Posts Tagged ‘GWT team’

GWT team Wave’s goodbye to annoying question; It’s the API stupid

May 30th, 2009 No comments

“Why doesn’t Google use GWT more?”

That is a question that I was asked maaaany a time. There are sites like Base and the old mashup editor and others…. but “why not something big like Gmail?”

It was always so tough because it wasn’t a totally fair question.

  1. Google has some of the best Ajax hackers out there. Teams with that talent may not be the right people to use GWT!
  2. A lot of sites were written before GWT was created, and migrating something is a different proposition


Google Wave on the other hand, had the chance to really evaluate GWT and they went with it. There was a talk at Google I/O about why, and some of the cool new features they use such as runAsync that does some incredibly smart things to lazily load code when needed (and gives you a much smaller initial download).

I don’t have much to add to the massive coverage that Wave has gotten today. I see two pieces. The one that most people focus on is how it looks and what the site does. It is very rich, and cool, and some people will try it and some will not like how it feels.

That isn’t the piece I am most excited about. Although it is great to reboot what a communication tool could be in 2009, but I am much more excited about the APIs. A lot of servers and frameworks and languages are vying for the “real time Web server” trophy. What Wave gives you is a federated implementation AND a spec to build your own stuff. At its core I see it as a great way API to let people collaborate on a shared object. That is a fantastic building block.

When I heard about it, I immediately thought about my own world of Bespin of course. From the initial prototype we had the notion of creating a collaborative social experience with code. One feature that has long been on the drawing board can be seen here:



We want to tie chat/status/microblogging content to files and even code snippets in a project. Imagine being able to highlight some code and see not only who created it and when, but also what was discussed. The social bar on the right has some of that concept. Then down below you see the timeline view that lets you go back in time and see the code change before your eyes. Maybe you want to replay the coding that a coworker did while you were out instead of staring at the diffs? This is the kind of thing that I hope we can experiment with Wave to do. We will see!

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