In the 28 May 2009 newsletter, I described what was then a newly-announced product from Google, called "Wave." I remarked that "The service seems to combine Gmail and Google Docs into an interesting free-form workspace that could be used to write documents collaboratively, plan events, play games or discuss a recent news." Wave allows customers to create a customizable communications and collaboration tool without any software other than an Internet browser. The product sounded as if it could be useful for genealogy applications, especially web-based applications, but, at that time, Google had not released many details.
Programmers are now using the newly-released developer preview of Google's Wave. Details of the new product are beginning to appear on the web, based on first-hand accounts of what it's really like to use. Ben Rometsch, a developer with U.K. Web development firm Solid State, blogged that it's "probably the most advanced application in a browser that I've seen."
Wave is a Web-based application that breaks artificial barriers between document types; work documents, email, instant messages, photographs, maps — Wave makes no functional distinction between them, and allows users to literally drag all those elements into a single, shareable meta-document. Since it works in a web browser, anyone can use it: Windows, Macintosh, and Linux users can all run the same programs written in Wave. That should appeal to programmers: write an application in Wave and sell it to anyone who owns a computer, regardless of the operating system being used.
Is there a genealogy programmer reading these words?
Wave is somewhat similar to a giant Web page onto which users can drag and drop any kind of object, including instant messaging and IRC (Internet Relay Client) clients, e-mail, and wikis, as well as gadgets like maps and video. All conversations, work product and applications are stored on remote servers — presumably forever. "It's like real time email. On crack," wrote Rometsch. "It feels a lot more like a desktop application that just so happens to live in your browser."
You can read more in an article by Michael Hickins at http://industry.bnet.com/technology/10002763/google-wave-like-real-time-e-mail-on-crack/.
The following information is placed here in accordance with the new FTC guidelines requiring full disclosure concerning Internet advertising, marketing and promotional activities: The above article was written by Dick Eastman who has NOT received any form of compensation from the company or companies that produce the product(s) described. In fact, the company or companies that produce the product(s) described were not notified in advance that this article is being posted here. All opinions in this article about the suitability of the product(s) described are Dick Eastman's opinions and his alone.
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