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Google's "Wave" Blurs Chat, Email, Collaboration Software 170

Posted by timothy
from the you-may-be-thinking-of-shimmer-floor-polish dept.
superglaze writes "Google has unveiled a distributed, P2P-based collaboration and conversation platform called Wave. Developers are being invited to join an open source project that has been formed to create a Google Wave Federation Protocol, which will underlie the system. Anyone will be able to create a 'wave,' which is a type of hosted conversation, Google has said. Waves will essentially incorporate real-time dialogue, photos, videos, maps, documents and other information forms within a single, shared communications space. Developers can also work on embedding waves into websites, or creating multimedia robots and gadgets that can be incorporated within the Google Wave client." Jamie points out this more informative link.
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Google's "Wave" Blurs Chat, Email, Collaboration Software

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  • Perfect... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GypC (7592) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:26PM (#28128491) Homepage Journal
    for PNP RPGs!!! I'm going to write a dice throwing app. God, I'm a nerd. :-\
    • by CODiNE (27417) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:27PM (#28129621) Homepage

      Pride 'N Prejudice RPGs? I wanna be Mr. Collins he had his choice of babes.

      • by GypC (7592) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:12PM (#28130311) Homepage Journal
        Roll a saving throw vs. Obsequiousness.
      • I'll play as Mr. Darcy, as babes choose him consistently over Mr. Collins, and he has a job.
        • by corbettw (214229)
          Please, Mr. Darcy was a gentleman and would never stoop to dirtying his hands with a "job". Otherwise, what's the point of owning land and waiting for your titled Aunt to die and make you a Lord?

          Now pardon me as I go fondle my wife's breasts to banish the ghey that's creeping out of this thread. ;)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FleaPlus (6935)

        Pride 'N Prejudice RPGs?

        A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies [wikipedia.org] RPG would be pretty sweet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by QuantumFTL (197300)
        I know it sounds funny, but I have a friend who has been working on a homebrew system for Jane Austin PnP RPGs. Narrativist RPGs actually lend themselves rather well to this kind of thing, especially if the emphasis is on storytelling and social maneuvering, instead of THAC0.
    • I read this as "Perfect for PNP RNGs." I thought that using user input from multiple users just to generate random dice throws was a bit much, but... interesting at least.

      Start a google code project for this, I'm sure you'll be surprised how much help you get. email me if there's anything I can do.
  • by suffix tree monkey (1430749) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:27PM (#28128503)

    Make the client Windows-only again and you'll feel my wrath!

    (Reply by Google: What are you going to do, quit gmail? Ouch! )

    • by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:38PM (#28128743)
      It will be in beta for 5 years. So you have no grounds to complain about anything for a long long time.
    • Re:Public warning (Score:5, Informative)

      by Blice (1208832) <Lifes@Alrig.ht> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:02PM (#28129165)
      The first "client" is actually a web app. A pretty one, at that.

      Screenshot here~ [blogspot.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jurily (900488)

      Make the client Windows-only again and you'll feel my wrath!

      (Reply by Google: We know where you live. )

      Fixed that for you.

      • by monkeyboythom (796957) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:01PM (#28130095)

        Make the client Windows-only again and you'll feel my wrath!

        (Reply by Google: We know what porn you look at. )

        There. Really fixed.

        • Re:Public warning (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:14PM (#28132549)

          Actually, you did fix it.

          Google tracks you online.

          Google knows what you watch, what you read, what medical conditions you search on, reads the emails you send to your mom, knows where you live and what color frisbee is stuck on your roof, and soon will track every phone call you make from the gphone.

          Replace "google" with "the feds" and I bet we'd all... oh, no, nevermind, I just remembered, we all trust big corporations...

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Flipao (903929)

            Google tracks you online.

            Oh yes, long live Microsoft sponsored FUD.

            Noone forces you to use Google, if they know what porn you surf for, it's your own damn fault.

    • by curunir (98273) *

      I'm assuming this is a reference to Chrome, so I thought I'd share what one of the Chrome developers said in his talk about Chrome's internals at the same conference where Wave was unveiled. Someone asked the Mac/Linux question and the answer can be summed up in 5 letters...NPAPI. As explained, NPAPI is fairly windows specific and comprised a huge chunk of the engineering effort to get the Windows version of Chrome out to the public. But given that the Windows solution is almost entirely non-portable, they'

  • Groove ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lbalbalba (526209) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:36PM (#28128693)
    Somehow I can't shake the feeling that this is a similar product as 'Groove' from a few years back...
    • Sure but if google does it maybe it won't suck. At least we can be fairly sure it won't get bought out by Microsoft. Which, IIRC, is when the major suck set into groove.

    • Re:Groove ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:25PM (#28131277) Homepage

      I think that real-time collaboration is a flawed concept in most contexts. People are not at their best when they have to be creative, inventive, or thoughtful in real-time with an audience. Nor do people do their best analysis when they're sitting around a (virtual) whiteboard.

