Surf Regularly… “Wave” is here !!


I started as one of the oldest users of Hotmail when it was first launched as the world’s first free web based email service (the name itself derived from the HTML technology that was used first to ) and continued till now when it runs on Ajax Technology.

I used to have a Yahoo ID too as an alternative for chatting with my friends (somehow i liked the Yahoo Chat Interface) and for personal use alone.

But beyond all these i have used the Netscape Mail as the client for emailing. Although i am not trying to state that i am as old as Ray Tomlinson, but i am sure that he would have been as surprised as me when i saw the interface of Gmail (For Google Mail) in the developer’s invite only preview edition first in April 2004. It was a paradigm shift to traditional emailing with amazing usage of JavaScript technology. It was the 1st time ever when emails and their replies were threaded like conversation using the subject of the mail. Before i could realize the whole potential, almost all my friends and colleagues had a GMAIL address of their own. With that kind of effectiveness and support from the Google apps, the expectations from Google Wave is bound to be higher and more. But did Google really meet such expectations with wave is a question that one cannot answer until it goes completely public after their Beta version.

This is not an official review of Google Wave but a user opinion only. I have like many others expected a lot more to come from Google Wave but sadly have not seen so much yet. To begin with a few goodies to discuss:

  • It is a great re-invention of email into a conversational tool. Probably this is what Google means when they call it a collaboration tool. It allows the users to reply to the mail as a conversation just like in Gmail, but also lets them add few more users to the conversation which could be replayed from the initiation for the new users to understand the source.
  • There is a straight forward way to see what the other user is typing while we are online too and part of that conversation. Google has promised to bring an option to quickly turn such feature OFF because of privacy issues.
  • Any element (picture, Video) of the conversations (Google calls it a WAVE), can be broken into a new Wave (Conversation) with entirely different people in the wave and making it look like a new Mail(Wave).
  • Anything written in a Wave with pictures or video can be converted into a blog with Google’s Blogger as a user added and all the comments made in the blog becomes part of the conversation. I have not seen this functionality at work yet, and am going to try this soon.
  • Instead of giving only limited Invite Only edition, Google has gone forward a bit more with 25 invitations per invitee to bring all their friends and colleagues to Google Wave. I see that the primary reason for this is to allow them to enjoy the rich web 2.0 feature of Google Wave which is the basic essence of differentiating Wave from Gmail. So it is not free stuff given without a purpose.

Now since i have discussed a few goodies, lets move to the not so good parts:

  • Although any number of users can be added to a Wave, it is NOT POSSIBLE to remove a user from the Wave. If you happen to discuss about your boss in a conversational wave and one of you accidentally add the same boss into the Wave, it is time for all of you to search a new job. 
  • Though Google has promised for the feature to TURN OFF what the others see while you type, it is still not available in the developers preview.
  • The option of inserting a blog into a conversation is not supported (for now) for Word press or other Blog sites and only for Google’s own Blogger. Now that is not a open source according to me.
  • The new additions to the Wave conversation appears to be in Green, but when too many people do too many discussions, it is very difficult or near impossible to realize which are the newer additions after my last visit to that Wave. I am hoping Google will improve this.

Overall, Google Wave is here to stay for those youngsters who want to discuss their holidays with photos and videos or those who want to be connected with a lot of friends in one window. Otherwise, there is not anything called a Groundbreaking yet to be seen in the Wave.

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