Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 04:26:39 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Wave? Good-bye!  (Read 8723 times)

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2011, 05:32:44 PM »
Correct me if i'm wrong here but Wave looks more of project collab or social collab tool than social networking script like Google+.
@mahesh2k: Who would have an insight into what would have been in the Google designers' minds when these things were conceived and developed? I have no idea. So you could be right, wrong, or some mixture of the two.        ;)

In any event, both Wave and G+ look a bit like thneeds to me:
Quote
"A thneed’s a fine-something-that-all-people-need!"
In Dr. Seuss’ classic environmental fable, the manufacture of "thneeds" causes the total despoliation of an environment and the loss of the flora and fauna in it, in a place that was previously very beautiful. A thneed is a non-essential thing that people can be persuaded to think that they need, but which they probably do not need at all.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 05:45:11 PM by IainB »

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2011, 05:43:54 PM »
@IainB[/b] I wasn't meaning to single you out before. I was just offering a different viewpoint than the one you shared and it was convenient for me to quote the words which got my brain going on the train of thought that followed. :Thmbsup
Oh, that's OK. Thankyou for saying that. You didn't need to.
I'm sorry, but I was just being a tad sarcastic. I didn't wish to get into a debate about whose opinion was correct.
In my experience, no-one's opinions are necessarily "correct" - especially mine!    ;D

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 10:03:55 AM »
   Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I thought it could be useful/informative to share a brief review of its history and collect the relevant bits and pieces together, since I was doing this for myself anyway.

   Though I lamented the death of Google Reader - it was so useful and thus had a high utility value for me - I did not lament the death of Google Wave. Having given Wave  a pretty good "suck-it-and see", I found it of no real/potential use (this was after trialling it on a collaborative side project with @superboyac).

   So when Google Reader was killed off, I decided to find out what had happened to Wave, just out of curiosity. Well, in short, after being released as Open-source under the name Apache Wave and Walkaround, work seems to have halted quite soon thereafter.

   Google Wave was based on Etherpad, which Google acquired and shut down, with the Etherpad software being released as Open-source.
Etherpad was a pretty nifty and unique tool, and I have used it - or branches of it - on separate collaborative bits of document-writing. Etherpad projects are alive and well and quite active as you can see from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etherpad

   A perspective on what actually happened to Etherpad and Wave is covered in this summary on Hacker News, from Aaron Iba, cofounder and former CEO of EtherPad:
The strange story of etherpad
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Spoiler
Quote
aaroniba 841 days ago | link | parent
Cofounder and former CEO of EtherPad here. I appreciate your kind words about our product. Allow me to clarify some aspects of the story.

First, we knew etherpad was more than a toy. We knew people were using it for real work. We had paying customers and thousands of dollars a month in revenue. (Not a lot of revenue, but decent evidence that etherpad was more than a toy).

Second, the relationship between etherpad and appjet is much different from how you characterize it. AppJet was a failing idea. We had like no users. We had spent over a year building this developer platform and we had practically zero developers actually using it. It clearly wasn't working. We were ecstatic when etherpad took off. After etherpad took off, we shut down appjet.com and focused our entire company on etherpad. appjet.com redirected to etherpad.com. It felt great to have a product that people were actually using!

Third, we never thought the Wave product was better than the etherpad product. However, the Wave vision was pretty awesome. Lars' narrative excited a lot of people when he delivered the announcement at Google IO '09. When we met with him, we were dazzled by his vision and the team's optimism. Perhaps we were naive.

The decision to sell to Google was one of the toughest decisions I and my cofounders ever had to wrestle with in our lives. We were excited by the Wave vision though we saw the flaws in the product. The Wave team told us about how they wanted our help making wave simpler and more like etherpad, and we thought we could help with that, though in the end we were unsuccessful at making wave simpler. We were scared of Google as a competitor: they had more engineers and more money behind this project, yet they were running it much more like an independent startup than a normal big-company department. The Wave office was in Australia and had almost total autonomy. And finally, after 1.5 years of being on the brink of failure with AppJet, it was tempting to be able to declare our endeavor a success and provide a decent return to all our investors who had risked their money on us.

