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Save Google Wave (savegooglewave.com)
134 points by icodemyownshit on Aug 4, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 59 comments

The ridiculously confusing interface to the Wave loaded on this page, plus the fact that it takes 30 seconds to load and then runs like a dog, is the perfect explanation of why Wave is being shut down. It's almost like that's what they were trying to demonstrate.

You’re confusing Wave and Google Wave. Google killing Google Wave essentially kills Wave as a whole, at this point; we all think Google’s web-client sucked fucking balls, but there’s not much we could do about that. What matters is that Google killing their shitty client, along with their back-end provider, also kills the ecosystem, because it’s so young.

I could really care less if google killed their own hosting of Wave servers. That's never what I was interested in anyway. A ubiquitous messaging federated service as an alternative to email? Now that's what I was looking forward too and simply never materialized. Where's the download link at google.com to a Wave Server with a much simpler Wave client I can run on my own servers?

"A ubiquitous messaging federated service as an alternative to email? Now that's what I was looking forward too and simply never materialized"

Your mom is a ubiquitous messaging federated service.

Fine, try again with better execution. No need to keep a brand name associated with flops.

What browser are you using? Loads in less than a second for me. The interface doesn't seem any more complicated than a hackernews comment thread.

I think you're being disingenuous, or just trying to get a rise out of people. There's little debate on these points, it was slow and the UI was unnecessarily complex. Whether or not it should be killed remains a valid topic of discussion.

I was talking about the same thing the parent was talking about. The page linked in this submission. Why are you talking in the past tense?

Firefox 3.6, Linux, 4 gigs of RAM, 1.86 ghz CPU, 10 mbit connection.

9 second load time. And the scrollbar is uselessly broken. (Nonstandard behavior, arrow keys don't work, etc)

Not that this is really a defense of the product, but you should try it in chrome. You'll have a better experience.

What are you talking about? I'm using Chrome and it seems like the page has loaded, but all I see is the <h1>, <h2>, "If you think..." and thumbs up button (plus the spread the word stuff on the bottom). Am I supposed to see a link to a Wave embedded in the page?

They took it down because people were defacing it

didn't run at all for me, 404........

I know the protocol is a bit complicated, but didn't they say a while back they're going to open source a reference implementation of the server? Is this it?: http://code.google.com/p/wave-protocol/

I do not know if that's a complete Wave server, or if it's missing a piece. But if it is a complete Wave server, there's nothing to "save". It's already been saved. You just need to run it yourself, and possibly support from Google for exporting your data once. If it isn't, maybe some people will fill in the blanks. If nobody steps forward to fill in the blanks then the demand probably wasn't there in the first place.

What people want to "save" is Google's backing, proselytization, and continued investment into the project. The demand was never there—because Google never gave Wave a big marketing push, the way they did with, say, Chrome (no Wave TV commercial?) Wave is a new and unadopted protocol, and as such it won't grow organically; it needs a big company to force it down people's throats. People want to "save" the unfulfilled (implicit) promise that Google was going to be that company.

That's terrible reason. If it was a startup, they'd either sink or swim. Maybe better marketing would have helped, maybe the client sucks, maybe the concept sucks. But there's no reason for Google to throw good money after bad, it's not like there's nothing else they could be working on (including the next, better Wave from the etherpad guys).

> But there's no reason for Google to throw good money after bad

That's the thing—they haven't thrown any money at the problem at all. The whole problem is that it was a half-hearted effort from the start; Google didn't put Wave anywhere visible, they didn't integrate it with Gmail or Google Talk, or do anything else to get traction. They just sort of put it out there and hoped people would subscribe. That's how products work, but Wave isn't a product, it's a technology—and you have to sell a technology, company by company, until it's in use in a sufficiently large user-base that it becomes self-sustaining.

Imagine if the concept of "electronic mail" was invented today. You couldn't pull that off as a startup; you'd have to be Google-sized to even get off the ground.

