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Google Wave To Live On As 'Wave In a Box' 59

snydeq writes "Google Wave will morph into an application bundle for real-time collaboration, according to a blog post by Google Wave engineer Alex North. 'We will expand upon the 200K lines of code we've already open sourced (detailed at to flesh out the existing example Wave server and Web client into a more complete application or "Wave in a Box,"' North said, adding that the future of the recently flat-lined Google service will be 'defined by your contributions. We hope this project will help the Wave developer community continue to grow and evolve,' he said."
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Google Wave To Live On As 'Wave In a Box'

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Claims it got the idea from that Schrödinger fellow.

  • by beanball75 ( 126064 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:43PM (#33472564)

    To all the fellas out there with ladies to impress, it's easy to do just follow these steps:

    1. Cut a hole in a box
    2. Put your wave in that box
    3. Make her open the box

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Locutus ( 9039 )
      ya beat me to it. lol

      • you also beat me to it.
        I'll add a comment regarding a hypothetical Google employee singing this while drunk...and we all know how well singing while drunk works [I'll admit it has worked out quite well for Ke$ha's managers, though.]

    • by Ambvai ( 1106941 )

      I've run into that, but subverted... he actually taped the box to his pants and there was an actual gift inside...

      • I've run into that, but subverted... he actually taped the box to his pants and there was an actual gift inside...

        Where by "actual gift," you mean his dick, right?

    • 4. Be ready to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her if she swallows the ring!

      • since the ring is secured tightly to the base of the shaft of the wave; if she manages to get all the way down to the ring you know you have a keeper..

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      At which point she finds a dead wave because in your rush you forgot that was actually the box you where planning to test the absurdity of QM with. Guess what? QM wasent so absurd after all, not that youll care.

                --- Katze Schrödinger

    • Let me fix that for you...

      1. Lick box

      2. Let her open the box

      3. Put your 'wave' in that box

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday September 03, 2010 @11:57PM (#33472622) Homepage

    An interesting workaround of the claims that it failed - now at least it's both alive and dead until we look. And how knows what that constant peeking might turn out in the long run...

    • That's only in the Schroedinger picture though. In the Heisenberg picture, Google also has a Matrix in a box, which I personally prefer because it dispenses blue and red M&Ms every time I open it.
  • ...lots of water, and then shake it.
  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:23AM (#33472702) Journal

    I guess google stopped it because they could not figure out how to allocate the amount of server infractructure needed and still earn money while keeping the service free. I actually would think that wave would reduce googles advertisement income because it would grow on the cost of other services while it has much harder demands on the computation power assigned to it than e.g. google mail. Its ok if an email takes a minute, but in the wave concept an minute would be long. With mail its even if it takes 20 Minutes a a busy time of the year.

    • by kyuubi ( 1355069 )
      Then how do you explain google chat? and google voice?
      • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @04:21AM (#33473500) Journal
        Please contrast: google chat: i dont think much data is transported google voice: a moderate amount of data has to be relayed (1 hour of talking may be less than 10MB) - and not much storage at google is required (at least thats what i hope) google wave: if user a in Australia, user b in Europe and User c in America use the same wave, and keep it open over weeks in the expectation that, as soon as they sit down the system will react instantaneously, it will impose strong requirements on the database. If 100 Million users keep 20 waves requiring several MBytes open (remember what google suggested you do with it), then you may run into problem when you try to finance that on a free basis (which they had to do to circumvent the chicken-egg problem).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Both chat and voice are relatively easy on CPU and servers generally.

        Wave uses a fascinating Operational Transform [] algorithm which verges on aspects of AI to keep all clients in sync. It's a really fascinating approach but I can see that it is far more intensive for servers than otherwise.

        Having said that, I think if Wave had even the tiniest hope of being successful Google would have kept it going. The cost of servers is nothing to Google compared to that of having dozens of their phd's and probably hund

    • Or they could have bundled it up and sold server software with varying degrees of support like other companies that sell free things(you know, linux distros, open source software, etc). There are other collaboration suites out there and businesses want to keep high security data off the public network, so I found it odd that they didn't bundle it up in the first place like the competitors(I guess they released some code, but not all of it apparently?).
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:28AM (#33472722)

    And here's why I say so:

    First, they (Google), failed or refused to integrate Gmail capabilities with Google Wave! In other words, I could not send an email from within the Google Wave interface! What reasoning was behind that?

    Second, I just do not understand the logic behind their modus operandi of having usage by invite only or even suspending [new] registrations as was the case with Grand Central.

    This way of doing things is just a non starter in my opinion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by istartedi ( 132515 )

      I just do not understand the logic behind their modus operandi of having usage by invite only

      I think they thought that it would create buzz like Gmail did. Gmail was invite only too when it started. I think their failure was in not realizing "special invite to join Google's email" was far more enticing than "special invite to join Google's experimental thingamabob".

      Of course there were other problems with Wave too. It looked like it skipped the "do one thing well" stage and went straight to bloatware.

      • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:44AM (#33473374)

        Communications technologies depend on network effects. Gmail succeeded, despite restricting the number of subscribers, because it already had a vast network of email users to interact with. Mobile phones worked because they interacted with the existing phone system.

        Wave was restricted to communicating with Wave. Getting the people you wanted to use it to sign up, grok it, then use it, was too much of an obstacle.

      • I think they thought that it would create buzz like Gmail did.

        I remember it having huge buzz - people were desperate for invites. The problem was that when the invite arrived it was a huge let down - you just sat there looking at a blank screen thinking, "Umm, what do I do now?". With no other friends and no integration with email you were basically dead in the water. Google managed it incredibly badly. For example, there was a thriving community of public waves that anybody could look at - but to find them you had to type in some cryptic text in the search box

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *

      It was a beta test, and they couldn't find out a way to make it a viable service so they've open sourced the code and basically are saying "You want it? You host it. We'll sell you the server." This was also their solution to intranets that aren't open to letting GoogleBot tell the world about what it finds.

    • by tendays ( 890391 )
      You're totally right on the missing bridge to email, but the invite system is good in that it permits controlling the load on the system, by only giving as many invites as the system can handle. If they had opened it to everybody right away, it would have been *really* unusable due to overload. (And also makes people with an invite feel special and therefore want to use the system)
    • by YA_Python_dev ( 885173 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:54AM (#33473406) Journal

      One thing that most people didn't get about Wave is that its mayor strength is providing an environment where humans and computers can easily communicate and work together.

      Don't think about Wave as a super-email or super-chat or super-wiki, although it's a bit of all this, think of an interface that can be populated with custom robots that give to you and your coworkers easy real-time collaborative access to backends specific for your the work you're doing.

      Like a form in a web site, that's highly interactive and can be accessed collaboratively by many people at once.

      It had huge potential, but unfortunately very few people "got it".

      • Mod this man up.
      • by gilgongo ( 57446 )

        "Like a form in a web site, that's highly interactive and can be accessed collaboratively by many people at once."

        I can't see what problem that actually solves, unless the writers/contributors have control over when others can write/contribute to the wave. I mean, how often have you sat down to write an email, or a document, or make a PPT presentation and said to yourself "You know, it would be really cool if my colleagues could see me putting this together and could then jump in at any time and edit or dis

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        One thing that most people didn't get about Wave is that its mayor strength is providing an environment where humans and computers can easily communicate and work together.

        I could already easily do that with other solutions like google docs, zimbra, etherpad etc. Google Wave was /worse/ for it because it didn't have importable, exportable formats, cumbersome modifications etc. I tried to use it for development, event planning, instant messaging - It didn't seem as good as the existing solutions I had to do

  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:31AM (#33472732)
    Small OSS projects. It replaces irc, todo lists, websites, messenger systems....... If you've ever taken part in a small oss project you'll know the spread out mess I'm talking about.

    Wave COULD fix that and have everything combined. Integrate a bunch of features that are needed... like something to do difs and small file/code uploads. I'm sure depending on the project you could think of more things. It could do the job very well without much effort on the coder's part.
    • by JimWise ( 1804930 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:20AM (#33472914)

      I think there are MANY uses for Google Wave, but that is part of its problem. They are all very small, niche uses, which makes it hard to give a succinct description of it to someone and tell them how it could be relevant and useful to them. Also, since Wave is for coordinating with others it doesn't help to just persuade one person to try checking it out. They have to see a use for it and convince all the others on their project to give it an honest try too.

      With GMail, the brand new Google Phone, etc, I just had to see that it could possibly be useful for me and try it out on my own. If it works for me, then great, I can just go ahead and use it. I can tell friends how useful they are, and since they are fairly single purpose tools they are easy to describe and simple for others to figure out if they are likely to be useful for them or not. Google Wave is much more amorphous.

      Most of my friends are fairly geeky (yes, I know, quite a shocker for a slashdotter.) Back in March we started planning a group trip to Washington D.C.. We only had three weeks to plan (a friend's cousin was getting married out there and he mentioned to the rest of us just weeks in advance about it and in passing asked if any of us would like to take some days off to join in and do some sight-seeing.) Since we had limited time and couldn't all get together easily to plan we put Wave to great use. We were able to share links to points of interest, the metro system, possible places to stay; we created a roughed out itinerary that we could modify and you could click on each entry and it would show the location on the map so we could see what locations were in the vicinity to try to reduce unnecessary traveling back and forth, we put up a couple of polls for voting on what were the most and least desired to see by the group as we had to weed down a bit on what all we could do on our five day trip, and at the end of the trip we were able to share our photos with eachother. Wave allowed us to comment during lunch breaks and after work as time allowed, so even though we were unable to meet up in person or even on-line at the same time we could have group discussions about what we would like to see and do. Our trip went VERY smoothly and with the pre-planning we were able to pack in a LOT more than we ever could have otherwise on a trip like that.