      Asynchronous collaboration tools are always going to be more important than synchronous ones; synchronous is better for broadcast and one-to-many communication.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GaryOlson (737642)
        And, if you force people to function asynchronously, people will more likely take the effort to request only what they need. Real-time people have little impulse control and make requests because they can -- not because they should.
      • Re:Groove ? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Swanktastic (109747) on Friday May 29, 2009 @12:14AM (#28134621)

        People are not at their best when they have to be creative, inventive, or thoughtful in real-time with an audience.

        I'd be interested for you to elaborate on why you believe this. There's plenty of counter-evidence to this point in that the following practices are time-tested ways of creative thinking:
        - comedy writers bouncing ideas off each other to start penning a script or sketch
        - group brainstorming for new names of products and advertising ideas
        - new product ideation amongst engineers

        I'm sure everyone is different, and some prefer quiet solitude to be creative, but it seems the exception rather than the rule in most organizations. I personally find that people tend to be much more cautious and defensive when they have time to craft a well thought out idea, as opposed to blurting out a potentially stupid/creative idea.

        • I see that kind of environment creating superficially clever ideas at best, not deep rethinkings.

          I can't imagine any of the great artists, authors, poets, or even engineers doing radical work, partially because of self-censorship and the performative nature of group ideation. It's good for sitcom writing and for creating a "product" - it is poor for revolutionary research, rigorous engineering, or profound insight. I can't imagine a Proust, a Joyce, a Beckett, an Ionesco - a Tarkovsky, a Fellini, a Godard -

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by smallfries (601545)

            It's strange that you think that - real (actual physical) whiteboards are great for engineers and scientists. There is still a division between people who are happy thrashing ideas out on a board, and those who feel that they need to nurture something in private. I have to ask whether your comments about the environment being poor for research and insight are limited to virtual whiteboards or if they extend to their real-life counterparts?

            So where do you think virtual whiteboards break down? Is it the lack

      • I think you're right that most creativity comes asynchronously. But I find synchronous collaboration useful because it helps to define the problem and find additional issues that I might not otherwise realize were there. The solutions often then come asynchronously. But distributing the problem is probably better done synchronously to avoid people having wildly different views of what the problem actually is. Something that I have found is often the case in these situations.

        Devon

    • by Triv (181010)

      Ha.

      Groove + Google = Grovel.

  • Gmail (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Barely out of beta [slashdot.org], and now it's obsolete.
  • Ugh (Score:5, Funny)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:40PM (#28128785)

    It's like email and twitter and instant messaging and facebook all in one.

    Disgusting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by omgarthas (1372603)
      but with the word google on it
    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:39PM (#28129797) Homepage

      Except maybe it will be what something like Twitter, Facebook, and IM should have been from the beginning. For one thing, it sounds like it will be open and decentralized, meaning that I can set up my own Wave server, and you can set up your own Wave server, and our users can talk without any problems.

      You can already do that with IM so long as we're all using Jabber, but otherwise it can get a little problematic. But I can't set up my own private facebook or twitter server, and even if I do, there's not support for my server to let people befriend and network with people on the real Facebook and Twitter.

      To me, that's always been the #1 problem with social networking sites on the Internet. You can't set up your own, but instead your left to make a new account on whatever site is cool this week. Like what if instead of being able to set up my own webpage, I had to set up a webpage on whatever hosting company was trendy, and then rewrite it based on that host's protocols?

      • By setting up your own you're destroying the networking aspect.

        A private site for friends will never have the pull of a world-wide LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE site.

        If that's what you want, great, go for it. But I seriously doubt that's what Google has in mind. They want all of your data, and this is just another tool for them to get at it.

        Maybe you'll be able to set up your own wave "servers' (be they on your hardware or Google's), but they'll all tie in to Google's master server hive (of scum and villainy)

        • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:59PM (#28131669)

          By setting up your own you're destroying the networking aspect.

          A private site for friends will never have the pull of a world-wide LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE site.

          Accurate, insightful.

          If that's what you want, great, go for it. But I seriously doubt that's what Google has in mind. They want all of your data, and this is just another tool for them to get at it.

          Controversial point. Trying to spread fear, whether or not it's justified. The following couple of paragraphs present some interesting speculation.

          Regardless of function or intention, my comment still stands (despite being modded troll by Googs) - the layout shown is hideous and provides nothing but total information overload.

          If there's anything in your post to warrant a troll mod, this is it.

          You post here a lot, and you don't trouble yourself to be terribly civil. Not that that's uncommon, but I think it's a shame. Your ideas seem generally worthwhile, but your attitude probably limits their discussion. Geeks and engineers are probably more likely than most to pay attention to the factual accuracy of any statement instead of the emotional context; the opposite is the rule in other circles. If I may offer some advice: if you're going to be callous, be right, and even if you are right, don't bitch about the troll mods.

