Second Waves

Here’s a theory: others can make better things with Google Wave’s parts than Google made with Wave itself, the death of which Google announced today. Sez that post,

The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began.

Why just customers and partners? Why not anybody? Why not point to the code repositories and say, “Have at it”?

Indeed, why not.

If the code is good, and useful, and available, it’ll get used. That’s the way to bet, anyway.


  1. Russ Nelson’s avatar

    The problem with Wave is that it was a communication technology which wasn’t available to everyone you wanted to communicate with. Consequently, Google’s staged introduction, with stingy invites, was a recipe for failure. They could rename it to Google Stage, have a link on all Google web products that says “You have %n updates Stages”, and make it available to everyone from the start. THAT would be a success, without changing the product other than renaming it.

    I’m mostly pissed off because a member of my Quaker Meeting has figured out how to use it in her context, and has been gushing about how wonderful it is. She’s not even a geek — she teaches philosophy at the local liberal arts college. So I just got interested in it again, and whammo, they’re killing it.

    It’s just stupid of them.

  2. Prem Kumar Aparanji’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    I haven’t really looked into it, but may be the Google Wave API in Google code should have the open sourced code.

    This blog post talks about them contributing the code for the in-browser rich text editing feature:

    I am guessing this is where the code for the drag-n-drop as well as live editing should be present.


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  3. Mike Bannister’s avatar

    I think by the code being open source they are saying “Have at it”. When Google says “customers or partners” it’s a roundabout way of saying everybody. It’s interestingly accurate because everybody is a potential “partner” in their gigantic advertising business. -Mike

  4. Mike Warot’s avatar

    I think Google Wave solved a much deeper problem than its web based implementation implied to the users. The ability to share a document and a coherent framework for passing changes in a federated manner is a killer toolkit to have available.

    Showing it off to the world as another form of email was a bad choice. This is one area where the web interface wasn’t an appropriate choice, but its the only one Google really has to offer people.

    This could have been a key component in the development of a CRM/VRM bridge, actually it still can be, as Google isn’t likely to try to snuff it out of existence.

    Just imagine a wave that includes payment authorization and billing as part of the data shared…. it could be really useful.

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