Sunday, July 26, 2009

Google Wave

One, sometimes feverishly defended, rule of our technical irc channels is about not pasting code into the conversation. To show your code you are supposed to use some web based paste application and then copy the link into the channel. The need to use two separate tools, irc client and web browser, for one task, code review, is just a small annoyance - but eliminating those small annoyances is the only way towards really usable software. Many people have internalized the procedure so much, that they don't think about it any more and I am sure there will be some of them arguing that this is not annoying at all. But there are additional steps to do: choose the tool, paste the link, switch the windows and all this is a burden to the brain, even if it is processed in the background - it still consumes some brain resources.

And now imagine that you have it in one tool - not only those additional steps go away - but it also opens the way for new features like seeing a pointer to the part of the code that the other person is talking about, seeing his edits in real-time and commenting on them immediately etc.

This is why I believe in convergence of communication tools.


Chas. Owens said...

Even better, you can then edit and publish the Wave as a blog entry all using the same tools. The comments to the blog wind up being part of the Wave as well. The idea behind Google Wave is incredibly powerful and I can't wait to have access to even a primitive version of it; however, I am deeply worried that I have seen nothing from Google about the security model. Reinventing email/im/blogging/wikis without addressing SPAM is foolish. And none of the demos I have seen show a permission model other than 100% open or closed.

zby said...

Hi Chas - sure there are many other uses of the Wave - I just wanted to focus of one example that would be easily understood for the perl community. Wave is literally packed with good ideas. A propos access - someone has created a (Django based) prototype just yesterday: (via