• Deminem

Inside Google Waves

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Today, I thought to write my first blog about the new concept called ‘Google Waves’ launched by Google, Inc in the late 30th September, 2009. The Google Wave preview has been available to one million+ people for over six months now, but questions about Wave still abound, even by the early adopters who have gotten in and take it for a test drive. I’ve seen so many people asking the same questions on different discussion forums which I heard back when I started. Even folks bullish about new technology still don’t understand what they can use Wave for, what it’s useful for, why’d someone choose it over similar products, and how to fit into their workday.

So I've compiled the one core information about Google Waves and some of the most frequently asked questions about the system usage.


What is Google Waves?

Google Waves is a real-time communication platform. It combines each aspect of email, instant messaging, wikis, blogs, single/group web chat, social networking gadgets, translations robots and project management to build one elegant, in browser communication client.

It has a strong collaborative and real-time focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example spelling/grammar checking, automated translation among 40 languages, and numerous other extensions. you can bring a group of friends or business partners together to discuss how your day has been or share files.

List of Google Waves Features

Real-time and Embeddability

  • You can see what someone else is typing, character-by-character.

  • Waves can be embedded on any blog or website.

Applications and Extensions

  • Just like a Facebook (Facebook) application or an iGoogle gadget, developers can build their own apps within waves.

  • They can be anything from bots to complex real-time games.

Drag-and-drop Files Sharing

  • No attachments.

  • Just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.

Natural Language & Playback

  • Google Wave can auto-correct your spelling. It can also auto-translate on-the-fly.

  • You can playback any part of the wave to see what was said.

Wiki functionality & Open-source

  • Anything written within a Google Wave can be edited by anyone else, because all conversations within the platform are shared.

  • The Google Wave code will be open source, to foster innovation and adoption amongst developers.

So, what would I actually use Wave for?

  • Collaborative meeting, conference, or class notes-wether or not everyone's in the same physical room, several people taking notes in one place is much more efficient than everyone taking their own individual notes.

  • Interviews-each question and answer series can be one thread within the parent interview thread, where the interviewer and interviewee can revise and expand questions and answers inline.

  • Co-writing and editing-whether it's books, blogs, brochures, policies.

  • Surveys, Translations and Project management.

Terminology

It is written in Java using OpenJSK and its web interface uses the Google Web Toolkit. The IM service works through Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), a set of open XML technologies for presence and real-time communication.

Google Wave actually 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 it.


Wave

  • A specific thread conversations.

  • One person, or it can include a group of users or even robots.

  • Entire instant messaging IM history with someone.

Wave with google Group

  • Add a Google group to wave, set permissions and then view and edit waves with that group.

  • Unlike other group conversations, browser, group waves will only show up in Google Wave, not in the Google Groups interface.

Blip

  • It's a single, individual message in the conversation.

  • Blips can have other blips attached to them, called children.

  • Blips can either be published or unpublished.

Extension

  • An extension is a mini-application that works within a wave.

  • There are two main types of extensions: Gadgets and Robots.

Gadgets

  • A gadget is an application users can participate with many of which are built on Google's OpenSocial platform.

  • Gadgets are specific to individual waves, rather than to specific users.

Robots

  • Robots are an automated participant within a wave.

  • They can talk with users and interact with waves.

Embedded Wave

  • A Google Wave and the conversation within it and place it on your website.

  • Users could use this as a chat-room, a way to contact you, or for something more.

  • A way to take Google Waves onto a third party website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions I've gotten from people already in the Wave Preview, trying to figure out how to use the system.


Q: Now that I've gotten into the Preview, how do I invite other people In?


Search for a wave called Invite others to Google Wave. Enter title: Invite others to Google Wave into the search box, and press Enter. One wave with only you as a participant on it should turn up. In it, you can enter the email address of the folks you want to invite.


If no wave gets returned, be patient! google may not have doled out nominations to you yet. Save your search to check back later by clicking the Save Search button on the bottom of the Search Panel.


Q: How do I use Wave if no one I know is ever online while I am?


To experience the real-time magic of Wave even if your friends aren't online, search for public waves in action using the with:public search operator. Select a wave at the top of the list of results, and watch as others type into it-then jump in yourself.


Q: How do I link to another wave inside a wave?


You can create a link to a wave in another wave by simply dragging and dropping the destination wave from the search panel onto the linking wave while you're editing it. Make sure all your participants have access to the linked Wave; otherwise they won't be able to open it.


To link to a wave outside of Google Wave, first open the wave then minimise your search panel. Copy and paste the link in your browser's address bar - that link will open that wave with those panels minimised for anyone who clicks on it, is logged into Wave, and has access to that wave.


Conclusion

Google Wave is fun, but are you getting the most out of it? There is much you can do with it. Google made an overview of 15 features of Google Wave, give it a shot!

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