Now, what Google could have done, would be to go to Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and whoever else that has any product or service that's vaguely message-/chat-oriented, and offer to help them rebuild that product/service on top of Wave. Wave Facebook walls, Wave MSN, Wave Flickr, etc. Just making one crappy AJAX client is exactly not the winning strategy.

> "Imagine if the concept of "electronic mail" was invented today. "

I don't think it'd be all that different from launching the concept of microblogging or social networks. Startups did fine with that.

What Google should have done, having a technology on their hands and not a product, was make their other products either built on Wave or compatible with Wave (Docs, Chat, Mail - using Wave. Calendar, Pages integrated via robots, etc).

Then, you'd have a huge built-in user base that can ignore the complexity until they grok it and if they want it. And all their data will be waiting for them.

In the meantime, Google could develop and throw robots into their products as features. Being able to directly send messages to a robot for publishing on your blog platform of choice, or directly drag attachments to a robot that populates Dropbox/Flickr/whatever? Being able to add a plugin to schedule a party into an email chain that automatically updates Google Calendar? Having a service that detects tracking numbers and provides mouse-over summaries?

Even for users who would never want a Wave-like client, those features would make Google's existing products better and stickier. And none of it would involve burying every would-be user in complexity on day 1.

Well, sure. But maybe if the one client they had was better or the protocol more natural it would've had more uptake. Or maybe there's just not enough of a need for those rival corporations to take up anything wave-like.

At this point, considering the Etherpad acquisition, you have to figure they're scrapping it and starting over -- not knowing anything about the situation I'd generally assume that was the right move.

Well said!

If a company like Google is not going to invest in such technologies who will. This makes me think if Google is turning into a company which jumps on to a bandwagon once it starts rolling rather than be a creator of new ideas and technologies.

I haven't run it, but by the description installing this software will get not you a whole heck of a lot closer to having your own Wave implementation in terms of server-protocol-web client that I think everybody is envisioning.

The most obvious feature Google should have invested 5,000 man hours in: making Wave seamless in GMail as a standard. If you are talking to another GMail user, Wave should be automatically turned on for that message. I do not understand why this wasn't deathly obvious to them from the day that they announced Wave at Google IO 2009.

It could be that there were turf wars involved in this. It is not inconceivable for the Gmail product manager to not want Wave integrated. People switching to Wave could mean the end of his clout in company.

I don't know enough about internal Google to really say whether this is probable or not, but I've worked for companies where that would have been the case.

I'd be willing to accept that if we were talking about Microsoft. I thought Google was still better than that?

They were too busy botching the Buzz rollout.

One reason this might not have happened is because you don't fuck with gmail. That's 180 million users right there. Repeat: you don't fuck with gmail. (But I would have liked the wave/gmail rollout, yes.)

No Please Don't. Google had the good sense and humility to let a failure fail. Don't y'all go fucking that up.

[Wait several minutes for a large complex unwieldy UI to load]

at the time I went it had 300+ people in the wave and over 170 threads; above what I suspect was the average user case; try loading a regular wave.. with less than 20 people and its good to go. (use chrome if you can also; its faster.)

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Yes, this will work. Everybody listens to anonymous internet petitions.

Many of the problems wave aimed to remedy still stand. It's my hope that google will bow out gracefully, leaving behind the work they have done and allow other to pick up where they left off. This seems to be the plan, although they haven't open sourced the entirety of the effort.

I do think the announcement to kill it off was a bit early :(

- I use wave daily and have for a while for basic 'group meetings' with people who work remote.

I am also surprised that Google didn't keep it alive for internal use (where Gmail came from) ~ perhaps they have something entirely new in the pipe.

I'd bet that lack of internal adoption is 50% of the equation here.

Its open source, save it for yourself.

I definitely want to see Wave saved.

Further, I'll argue that since Google effectively took away our common, central access to the EtherPad service (even though the source code remains), they in some sense "owe" the community the effort of giving Wave more of a shot -- although I expect a common response will be that "business doesn't owe you anything that doesn't make money (in an legal fashion)".

