Thursday, October 15, 2009

Following the Wave

This is in response to a post by geoffeg:

I've just started looking at Google Wave myself. I'm also skeptical but the ideas behind it just may hold some promise.

I agree that email needs to be fixed... more like completely replaced. Maybe google is a big enough entity to make it happen, but I don't think so. Especially if it requires possibly complicated server and client-side components...

My (limited, so far) look at google wave gives me a bit of hope, but only if it can give rise to software people want.

I personally think the only thing that could best email would have to provide everything Microsoft Exchange/Office/Sharepoint/Etc. provide (or claim to) but do more and do it better, and have available some really stellar clients/interfaces.

I'm talking person-to-person messaging, group discussions, shared calendars and scheduling, document sharing and collaboration, linking between various entities, and also end-to-end authentication and authorization, all with as little  centralization as email, or nearly so...

It's a pretty tall order.

Google Wave seems it could be capable of much of these things, but since I haven't used it I can't say what it's got already. What does it take to run a server? How much work does a client have to do? Is the protocol completely open? Is the API any good? How does it scale in various use cases? How easy is it for users to get done what they want to do?

If it is easy to do things... how do users keep from getting buried in information like we all are with what we have now?

And the big question - will anybody actually write Wave software that's compelling enough to convince users everywhere that they should use it instead of the trusty standby of email?

Lots of questions, and few answers, but true to my geeky self, I still get excited over the possibilities shiny new systems bring.

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