Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Extending Google Wave terminology

For the last few days, I've had the chance to get my feet wet in the developer sandbox of Google Wave. My first impressions are very positive. I am as awed now by the scope and potential impact of Wave as I was after watching the hour long video from Google I/O.

As consolation to those itching to try it already, bear in mind that the sandbox is in a very raw state right now. Performance issues aside, informative text such as:

This wave is experiencing some slight turbulence, and may explode. If you don't wanna explode, please re-open the wave. Some recent changes may not be saved.


"Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret!" Unfortunately, you'll need to refresh. Wanna tell Dr. Wave what happened?

appear quite often. Of course, this is totally expected for pre-alpha software -- I'm merely pointing out the humorous messages!

For a more intimate look into Wave, especially some of the deeper, more social issues, here is part of an ongoing ha-ha-only-serious joke from the internal wave-discuss group about extending existing Wave terminology. The list is really telling, since indeed, I have read many ridiculous Drips and most of my fresh waves Surge only to get Borked by rickrolley.

  • Wavejack -- To hijack the contents of a wave to where it no longer resembles the original idea
  • Drip -- Stupid question no one answers
  • Bork -- To add useless, noisy or destructive bots to a wave. (aka The Swedish Chef or rickrolley or the borkforceone bot)
  • Surge -- The effect of a fresh wave that elicits the chaos of mass editing
  • Drown -- To have so many waves to follow that one can't keep up with them
  • Sea Sick -- A state of dizziness induced by an overly active wave
  • Tuna/Noise/Herring -- Wave speak for Spam
  • Fishnet -- Spam filter

Despite instabilities and widespread antisocial behavior, the wave sandbox is alive with a flurry of activity. People are busy creating annoying bots, forming role playing communities and writing collaborative books. So Google has a lot of issues to work out, not in the least how to stop us all from drowning :)

So far, I haven't had a chance to write any interesting wave extensions, but it's in my things to do!