Software ahead of the curve: Google Wave

Google Wave, is the hottest thing on the web at this current moment. And to be frank marks the start of Google's rise in my estimations and there commitment to the web as the platform. When I first saw the Google IO video was impressed and seeked out my wave invite I would have got if I had gone to the London event. So I've been using/on Google wave for a while now, but since the public beta I've started to really use it for conversations.

So I've noticed Google wave has been getting a bashing from some high profile bloggers in the industry such as Scoble who thinks it will crash on the beach of overhype (what ever that means?). So what do I think? Well I think its amazing and most of my thoughts after watching the video still hold. So I'm going to start with the things I'd like to see changed or I think are not quite right.

Web-like – Wave is on the web but still not part of the web enough. For example why is it I can't send a link to someone directly to a wave or even better using the querystring to a section within a certain wave? Ideally you could do it with Xpointer or Xpath. I know there's wave robots/plugins which can push things out of the wave environment but linking and anchoring should be built in at the basic level.

Groupware – Wave is as far as I can tell a groupware system and although this is great for the enterprise, its also got enough usefulness for much smaller adhoc groups like us arranging events over basecamp, etc. So because of this, it needs plugins for time management, spending, calendaring as soon as possible. Heck I'd like to see a basecamp plugin for Wave but thats for another blog post. I did say ages ago that Lotus, Novell, Microsoft should be worried. There big bulky collaboration systems are under threat by the wave protocal. If they were smart they would quickly launch some skunk work clients or conversion transports using wave. Steve Rubel talks a lot about how Wave doesn't solve a consumer problem and therefore it will die. but I don't it has to, in the same way basecamp doesn't solve a consumer problem. No this is groupware for everyone but someone will adapt it for more clever things.

Client – Wave is crying out for some enterprising developers to create clients for it. I'm not knocking Google's Web Toolkit (GWT), google have done a great job with Google Wave's client but its not quite there yet. Its heavy on my browsers resources. I know there's a version for webkit browsers and the command line, but wheres the XUL, AIR, GTK+, QT heck even a Flash version. The API has been done and theres already reference versions to learn from, so whats taking so long? I can't be the only one thinking this? Anil Dashes excellent blog post talks about the complexity of Wave but never seems to mention how much better wave could be with a different client. Actually this would also solve a lot of the issues Steve Rubel is talking about with Wave.

So i'm still impressed but can't help people are writing it off at the first fence. Give it time to mature and grow before writing it off now. Wave is a hot but not ready for the consumers yet. Oh by the way I've run out of invites sorry.

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Google urges Web adoption of SVG

SVG logo

Thanks Brendan for the pointer to this post about SVG.

Some seeds for overhauling Web browser graphics were planted more than a decade ago, and Google believes now is the time for them to bear fruit.

The company is hosting the SVG Open 2009 conference that begins Friday to dig into a standard called Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) that can bring the technology to the Web. With growing support from browser makers, an appetite for vector graphics among Web programmers, and new work under way to make SVG a routine part of the Web, the technology has its best chance in years at becoming mainstream.

Good stuff, I still think SVG is amazing and deserves to be taken seriously. This might be just the boost it needs to move forward and become fruitful. The benefits to google must be quite clear and i'm sure svg will make it into chrome if it doesn't already have it? It would also make sense to include SVG or even SVG tiny into the Android stack too. And lets not forget Google needs to have a answer to Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight. Well between SVG, HTML5, JS, CSS and there recent spend on On2's video codecs who knows what could be built.

Ages ago Antoine Quint gave a presentation at Xtech which showed the total stack of Joost's media player application. The stack included SVG, alongside XHTML, CSS, JS, RDF, XUL. The biggest problem they had was with video playback which integrated and was controlable via dom scripting. Well now with that problem almost solved without the aid of Flash/Silverlight. Its should be easy to complete the web stack, and without bigging up Google again, there doing and thinking the right way again.

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Google Wave? Let Pulp Fiction show you why

I know I've been promising to put my thoughts about google wave up for ages but I wasn't actually sure the EULA allowed public reviews when I was on the sandbox server. However now its somewhat more public, I'm seeing stuff popping up all over the place, so its certainly time to write something. Till then, here's some great use of wave found via a public wave.

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