      My older sister just started up a new on-line magazine. She wanted to coordinate with others to figure out what format the magazine should take, be able to share and group edit the articles and layouts, have discussions about all of the physical, legal, IT logistics of getting the magazine started with the others involved, and asked me if I knew of something that could help them do all of that. I suggested Google Wave, and although the bulk of the people involved were from an English/Arts background they jumped in and found Wave to be indispensable since they all have "other" jobs while they are getting this off the ground so they do not have matching schedules or locations.

      Wave can definitely start to get too unwieldy for large groups or very long running projects, so I agree with the "small projects" part, but I would definitely remove the "OSS" part.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        I've been in this business long enough to remember trying to explain email to people; or the web, or blogging, or wikis. A few people just jumped on the bandwagon because these were the new things, but a lot of people could not see the point. Why use a computer and a network and all that newfangled stuff just to send a note? Of course it helps if you can say something like "the marginal cost of sending a note will be zero," but then people looked at you like you were nuts. We pay good money to send lett

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Eh, i used it for a while as an Instant Messenger service, it really was pretty good at that... up until a point.
      And that point is, yes, you guessed it, the point where Wave turns 80 years old and goes sooo ssslllooowww.
      If they had the ability to archive Wave contents in the Wave data, that would be really nice.

      It makes for a great IM, until multi-convos arrive and people start inserting messages all over the place. Worse because the entire page shifts regardless.
      It would have been better if replies abov

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Small OSS projects. It replaces irc, todo lists, websites, messenger systems....... If you've ever taken part in a small oss project you'll know the spread out mess I'm talking about.

      Actually I'd look at it more as a replacement for the sheer number of MS Exchange servers out there. So many organisations are running stupid exchange setups, not just small orgs but massive ones where Exchange is so spread out each user only gets a 20 MB mailbox due to the Exch database limit.

      Not just Exchange but Sharep

  • First off, I truly thought the concept was great.

    However, not being able to delete and modify prior threads is a HUGE (there is no super-duper-de-duper-wholy-shit symbol, so I'll just use the '4' to express my WTF-idness!) privacy issue-- 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4!!!!!

    Why would you not even consider the fact that people post stupid stuff, then want to delete it?? 44444444444444444???????

    Yeah.... I thought so Google, you are up China's respective bunghole. Does NSA know about this? You should send them a memo....

  • The Google, you are too out there for me. I use The Gmail and The Analytics (can't get strikethrough to behave), The Blogspot, The Translate and that's about it. One day I hope to learn about The Wave, but I have to The Work and pay The Bills in a different geek field than The Googler.
  • The roll-out was just terrible (like, in a different way, to Buzz). They should have just added a sweet little "wave live!" button to g-chat and gmail one night. Those wanting to turn it on could have just pressed the button and been like "whoa, this is neat." But instead, Google got way too caught up in their own hype machine and the endless feature implementations.
  • I want this ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WoodstockJeff ( 568111 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:17AM (#33472894) Homepage

    .... why?

    That was my reaction to the breathless introduction one of my coworkers gave to Wave. As he listed the "neatures", as I call them, I couldn't see how any of them would improve work flow without first totally disrupting it, and, even then, the improvements were more in explaining what we were doing than in actually accomplishing work.

    Collaborate in real time, when the problem was that we were each working on multiple projects simultaneously? Find a solution that eliminates the distractions and allows you to spend 20 minutes concentrating on ONE THING, so you can recognize the consequences of each step, rather than making it easier to break your train of thought!

  • Wave had many interesting features.
    But there was no way to let you see waves from
    you email client like a feed or a plugin.

  • by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:43AM (#33473370) Homepage

    Also known as a coffin.

  • It is real time wiki on steroids, and there is place for such tool, especially in software development. But I can see it to be used in other areas like event planning, rescue operations, etc.

    It is reasonable that Google obsoleted their service, as it is really more for people to install and use locally. As it is XMPP based, I expect to see federation of Google Wave servers in, for example, open source world or big software development house.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      It is real time wiki on steroids, and there is place for such tool, especially in software development.

      Not really, I really tried to use it for development with other individuals. It ended up slowing us down, we found that it wasn't really that great for working on documents together either due to the lack of proper import/exporting capabilities and the fact that editing was cumbersome between multiple users. Not only that, but half way getting a document done, due to the vast history backlogged, it took fo

  • Google should have targeted Wave more as a collaboration and document sharing system like microsoft sharepoint in the first place. Heck if it also had its own SVN/CVS management service like source forge it would probably make a killer open/closed source collaboration tool for development. Maybe the original wave already did that and I was too ignorant to notice. Still that's how Google should have made Wave to be. Besides, we already have too many standard social networking sites as it is like facebook and
  • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

    Hey girl I got somethin' real important to give you
    So just sit down and listen
    Girl you know we've been together such a long long time
    (such a long time)
    And now I'm ready to lay it on the line
    (Wooow) You know it's Christmas and my heart is open wide
    Gonna give you something so you know what's on my mind
    A gift real special, so take off the top
    Take a look inside -- it's my Wave in a box

    Not gonna get you a diamond ring
    That sort of gift don't mean anything
    Not gonna get you a fancy car
    Girl ya gotta know you're my s

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.