My other comments (e.g. interface, lack of documentation and post-launch publicity) are here:


I'd rather they just integrate Wave with Gmail, something that I wanted from the start. I had no use for Wave, on its own, especially in the early days when invites were slow to go out. For a long time, Wave sat there, unused. By the time more of my friends and colleagues got access, no one cared anymore. This is a shame, because Wave has tons of potential.

Warning: The petition just got overtaken by an army of trolls.

I have never understood the power of petitions.. no matter how many people add themselves to this petition will that make a difference? Will google change its mind if a 300 odd (or even 3000 or even 30000) people add themselves to this?

Google actually does. Here's one example http://act.ly/3o, where people in Romania were petitioning to get street level data added to Google Maps. Google responded fairly quickly and about a month later had data, which they then asked all the people who tweeted the petition to beta test.

Especially when google says in their shutdown notice "despite … numerous loyal fans"

They know a small but loyal following uses wave. They are shutting down because that wasn't what they had in mind for wave. They were aiming big and failed. That's ok, but only if it doesn't continue to drain from the company.

There's nothing left to save. Google has already added collaboration capability into their Documents and Buzz is what they went with for microblogging in their mail app. http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/future-of-work/google-wave-rip-4... goes into 6 reasons why killing off Wave is the right thing to do.

Has Google ever sold off a product or service? They certainly acquire but if I am not mistaken it is also common practice for large corporations to rid themselves or projects they are no longer interested in and sometimes this involves a monetary transaction in their favor.

Funny. I wouldn't want to be in Novell's shoes now after having invested in building a product on top of Wave: http://www.novell.com/products/pulse/

Pulse is not in top of Wave and really is a separated product that doesn't depend on Wave at all. And in fact is what a lot of people are asking: Wave behind your firewall.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Novell employee but I don't speak for them).

Thanks for the clarification. This blog post is also helpful: http://www.novell.com/prblogs/?p=2836

This site … it's like they turned Google Wave into a mix of http://YourWorldOfText.com and 4chan. THAT use of the technology would be awesome.

I never found out what Google Wave was for, so it is really not a big loss.

That's the problem with googlewave, it's a productivity tool, for some reasons, google tried to sell it to the casual Joe, to use it as.....I don't really know, I love google wave and have been using it as a CSCW ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_supported_cooperative_... ), this is not a product that should fail, I think it's more a marketing and strategy problem here, the last thing to do with google wave is to kill it. So google decision's makers, this is not a product to use like Gmail, this is a product for work, and since this "work" tool is out there during a recesssion, well don't expect it to take off like a rocket, give it some time, it's a great innovating tool. For the slowness, Hner, keep in mind this tool is still a beta product. I use it almost everyday and love it.

Do people really think like this?

It wasn't obvious to me what it was for or how to use it, no-one I knew personally was using it, and I don't have the free time to casually learn an entire new paradigm to do... whatever it was you did with Wave.

Google wave is not really that complex, first thing to do before using it is to watch the video demo (I'm almost sure very few peoples did it), it's a collaboration and productivity tool, so you just can't invite your friends to use it at this stage, you can invite your colleagues and employess, but it's not a product targeting any casual Joe friend, but google seems to expect peoples to adopt it as such. You probably won't ask your friends to use a task management tool to keep in touch with you or what you do. I'm glad it may stick around for sometime,I hope forever, too bad, they will no more work on it.

I think that's actually fair. Until I got 6 or 7 people using it regularly with me it was kind of a head scratcher.

How can you say 'no big loss' just because you personally didn't find it useful?

Would you care more or less if Wave was made by a startup instead of a massive existing company like Google?

New products fail all the time. When the company making the product fails to even explain what the product does and just heaps buzzwords together I don't feel any sense of loss when the product goes away. This wouldn't even be newsworthy if it wasn't Google behind it.

open source this thing so I can sudo apt-get wave, it would go good with googles, "don't be evil"-slogan.

.... not



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