In the end, our decision to join Wave did not work out as we had hoped. The biggest lessons learned were that having more engineers and money behind a project can actually be more harmful than helpful, so we were wrong to be scared of Wave as a competitor for this reason. It seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time it wasn't. Second, I totally underestimated how hard it would be to iterate on the Wave codebase. I was used to rewriting major portions of software in a single all-nighter. Because of the software development process Wave was using, it was practically impossible to iterate on the product. I should have done more diligence on their specific software engineering processes, but instead I assumed because they seemed to be operating like a startup, that they would be able to iterate like a startup. A lot of the product problems were known to the whole Wave team, but we were crippled by a large complex codebase built on poor technical choices and a cumbersome engineering process that prevented fast iteration.

I'm grateful for the many lessons learned through the whole experience. And I'm hopeful that the same software engineering and product skills that produced etherpad, combined with the many valuable lessons learned through the Google acquisition, will be able to produce even better products in the future. My cofounder David Greenspan and I have both left Google, so we are not, as you say, stuck in the vortex.

If you have more specific questions, I'd be happy to provide additional clarification.
(There are comments/discussion following this, at the link.)


The announcement and presentation of Wave is caught in this YouTube video: Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009
The players in that presentation are:
  • Vic Gundotra, Google Vice President, Engineering (apparently still with Google).
  • Lars Rasmussen, Google, Engineering Team Leader (apparently now at Facebook).
  • Stephanie Hannon, Google, Project Manager (apparently now at Facebook).
  • Jens Rasmussen, Google, Engineering Team Leader (apparently still at Google?).

Here is the transcript to the above presentation:
* Wave 2009 Presentation.txt (93.3 kB - downloaded 132 times.)

In the transcript there are a number of what I refer to as BS/buzzwords, clichés and alarm triggers, including, for example:
Word/cliché   No. of occurrences
excited         6
unbelievable      2
great            5
cool            10
[laughs]         24
amazing         5

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2013, 10:33:40 AM »
@IainB - I'll +1 with you on Wave. I could never see what the big deal (or even the gist of it) was with that orphan.

I've since ensconced Wave in the same gallery in my memory palace I've put Chandler, the APL programming language,  all of deconstructionist literary theory, transformational grammar, the 'new' math, and the concepts of Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida in.
 ;D

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2013, 12:08:32 PM »
Getting serious for a min,

We're uncovering an unstated principle of "innovative". Apparently it's NOT enough to be "innovative". But that the innovation must also be "useful".

It's a variant on the old "Pure vs Applied Sciences" argument. I *totally* bet that Google invented some new "technologies" to make Wave.

But we *didn't like it*, so "who cares what they invented, it died in the marketplace".

In some ways, that's a problem.


40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2013, 12:26:57 PM »
It's a variant on the old "Pure vs Applied Sciences" argument. I *totally* bet that Google invented some new "technologies" to make Wave.

^Amen!  :Thmbsup:

Especially if the 'collateral' developments paid for the effort of launching what was arguably an insane project.

Like the space program, going to the moon was largely PR and pure science. The real day to day benefit was realized in developing all the technologies that made the voyage possible. The investment of going to the moon paid us back a thousandfold.

Yup. Google (and the 'old school' NASA) are crazy alright. Crazy like a fox. ;D
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 03:52:32 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,406
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2013, 06:24:32 PM »
Well, the thing that people don't understand in a lot of cases with Google is that everything is Beta... it's a research project, and they scrap the bad, and repackage the good.  A lot of what Wave was has been repackaged in other products.  Hangouts are a *lot* like what wave was.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2013, 08:26:17 AM »
@IainB - I'll +1 with you on Wave. I could never see what the big deal (or even the gist of it) was with that orphan.
I've since ensconced Wave in the same gallery in my memory palace I've put Chandler, the APL programming language,  all of deconstructionist literary theory, transformational grammar, the 'new' math, and the concepts of Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida in.
 ;D
Hahaha, very droll, if a little unkind.
As for APL, yes, but I recall reading somewhere that APL had been used by Readers' Digest at one time to just about run their entire marketing operation - no?

