Integrating With Google Wave

Google is planning on launching the next release of its wave technology to 100,000 users (none of them had better be using Internet Explorer) by the end of September. On first glance, gwave looks to be nothing more than a hybrid between email and Instant Messaging. It is designed to organically extend existing web technologies/metaphors. Already, the number of features and cool demos boggles the imagination. Many are skeptical that Google will be able to keep to its ambitious release schedule. They have been pretty busy with lots of upgrades recently.

We are planning a Google Wave integration with Code Roller. Team leaders will be able to associate a wave id with their team. Such teams will have that wave embedded in any deliverable of a project in which the team has edit access.

Online collaboration on software development project deliverables is very important for geographically dispersed teams. We already have a chat room facility but it’s not as organic as Google Wave.

Here is a screenshot of what that would look like on the display detailed design page. Notice near the bottom that the last blip in the embedded wave has a second icon, says it’s from “me (and code-roller)” and has the word analytics as a link. That is what is known as a robot. In this case, I plan on developing a robot that turns known keywords into links to relevant pages in Code Roller.

For now, Google wave robots must live in the Google App Engine. They can be written in either Java or Python. This robot is just for evaluation purposes and is written in Python. Right now, it’s pretty simple with hard-coded behavior.

Waves can be embedded in your app but there is also a GMail-esque GUI provided by Google where you can collect and track all waves that you participate on. This is not unlike how DISQUS works.

Whether or not Google Wave will be ready this year, it appears to me that this is one very promising technology for enterprise collaboration and I hope that it never finds its way on Google’s short list of projects to cut. It may not get sufficient market share because of just how disruptive this new technology really is. I’m not sure that people are willing to leave email behind. If it does get cut, then I will most probably incorporate some of its collaboration friendly features back into Code Roller anyway.