Google Wave is still, of course, very much in its infancy, but I see one major problem with it. Well, it’s not really a “problem” … it’s more of a structural property that I think is unhelpful.
With Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and forums, when I post something, I’m not posting to anybody. I’m just posting something out there to whoever might be interested. In Facebook I’m posting to friends, in Twitter I’m tweeting to followers, in blogs I’m posting to whoever visits or subscribes to my blog (that’s you!), and on forums I post to other members or visitors of the forum.
With e-mail, on the other hand, I’m conversing privately with one select person (or a select group). Twitter has an equivalent: direct messages. Forums also have an equivalent: private messages. Facebook also private messaging, an equivalent, and a wall-posting, which is semi-equivalent.
Currently, Google Wave is somewhere between. It can certainly replace email as it is (well, once attachments are allowed and more people start using it). But to truly be revolutionary, it needs to provide a way for me to talk to nobody; it needs a way for me to post a wave and let anyone who wants to read it read it and reply to it, or let other wavers subscribe to my public waves. I fear that if it does not do this, it may stay a very niche tool.
That said, I probably shouldn’t worry; there’s a lot of functionality yet to be implemented and a lot of plug-ins and exports and whatever yet to be written.
So while I’m glad I got a Wave invite and am allowed on, it’s still kind of useless to me at the moment.
THESE AREN’T THE DROIDS WE’RE LOOKING FOR
In other not-very-interesting news, I’m continuing to look through Google’s Android SDK. Even though I’ve been programming in Java for a while now (though I definitely consider myself far from expert), the structure of how Android applications work is still kind of cryptic to me. And, unfortunately, the OS is still so new that there aren’t many learning resources for it, especially for game development and graphics, which are my areas of interest. If you want to develop games, you’re pretty much on your own. Google does provide some source code for some very small sample programs, but you kind of have to figure out how they work on your own. For example, Google says:
Writing a summary of how to actually write 3D applications using OpenGL is beyond the scope of this text and is left as an exercise for the reader.
I’m sure Java / game / graphics programming experts would have an easier time understanding how it all works by just studying the sample source code, but it will take some extra work for me.
Anyway, I’ve been looking more and more at the new Droid phone coming out, and I’ve been thinking that I’ll be needing some sort of phone with Android on it to test any potential apps I might create, so I’m very tempted to get one. Like, very very tempted. Like, I probably will. For, you know, game development research, of course.
By the way, I like what it says at the bottom of the Droid site:
DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.
Where would the world be if Star Wars had been a flop? We might not have this phone!
Don · November 3, 2009 at 4:33 PM
Thats funny (the last part about where we would be with out star wars) though i still don’t know enough about the droid to get it. It feels pointless to do all the research when a week later soemone is going to come out with something else that is “revolutionary”.
S P Hannifin · November 3, 2009 at 5:02 PM
Yeah, I think there will always be a better smartphone on the horizon, and you do have to buy a 2-year contract with it, so you’re kind of stuck with it for a while if you change your mind. (Though I still need to look into the details of the minimum required monthly plan costs.)
I don’t have a smartphone of any kind though, so just having all the smartphone features will be new for me (such as being able to browse the web from the phone, uploading pics and videos, and checking email).
From a wannabe-developer’s point of view, I also like that if I develop something for Google Android, it will also be compatible with any other smartphones that come out with Android, so my app or game will be available to a wider audience. Not nearly as wide as iPhone, though. Not at first, at least.