[Foundation-l] Google Wave and Wikimedia projects

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sat May 30 05:42:09 UTC 2009

I have seen the presentation.. I have noticed that there were plenty of
moments where it was stated that this is an early version of the software
and that it needs more polishing. At this same presentation all the
developers that were in this room received an invite to start developing
extensions to Wave. Documentation on how to do this is available.

When you ask external developers to involve themselves with a platform like
Wave, there is a limited amount of time to keep the product from general
availability. When Google would stall too long, it would reflect badly on
their reputation and it would make it more difficult for them to get such
involvement in the future. Google will have a schedule and, I would love to
know this.

At this time all Google has indicated that they are going to Open Source
Wave. For me there are two questions; what license and, how are they going
to manage the underlying protocol.

When Google play their cards right, Wave and its protocols have the
potential to dominate this scene. Given that they are at this very same time
they are getting the message out that Ogg Theora will be supported by
Chrome, they are indicating that concerns about free and open content and
protocols are heard and taken to heart. I am not interested in what
Microsoft has to say about this; their "bing" is not relevant to me because
of Microsoft's policies with their previous incarnations of a search engine.

When "other" people are going to benefit from the ideas that make Wave so
relevant, I can only hope that the Open Source world will be among them.
Given the announcement that Wave will be Open Source, it is important to be
involved and make sure that it will indeed be Open Source and, that the Open
Source paradigm will happen sooner rather then later.

2009/5/30 Tim Starling <tstarling at wikimedia.org>

> Milos Rancic wrote:
> > Probably, some of you already saw that Google made something for which
> > I think that it will be the new form of the mainstream Internet
> > perception. You may read Slashdot article [1], a good description at
> > the blog "Google Operating System" [2] (not officially connected with
> > Google) and, of course, you may see the official site with more than
> > one hour of presentation [3].
> >
> > I expected such kind of tool (a client connected with others via P2P
> > XML-based protocol; with servers for identification). However, I
> > didn't expect that i will come so soon, that it will be done by one
> > large corporation and that it will be done at the right way: open
> > protocol, free software referent implementation.
> It's not free software. The blog post says they "intend to open source
> the code". That generally means the code quality is so bad that they'd
> be embarrassed to make it public, and would like to clean it up to the
> point where humans can understand it, but currently they have more
> important development priorities and no schedule to do such a thing.
> > At the official site they said that it will start to work during this
> > year. As one large corporation is behind the project, as well as free
> > and open source community is able to participate, I have no doubts
> > that it will be implemented all over the Internet (and not just
> > Internet) very quickly. Probably, in two years the basic component of
> > one modern operating system will not be a Web browser, but a Wave
> > client. Probably, Web will become a storage system, while all of the
> > interaction will be done via Waves.
> Yeah, sure. Like the way Jabber killed proprietary protocols like MSN
> and AIM, right? It's been 9 years since the first release now.
> The proprietary IM networks will steal the best ideas from Wave and
> add their own bit of marketing spin, which somehow, to the hoards of
> faithful users, will seem even cooler than what Google Wave can do.
> That's assuming they even perceive a threat.
> Anyway, I'm putting two years from today into my calendar. We'll see
> then whether Wave has taken over the world. I'll post a followup.
> > This development of Internet is very strongly related to the Wikimedia
> projects:
> > * I want to be able to edit Wikipedia through the Wave client.
> > * I want to add my own notes to articles, history of articles etc.
> > * I want to have collection of my knowledge at one place, including
> > Wikipedia articles and my notes.
> > * I want to be able to make a program which would analyze articles on
> > Wikipedia and to give program and/or analysis to my friends.
> > * I want many more things to be browsable or editable or whatever from
> > a Wave client...
> >
> > All of those my (but, in one year, not just my) wishes may be
> > fulfilled just through work on MediaWiki and Pywikipediabot. So, I am
> > calling all of you who are willing to think about it or who are at the
> > position to think about it -- to start with thinking :)
> You're assuming that they'll be easier to implement using Wave than
> just starting from scratch. Note that their widget things are HTML,
> and browsers already have rich text editors. An interactive editor
> targeting Wave would be quite similar to an interactive editor
> targeting the browser.
> Browsers are something Microsoft actually supports and packages with
> their OS, unlike federated, open-protocol IM clients, which as we've
> seen over the past 9 years, they are not interested in. They've even
> discontinued their IRC client.
> -- Tim Starling
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