The sensational new real-time communication platform that will launch to the public later this year Google Wave has already become the most talked about launch by Google ever. In fact, there’s been so much buzz that you might just not have enough time to read the tons of articles being released on Google’s biggest product launch in recent history.
To make sense of it all, I’ve compiled the jest of the information, definitions, and links related to the Google Wave launch. I know you all are so excited about Google Wave, so here’s what you should know:
What is Google Wave?
Google Wave, a real-time communication platform combines aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, chat, social networking & project management to create 1 elegant, in-browser communication client. Also, you can bring a group of your friends or business partners together to discuss what you doing on weekend or even share files.
Google Wave has a lot of innovative features, here are just a few of them:
- Real-time: In most instances, you can see what the person on the other end is typing, character-by-character.
- Embeddability: Google Waves can be embedded on any blog or website. Get that Buzz on you webpage.
- Applications & Extensions: Just like a Facebook application or an iGoogle gadget, developers and tech savvy guys can build their own apps within waves. They can be anything from bots to complex real-time game, depends, how wild is your imagination.
- Wiki functionality: Anything written within a Google Wave can be edited by anyone else, coz all the conversations on the platform are shared. Thus, you can correct information, append information, or add your own commentary within a conversation.
- Open source: The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers.
- Playback: You can playback any part of the wave to see what was said. Recap – Cool enough!
- Natural language: Google Wave can autocorrect your spelling, even going as far as knowing the difference between similar words, like “been” and “bean.” It can also auto-translate on-the-fly. So, no need to pull out your dictionary while riding the Google Wave.
- Drag-and-drop file sharing: No attachments; just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.
While these are only a few of the many features of Google Wave, it’s quite easy to see why people are so excited.
Google Wave was the brainchild of a team based out of
Google Wave actually has its own lingo – yes, you have to learn a few definitions if you’re going to really understand this new communication platform. Having knowledge of these terms will help you understand more about Google’s newest project. So be ready to learn the new language of the Globe.
- Wave: A wave, specifically, refers to a specific threaded conversation. It can include just one person, or it can include a group of many users or even robots (briefed below). In other words, it’s like your entire instant messaging (IM) history with someone. Anything you’ve ever discussed in a single chat or conversation is a wave.
- Wavelet: A wavelet is also a threaded conversation, but only a subset of a larger conversation (or a wave). It’s like a single IM conversation – a small part of a larger conversation and a larger history. Wavelets, though, can be created and managed separately from a wave.
- Blip: Even smaller than a Wavelet, a Blip is a single, individual message. It’s like a single line of an IM conversation. Blips can have other blips attached to them, called children. In addition, blips can either be published or unpublished (once again, it’s sort of like typing out an IM message but not yet sending it).
- Document: A document actually refers to the content within a blip. This seems to refer to the actual characters, words, and files associated with a blip.
- Extension: An extension is a mini-application that works within a wave. So these are the apps you can play with while using Wave. There are two main types of extensions: Gadgets & Robots
- Gadgets: A gadget is an application users can participate with, many of which are built on Google’s Open Social platform. A good comparison would be iGoogle gadgets or Facebook applications.
- Robots: Robots are an automated participant within a wave. They can talk with users and interact with waves. They can provide information from outside sources (i.e. Twitter) or they can check content within a wave and perform actions based on them (i.e. provide you a stock quote if a stock name is mentioned).
- Embedded Wave: An embedded wave is a way to take a Google Wave and the conversation within it and place it on your website. Users could use this as a chat room, as a way to contact you, or for something more.
A Wave Gadget is one of two types of Google Wave extensions. Gadgets are fully-functional applications. Google says: gadgets are primarily to change the look & feel of waves, although this seems to only scratch the surface of the potential of a wave gadget.
1st: almost any iGoogle or Open Social gadget can run within Google Wave. That means thousands of applications that have been already created would work in Google Wave.
2nd: a gadget built within Google Wave can also take advantage of live interaction with multiple users. This means something like a live online game with active participation from all users. In this way, it has similarities to Facebook or MySpace applications, which take advantage of your friend network to make games, quizzes, and applications more meaningful.
Gadgets are specific to individual waves, rather than to specific users. It’s not like having a Facebook app on your profile – the gadget belongs to everyone within the wave. They also do not have titles, to better integrate with the actual conversation. Some of the gadgets already built include a Sudoku gadget, Bidder (which turns your wave into an auction), and Maps (which allows for collaboration on a Google Map).
For a more technical explanation, be sure to check out Google’s Wave Gadgets Tutorial.
Robots are also a type of Google Wave extension. They are like having another person within a Google Wave conversation, just that they’re automated. They’re a lot like the old IM bots of the past, although far more robust. Robots can modify information in waves, interact with users, communicate with others waves, and pull information from outside sources.
Because it acts like a user, you can define its behavior depending on what happens in the chat. You could build 1 as simple as “change the word F*CK to the word S*CK” or one as complex as a fully-functional debugger. Probably we’ll start seeing some very advanced robots in the near future.
Some of the robots are already in service include Debuggy (an in-wave debugger), Stocky (which pulls stock prices based on stock quote mentions), and Tweety (the Twave robot, which displays tweets inside of a wave).
A more advanced explanation is available at Google’s Wave Robots Overview.
Wave embeds are a little more complex than embedding a YouTube video onto your blog, yet, that’s really what Google Wave Embeds are: a way to take Google Waves onto a third party website. Embedded Waves support many of the functions of the actual Google Wave client, including dragging-&-dropping files.
While the Wave Embeds is still in a very early stage, Google has already built 2: YouTube Playlist Discuss and Multiple Extensions Embed. The former allows you to discuss a YouTube video via a wave and the latter allows for interaction with multiple waves on the same page.
One possibility: Google Wave Embeds may be a real-time replacement to static comments. If Google perfects wave embeds, you could even see YouTube.com comments replaced with waves, although it is way too early to make any calls on the potential of this front.
Google’s Wave Embed Developer’s Guide has more advanced information embedding waves.
Furthering your Google Wave education
The Google Wave Logo
Still can’t get enough of Google Wave? While information is sparse, hopefully these links would help you.
Ø Or come back to this blog for some new updates in shortly. J