          Respectfully yours,
          -T

          • I'm not bitching about it, someone else commented on it.
            I don't give a shit about being civil or whatnot. I see bullshit and I call it out.
            I have an idea and I put it out there.
            I have an opinion and I state it.

            Wave is ugly as shit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Locklin (1074657)

          I can set up my own Jabber server and talk to people on Google's GoogleTalk or Gmail chat. In fact, that's what I do except I'm using jabber.org's server. Of course, Google still gets your conversations with those people, but not if you use OTR.

          This sounds like the potential that Jabber/XMPP has always had, but no one seems interested to implement.

        • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Informative)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:01PM (#28133617) Homepage

          By setting up your own you're destroying the networking aspect.

          A private site for friends will never have the pull of a world-wide LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE site.

          Er... no. You could set up social networking standards and protocols that would allow various sites to enable their users to build profiles which could then be shared in a manner very similar to facebook. You'd want some kind of common authentication (OpenID) if you don't want all the profiles to be public. If anything, I'd say that by keeping a private little proprietary system, they're limiting the networking aspect.

          They want all of your data, and this is just another tool for them to get at it.

          ...except that it sounds like they're making it all pretty open. From TFA, "The code will be open source, and developers intending to build on the platform are being given access to APIs, according to a post on the official Google blog."

          So you can build your own implementation, and the whole thing is going to be P2P, so Google won't necessarily have access to your data unless you're specifically using their server.

          the layout shown is hideous and provides nothing but total information overload.

          Well first, I don't agree that it's so awful. Second, it's pre-release and not even a public beta. Third, it's going to be open source so you can skin it or completely rewrite the interface.

          Sounds good to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But I can't set up my own private facebook or twitter server,

        Twitter -- I see no reason why this couldn't be just Jabber to some sort of broadcast channel.

        Facebook -- XFN, OpenID, and friends.

        even if I do, there's not support for my server to let people befriend and network with people on the real Facebook and Twitter.

        That's the real problem.

        There's a whole set of open standards that pretty much covers all of what social networks do for the user. But for some reason, most users are still in the gated community of Facebook, so even though the open communities could theoretically be bigger, better, and freer, right now they're smaller, because they're not Facebook.

        But what makes you think this

      • by outcast36 (696132)
        Laconica [laconi.ca] is a FOSS twitter clone. You can install private, publish to web, and it works with so many of the popular third party tools.
    • Why is the parent marked as a Troll? It is an opinion.

      From the picture given, it looks extremely busy. Are we trying to raise a seizure-proof human by overloading one's senses until one completely shorts out by having no attention span at all?

      Yes, I see where people feel the need to group apps into one container; it is our nature to try to tidy things up. But really, do we need that much data anyway?

      Seeing people walking or driving or whatever they're doing while looking at a tiny screen reminds me of th

    • by bazorg (911295)
      Facebook already has instant "status notifications" (tweets) and online chat. I'm quite happy with it, especially after finding the ZX Spectrum emulator. let's see Google beat that :)
  • by mpapet (761907) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:50PM (#28128967) Homepage

    So, they use SIP to chat and handle voice. There's a protocol for presentation that's rolled into some SIP servers. You guys have no idea how powerful the SIP standard is. There isn't a client that handles it all yet.

    Besides the very un-special nature of the application, I'd be interested to see if the Telcos will litigate Google on their gigantic pool of obvious patents. Either that or Google's paying them a 'vig' already.

    • ...if the Telcos will litigate Google

      Sadly, you won't be able to find said Telcos on the Internet... :-/

  • quite needed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hh4m (1549861) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:53PM (#28129013)
    i cant wait for this app... its so hard for people on tight budgets to collaborate on projects due to the high software costs... sure one can argue that there are many free alternatives out there but there really isn't anyone that has it quite right yet. One on one collaborations are okay but it is still quite impossible to have a decent meeting on line if you have three people or more, for free...
  • Firefly (Score:5, Funny)

    by endianx (1006895) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:59PM (#28129115)
    I can not believe this was tagged Firefly so quickly. I am truly among my peers here on Slashdot.
  • Patent License? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xlotlu (1395639) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:14PM (#28129379)

    It's this [waveprotocol.org] I find most interesting:

    Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Google and its affiliates hereby grant to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this License) patent license for patents necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If you institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the implementation of the specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses for the specification granted to you under this License shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

    • Cool. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:35PM (#28131375) Journal

      If I'm reading this right, it looks like patent MAD. Basically, Google is saying, "If you sue anyone for patent infringement about this spec, you give us the right to sue you. If you don't sue anyone, we're cool."

