e-mail protocol. Initially Google would remain the only Wave service provider as it is obvious. The other players are however expected to come into picture with time as the product becomes more stable and standardized.
Before I end, one interesting fact about Wave. It derived its name from the famous Firefly television series.
Also do watch the video which is from Google I/O 2009. So, enjoy the new wave and get drenched in it. I will be doing the same! Have a nice timing surfing the Waves!