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Ray Ozzie Calls Google Wave "Anti-Web" 256

Posted by kdawson
from the man-with-the-credentials dept.
TropicalCoder writes "Ray Ozzie says that Google Wave is 'anti-Web,' by which he seems to mean that it is too complex for its own good. In the video he complains about its complexity in relation to Microsoft's Live Mesh: 'If you have something, that by its very nature is very complex, with many goals... then you need open source to have many instances of it because nobody will be able to do an independent implementation of it.' That's its weakness to Ozzie, apparently — that this complexity that can only be overcome by open source. While he heaps high praise on the Google team that came up with this, he feels that the advantage of Microsoft's approach is that ' decomposing things to be simpler, you don't need open source.' The Register's author summarizes it like this: 'In a way, this is classic Microsoft meets what is emerging as classic Google. Microsoft gives you an integrated stack but all the moving parts are anchored on a single company's vision. Google frees you to work out the bits yourself, but you must rely on your own smarts or those of your chosen tools.'"
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Ray Ozzie Calls Google Wave "Anti-Web"

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  • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:52PM (#28271435) Homepage

    This will become a truism in future times: software is the expression of a social intelligence and the more people are involved, the better that works. FOSS is simply better at solving complex problems (like "how to build an operating system") than closed source development.

    Ironically, while Google depends on FOSS for its most innovative attacks on Microsoft (Android, for example, which has leapt over WinCE and Symbian with what appears little effort), Google keeps its most valuable technology (searching) completely closed.

    Thus, one can conclude that this is also Google's long term weakness. Microsoft: if you want to beat Google, find a way to develop a completely open search ranking system.

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:57PM (#28271487)

    As the guy who designed Lotus Notes, Ray Ozzie has no credit with me about complaining about complexity. What is Lotus Notes? Is it a database? Email system? Application development platform? How about all that and more! A good friend of mine was a Lotus Notes developer back in the day said "Lotus Notes is everything you want and need from now to the end of time, and it's all available to you right now."

    That is not the hallmark of simplicity.

  • Re:Ray Ozzie (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:06PM (#28271609)

    Well, at one point Ray was the ceo of Microsoft's nemesis, Iris Associates, but then he sold out and drank the kool-aid.

  • Re:Ray Ozzie (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:35PM (#28271965)

    So I was wondering who Ray Ozzie is

    I suggest you go read up on Ray Ozzie's contributions to computing. He's more than "a software architect for Microsoft." Here's a starting place:

  • ray ozzie tells the world that we should take wave seriously

    if ray ozzie had ignored wave, then he would have implicitly communicated it would be safe for everyone else to ignore wave

    by throwing a hissy fit over wave, ray ozzie is telling all of us that wave has real potential

    google should cut ray ozzie a check for the free PR and advertising

    when will people learn that there is no such thing as bad press? all exposure, positive or negative, is good exposure. that's why attempts at censorship often backfire (see: streisand effect)

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:50PM (#28272179)
    It is a Database centric application development platform. You don't say that it is hard to understand what an OS is if it comes with an email application, or a web browser do you? Lotus Notes/Domino is EXTREMELY simple to develop on and use. It's biggest problem is that because it is and has been an Enterprise environment first all of the features that it pioneered got renamed and the look changed a little when competitors finally got around to trying to implement what Notes had been doing for years. Since the competitors were desktop apps, most people got their first taste of these features with MS or their like, and assumed that Notes was 'non-standard'.

    The other problem Notes has is that it is so simple that companies frequently assign the first user to touch it as a developer. I'm not saying that it is impossible that the Kelly Girl Temp that is in your office this week is a great developer. I'm just say that on average, the code they tend not to be. So, a lot of companies have bad apps written by people who simply are not developers.
  • Re:Snooore (Score:3, Interesting)

    by diabolus_in_america (159981) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:53PM (#28272205) Journal

    I've found Microsoft's Live Mesh to be an idea in search of an application... whereas Google's product seems more the reverse, an application in search of an idea. I prefer the later. But also, I have no idea what Live Mesh is for. I don't know what the thing is supposed to do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:58PM (#28272257)

    Yes, Google Wave does not immediately offer any new features, but it does simplify many of those things. It is actually very similar to e-mail as it is a decentralized system for storing and transmitting data, except it is designed to be real-time, support threading/discussions easily, and embed various types of applications and rich data easily. This essientially raises an e-mail/IM medium such that it can be used instead of web for simple uses. IM is not suitable because, unlike e-mail and Wave, it does not persist on the server -- and I think the interesting applications of Wave rely on the persistance, not real-time communication.

