Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wave: Part Deux

The last few weeks have been very busy for me. I got my invitations to both Google Voice and Google Wave! I have definitely been feeling the Google Love lately. Since I have been given these lovely invites, I figured I would share the goodness with you. Today I am going to cover the Google Wave Developer Sandbox. I will cover Google Voice next week.

In case you may have noticed that the page loaded a little slowly today, it would be because I have embedded a Wave on my blog. Most of you will not be able to make any changes to the wave (unless you are part of the preview). This is to show you how Wave looks and what you can do with it.

As of this post, I have made a few simple bots that can manipulate a wave (same as any bot written in Java, except that they can only utilize the parts of the Wave that Google allows through their API). You can write bots, gadgets, or embed Waves in pages. You can choose to do any of these in either Java or Python. I have heard that developing for Wave in Python is easier, I am not really that comfortable with Python, so I chose Java.

Developing Wave bots and Gadgets is pretty easy in Java if you utilize Eclipse and their Google plug-in. Currently, you can only use bots that are created with the Google App Engine and that have an @appspot.com address. The Eclipse plug-in does most of the heavy lifting and all you have to worry about is the code.

The wave that is embedded on this page is the one that I started after I created a simple Gadget that reads the latest headlines from Slash Dot's RSS feed and displays them at the top of a Wave. This was made easier by using Google's Ajax Feed API and Wizard . Essentially, Google did most of the coding. After that, all I had to do was create the XML file and embed it in a Wave.

The Wave you see on the left has a problem loading all the way and this is due to the poll that was added later. Since it is still a developer only sandbox model, a lot of Wave's features are buggy and/or disabled. This has not made me enjoy the product any less. I have forgone sleep for a few days and spend most of my day thinking about what I can do next and how I am going to do it. I think that Wave is going to be an amazing product when it is released. I am glad to be a part of this development community! The people that are involved are terrific and have been generally nice and helpful (even when they make rick rolled bots and Swedish chef bots)!


The embedded Wave was no longer visable to those people who did not already have an account. So I removed it and I am now adding the below screenshot of the Wave with the Slashdot Gadget. Google has since added my Gadget to thier Samples Gallery Click on the screeenshots below: