Google Wave truly promised a lot when it first came about. A year of beta servicing later, Google Wave launched only to find that nobody noticed. Google’s experiment to reinvent email apparently failed. However while Google has conceded defeat and have noted that Wave would cease to exist a few months down the line, there is good news for developers who have aspirations to build similar services.
Google has announced that their next step would involve expanding their open source project to create a complete application called “Wave in a Box” that will let developers build local Wave servers and even build upon the functionalities to suit their custom business needs.
Google’s new project will involve
- an application bundle including a server and web client supporting real-time collaboration using the same structured conversations as the Google Wave system
- a fast and fully-featured wave panel in the web client with complete support for threaded conversations
- a persistent wave store and search implementation for the server (building on contributed patches to implement a MongoDB store)
- refinements to the client-server protocols
- gadget, robot and data API support
- support for importing wave data from wave.google.com
- the ability to federate across other Wave in a Box instances, with some additional configuration
As is evident, these functionalities will not be able to bring the full functionality that exists in Google Wave. But this will without doubt help build bigger and better applications moving forward.
No timeline of the release was given.
It is not clear where Disney Enterprises intends to use such a platform but a recent patent application filed by the company appears strikingly close to the recently launched Google Wave collaborative development platform. There are of course a few functional variations in Disney’s ideas. Nevertheless, the objective appears to be the same. The patent application filed earlier this month reads,
“The present invention generally relates to a method for the collaborative creation of a work, and more particularly, to a method for creating a collaborative work one segment at a time by putting a multitude of segment candidates contributed by a multitude of segment creators to an automatically tabulated vote over a digital network in a series of rounds in which a single segment is selected per round for inclusion in the collaborative work until the work is completed.”
As noted earlier, the patent does not make Disney’s idea as comprehensive as Google’s. The main focus of the patent application makes it likely for gathering collaborative opinion and vote for particular issues and finding a consensus.
“The present invention provides a system that taps into the “collective genius” of a large group of individuals to select the best possible segments for inclusion in the final collaborative work, leveraging the judgement and creativity of each individual. The resulting collaborative work will have required minimal effort on the part of any single individual yet they will far exceed in scope and quality what would have been possible with a comparable individual effort, or the comparable collective effort of a group of individuals un-aided by the system.”
Ok, one thing’s for sure – This is not meant to be a Google Wave competitor. If not, where do you think such an application will be used?