    Consider that currently services like Flickr/Picasa are often used to e-mail photos to people because e-mail/IM as it is currently implemented is practically unuseable for that application. In Wave, you could just put the photos into a wave, include an AJAXy photo gallery gadget to make it pretty, and invite whoever you wanted to see it -- and they could easily comment on the photos, etc. A blog is even easier as it is just text.

    As the actual "application" there is part of the message, the server only has to be a normal Wave server, running no special software itself. Therefore, this makes it far easier to publish information on the internet without relying on a specific party to host the data/application for you.

    captcha: detach (from overly-centralized web-based systems)

  • by Shemmie (909181) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @05:02PM (#28272299)
    I was showing a Linux user Live Mesh today - and I've got to say it's shaping up to be a really impressive 'something'. Not quite sure what it is, but it's impressive. 5 gig syncing across my desktop PC, laptop, home server, work PC, and mobile phone. So it's a cloud storage thingy, I hear you cry. Ah ha, but it also has built-in remote desktop. And you can invite other people to have access to your remotely shared files.

    So... it's syncing cloud storage, and a remote control system thrown in. Maybe I don't get its place in the Universe, but there's no denying the technology works well.

    This is me commenting on the technology I know about - not used Wave, but it read as a heck of a technology, on paper. I'd be very interested to get my hands on it.
  • by gd2shoe (747932) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @05:27PM (#28272493) Journal

    I mean, it is distributed and decentralised, which is the antithesis of what the WWW is about.

    What planet did you grow up on? The "World Wide Web" is comprised of a decentralized, distributed (worldwide) set of computers running web servers owned and controlled by myriad companies and individuals (more specifically, the web pages and hyperlinks). You seem to understand that there is a difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet, but cannot grasp that the "www" part of the equation is thoroughly distributed and decentralized?

  • Re:Ray Ozzie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @05:31PM (#28272529) Homepage

    Summery seems a little bias, imo.

    I have a hard time being sure whether it's biased. Personally, I read that Google Wave is the "Anti-Web" and I thought, "Sounds cool. Does that mean it fixes all the dumb stuff about the web? Or... wait, is 'anti-web' a bad thing?"

    I read, "If you have something, that by its very nature is very complex, with many goals... then you need open source to have many instances of it because nobody will be able to do an independent implementation of it," and I thought, "Yeah, isn't open source awesome? It can accomplish things that are really too complex for a proprietary vendor, but it can still work out because lots of different people can work together on the solution!" And then I thought, "Er... wait, or is that supposed to be a bad thing?"

    I couldn't really tell if it was praise or criticism until I looked up who Ray Ozzie was, and then I knew it was supposed to be criticism. To my ears, that Microsoft's approach doesn't require things to be open source really only sounds like an advantage for Microsoft, not for the users or developers who might be interested in the products.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @06:54PM (#28273303) Homepage

    Really? Wave allows multiple people to edit the same document at the same time, across company lines... AFIK, this is not anywhere on the radar at Microsoft.

    Everybody seems to be forgetting that after Notes, Ray Ozzie invented Groove, which is now owned by Microsoft (which is currently in the process of integrating it with SharePoint).

  • by tjstork (137384) <> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @08:24PM (#28273987) Homepage Journal

    I mean, this guy goes around promoting himself as the next big thing for making a web site that no one's really heard of, and, as Microsoft's "internet genius", he's pretty much sucked. The company is running around in circles, has kinda blown its client. I mean Bill Gates's Active Desktop had more, well originality than anything that's come out of MS since then. At least it was an interesting concept, even if it couldn't quite work. What do we have now? Stuff that's not even really interesting.

  • Microsoft Ink Blot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by benjamindees (441808) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @09:10PM (#28274259) Homepage

    You have to understand. Microsoft has no idea what it's supposed to do either. It's just supposed to compete with Wave.

    It's different things to different people. And if any of them manage to pony up some cash for it, then Microsoft will make it do what they want it to do.

    This is typical. Nearly every application from Internet Explorer to PocketPC started out as a completely non-functional response to a successful competitor, an empty husk with a snazzy name and lots of marketing dollars. Why do you think we're seeing this on Slashdot, really? I mean, you don't find it coincidental that Microsoft has a never-ending stream of new products waiting in the wings, ready to announce mere weeks after any of it's competitors announce something similar?

  • Re:Ray Ozzie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @07:32AM (#28278017) Homepage Journal

    Lotus Notes is like using software from the 1980's. Bad GUI software designed without any regard to CUA (yes, it existed back then) or any other standard that has been used by any piece of software written since Windows 2. I found it to be the single more horrible piece of software I've ever used. Yes, even worse than Word. I found you had to be a developer to do even the most trivial operations with it.

    Maybe it's gotten better since I last used it, around 2003, but since it was 20 years out of date then, I have a hard time imagining it.

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