      The implicit threat is, of course, that Google will own as many patents regarding this spec as anybody, but as long as nobody exercises them, it doesn't matter -- they're still allowed, for this spec.

      Which is both very cool, and raises some interesting questions -- like, what if I implement the spec as part of a much larger app, and someone sues me for infringement of a different part of the app? Or, what if I want to create a modified version of the spec, or create a wholly unrelated application that infringes on patents related to this spec -- do I open myself up to lawsuits then?

      • all it says is that if someone want to sue anyone for using Google Wave due to patent violations in Google Wave, they have to stop using Google Wave too
        • It's more than just that... read it again.

          It says that by implementing Google Wave, as long as you don't sue other people for patents relevant to it, Google won't sue you for patents relevant to it.

          There is the implication -- though certainly not explicit or required -- that if you do start suing people, Google could sue you. But so long as you don't, you're safe.

    • by Meneth (872868)
      *Sigh*. Good for the moment, I suppose, but if software patents were abolished, we wouldn't need it.
  • Messyboard anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eharley (214725) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:17PM (#28129433)

    This reminds me of a PhD thesis I read about a few years back. Adam Fass' Messyboard [messyboard.org]

    MessyBoard is a networked bulletin board that allows people to share notes, pictures, files and other content. Everyone who looks at a MessyBoard sees exactly the same thing, and all users see changes in real time. It runs as a Java applet inside your web browser, so no software installation is necessary. Text and images from other applications can easily be posted on MessyBoard using drag-and-drop and cut-and-paste. Each board has a URL that is easy to remember, so you can access it from any computer on the Internet.

    MessyBoard stores a complete history of all activity, allowing users to go back in time and recover old content simply by clicking on a slider bar.

    Coincidentally, Fass now works for Google in WA state.

  • by proc_tarry (704097) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:18PM (#28129449)
    Google is also introducing the new service "Particle" which will be the same service with different properties.
  • by HertzaHaeon (1164143) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:23PM (#28129553) Homepage

    This could be a cool tool for playing RPGs (of the pen and paper variant) online.

    Use the chat or Skype for talking, and the Wave functions for posting maps and stuff, and clients for rolling dice and such.

  • On a personal level, we just planned a large camping trip for 19 people on Memorial Day Weekend through email, and it would have been a lot easier had we been able to conveniently embed maps and such into the conversation, and had it flow a little more real time.

    On a business level, we have employees on two coasts and this might be a useful tool. Though how much of this is really P2P and how much of the data resides in the cloud? The encryption issue stated by a poster above is also a big one, and I woul

  • by plurgid (943247) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:51PM (#28129941)

    countdown to this being used for warez and porn ... 3 ... 2 ... 1

    • by Eil (82413)

      Hello, this is the Internet we're talking about. If there were any service, protocol, or application which wasn't used for porn in some way, I'll eat my hat.

  • Great, nothing like a good wave to help get some height.  Should make it considerably easier to jump the shark with.
  • The decentralised nature of this system will directly threaten Facebook, Twitter et al.

    The DNS system works, and scales, because everyone publishing information to the DNS is responsible for the upkeep of the nodes that publish their own records.

    Facebook and Twitter, however, have scaling and financial problems. Facebook, so far as I am aware, continues to make a substantial annual loss despite its enormous success, and I have yet to hear that Twitter has managed to turn a profit.

    More importantly, the privacy of everyone publishing much of their personal, private correspondence using a small number of centralized agencies is directly threatened -- and it could get particularly messy if, in a few years time, $SOCIALNETWORK fails to become profitable, goes into receivership, and the vast databases of private information are identified by the administrators as the organisation's most valuable asset.

    In contrast, a Wave infrastructure, like DNS, will distribute the upkeep and storage of private information to many (hopefully) locally trustworthy systems. Because of social engineering / hacking attacks, leakage of private information can and will still occur, but the impact should hopefully be minimized if the Wave protocol and its implementations have been suitably well engineered.

    This is going to be interesting.

  • by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:28PM (#28131293) Homepage Journal

    If this could kill Microsoft One Note that would be so nice. :)

  • Which is a good thing, because my priorities have moved on anyway.

    All I ever wanted the never really started TransForum 2.0 for was a tool for communication and collaboration about other, potentially media-rich, projects.

    Now a decade on from when TransForum [transforum.net] 0.99 was momentarily state-of-the-art, I have a dozen projects ready to try surfing this next Southern Ocean Wave ... as always too much choice.

    Now if only Google will finally complete what has long been their obvious mission and provide a guaranteed per

  • Am I the only person who thought about Netscape 4's whiteboard and wondered why this technology is still 10 years behind?
    At this rate my D&D campaign will never end.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      10 years? I remember PowWow [wikipedia.org] (circa 1995) had a whiteboard feature. Apart from the single time where everybody starts doodling concurrently just to see what it's all about, I don't think anybody ever used it.

            -dZ.

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