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2013, 09:03:04 AM »
Ha...IainB.  I remember that, i still have all those business process documents you sent me.  In fact, I actually did complete that project, but "they" felt all that hardcore stuff was too much.  They have just last month started training the employees on that stuff.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2013, 09:19:22 AM »
Getting serious for a min,
We're uncovering an unstated principle of "innovative". Apparently it's NOT enough to be "innovative". But that the innovation must also be "useful".
It's a variant on the old "Pure vs Applied Sciences" argument. I *totally* bet that Google invented some new "technologies" to make Wave.
But we *didn't like it*, so "who cares what they invented, it died in the marketplace".
In some ways, that's a problem.
I quite agree that one should not condemn innovation or (especially) pure research on the basis of it being "not useful", or something. Though ever-skeptical I would never suggest that, and I did not condemn Wave - I explored it, like I would any new thing.  I explored Google Reader and found it to be useful, but Wave was not, that's all.

A research example: My late father-in-law had been an industrial chemist with ICI in Northwich, UK. During WWII he was not allowed to enlist as the work he was doing was considered too important to the war effort - they were making polythene.
He told me how the stuff had originally been discovered by accident in their labs - produced as a gooey blob, a by-product of a production process gone wrong, and they thought it was a waste product.
However, after playing about with it and doing some further research, they found they could produce it consistently, and that it had several important potential applications (uses) - as Bakelite did, for example.
A bit of history here: History of the World: the first piece of polythene

But there are big differences between "pure research", innovation, and a product marketing ß test of a hyped-up piece of prototyped software - for example, such as Google Wave (which was based on an existing software design called EtherPad). There was arguably little if anything new that seemed to come out of Wave, and, if you look, you will see that the good bits (the existing EtherPad) seemed to have been incorporated beautifully into Google Docs collaborative editing, with apparently little if any major variation from the original EtherPad. So, one could say that nothing much of any good was wasted, and as @wraith808 suggests, some of the other bits may have been recycled and found their way into (Google+) Hangouts, or similar.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,139
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2013, 09:27:46 AM »
Ha...IainB.  I remember that, i still have all those business process documents you sent me.  In fact, I actually did complete that project, but "they" felt all that hardcore stuff was too much.  They have just last month started training the employees on that stuff.
I think I backed-up that Wave and it is now buried somewhere in my archives.
I'm curious to know exactly what you mean by "started training the employees on that stuff". Are you at liberty to disclose it?

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2013, 01:10:14 PM »
@IainB - I'll +1 with you on Wave. I could never see what the big deal (or even the gist of it) was with that orphan.
I've since ensconced Wave in the same gallery in my memory palace I've put Chandler, the APL programming language,  all of deconstructionist literary theory, transformational grammar, the 'new' math, and the concepts of Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida in.
 ;D
Hahaha, very droll, if a little unkind.
As for APL, yes, but I recall reading somewhere that APL had been used by Readers' Digest at one time to just about run their entire marketing operation - no?

Perhaps. But kindness is too valuable an emotion to waste on total idiocy. Or something as half-baked as Wave.

Re: APL

I'm not sure about that. I cut my teeth on it on a Honeywell mainframe. I do remember it was fantastic at heavy-duty math and matrix calculations. And it was very 'dense' in that unique symbols replaced keywords. And you could do very complex things using very little code as this complete implementation of Conway's Life Game algorithm in APL shows:

apl_life.png

But I also remember it was so difficult to to read (and even harder to remember how you did something 15 minutes after you keyed it in) that, for most APL programmers, "debugging" meant rewriting from scratch anything that didn't work right.

I don't miss it. 8)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Wave? Good-bye!
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2013, 03:31:58 PM »
Ha...IainB.  I remember that, i still have all those business process documents you sent me.  In fact, I actually did complete that project, but "they" felt all that hardcore stuff was too much.  They have just last month started training the employees on that stuff.
I think I backed-up that Wave and it is now buried somewhere in my archives.
I'm curious to know exactly what you mean by "started training the employees on that stuff". Are you at liberty to disclose it?
I can be vague.  My goal for the project was to create flowcharts that accurately represent the steps in a bureaucratic engineering project.  All the approvals, budget steps, branches that represent projects of differing dollar amounts, document/design deliveries.  Stuff like that.  The difficulty was that most of the people involved were less interested in an accurate depiction, and more interested in getting it off their plate.  So most of the flowcharts turned into probably over-simplified one-page drawings.  For example, a particular box right now in my mind may represent a whole page of procedures by itself.  But that would take quite a long time to do, and a lot of collaboration/cooperation.
So now they are training based on the simplified version.  Most likely, someone will get promoted as a result.