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Google Wave and the Difficulty of Radical Change 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-that's-why-we-don't-have-flying-cars dept.
cedarhillbilly writes "An article by Matt Asay in the Register takes on Google Wave from the perspective of visionary change versus incremental change. He suggests that visionaries should focus on smaller transformations of our day-to-day lives rather than leapfrogging. 'Much as it may want to radically change the world for users and developers, radical change generally happens over time, through a series of incremental, unexceptional edits to existing technology and processes.' Perhaps Google sensed this when they famously said they were worried about having too many geniuses. Asay revisits the point that the open source development model necessarily builds on a community of contributors and users, and not the mad scientist in an ivory tower."
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Google Wave and the Difficulty of Radical Change

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  • Be radical. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 3vi1 (544505) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @12:56PM (#33326134) Homepage Journal

    >> He suggests that visionaries should focus on smaller transformations of our day-to-day lives rather than leapfrogging.

    Why can't they make something radical, then add on compatibility stepping stones for a transition period? Would Wave have been so unused if you could read your normal POP3 mail in it and intercommunicate with traditional IM systems?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Baby steps get you somewhere, leaps leave a lot of people behind. You need to nudge people to make the small changes ... and you have to rely on the young and the brave to try something new.
      • ... that gets you.

        The only reason that programs are still running on von Newman, SISD, architecture is because programmers don't like thinking, including von Neumann.

        He figured he could simplify the expression of problems by a SISD reduction of the problem space and it screwed up the thinking of every programmer since.

        The fact that every single CPU and GPU built with ICs is fundamentally a MIMD processor (even if constrained through a single clock pulse,) and runs lots of processes in parallel is completely

    • Why can't they make something radical, then add on compatibility stepping stones for a transition period? Would Wave have been so unused if you could read your normal POP3 mail in it and intercommunicate with traditional IM systems?

      Exactly this is what I've been waiting been waiting for since I first read about wave. It's obvious. ...but too much hard work for... wait, google?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TarMil (1623915)

      Would Wave have been so unused if you could read your normal POP3 mail in it and intercommunicate with traditional IM systems?

      This is the real deal. Wave was too far away from everything we know, and had too few links with the rest of the world. People accept radical novelties when they can blend in with what they are used to.

    • by darrylo (97569)
      The obvious thing would have been to integrate the h*ll out of wave, gmail, and gchat. Since google isn't stupid, since that didn't happen, and since wave died an amazingly fast death, my wild-*** guess says that a significant amount of internal politics was involved. Perhaps something to the effect of the gmail group saying, "Nuh-huh, no ty", and then trotting out a list of why wave was bad for gmail. After that, it was just the fat lady singing, with wave throwing itself out to the world, in the forlor
  • Too many geniuses? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pedantic bore (740196) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:00PM (#33326182)

    Nobody who spent any time using Wave thought that the problems were due to too many geniuses in the mix.

    A real genius doesn't just show you a vision. A real genius creates a useful artifact that solves a problem of importance. We're not talking about art.

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:25PM (#33326410) Homepage
      "If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse." - Ford

      Sometimes projects swing and miss, let's not forget the dozens of promises made about Longhorn before it got scrapped and downsized, WinFS and whatnot; it wasn't as public but far more resources were wasted, and I expect Google has internal projects which come to nothing constantly as well..

      I don't think there are any great insights to draw from Google Wave; they worked on it, it got hyped up, it didn't catch on, bummer. Doesn't take a genius or a madman in an ivory tower for that to happen
      • by hedwards (940851)
        There's a difference here. When Ford released his first vehicle, he had ad writers tell people what it was for, and people added ideas onto that. Google, didn't really give much purpose to the software, and unlike cars, which could be used, if in a limited basis as a stand alone unit in town, wave didn't really have a lot of utility unless you knew other people using it and had some idea what it was for.
        • When Ford released his first vehicle, he had ad writers tell people what it was for,

          WTF? Everyone knew what a car was. They had been around for 100 years before Ford. What Ford did was successful mass production.
           

          • What Ford did was bring cars to the masses. There were a lot of people who had never even seen a car at that time. I remember "America: The Story of Us", and one of the stories they told about the car was that new drivers, when they were learning, would shout "Whoa!" as a way to try to get the car to stop. They may have had a vague idea that something called an "automobile" existed, but for someone who hadn't even had the possibility of owning one until then, they'd have to have explained to them such th
        • When Ford released his first vehicle, he had ad writers tell people what it was for, and people added ideas onto that.

          This really hurt Wave with the public. They had engineers try to sell it to people, rather than hiring an ad agency to go over it and create a campaign. I would invite people to Wave, and the response I got invariably was, "What can I do with it?". The real-time chat was a novelty, but people couldn't really picture in their minds the kind of collaboration that Wave made possible. I used to use planning a party as an example, but almost any discussion lent itself well to Wave -- especially if you had m

      • I don't think there are any great insights to draw from Google Wave; they worked on it, it got hyped up, it didn't catch on, bummer.

        That would be true if whether something "caught on" was some unknowable black box. But whether things catch on is usually based on the opinion of people it could catch on with, which is easy to find out and learn from.

      • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel.bcgreen@com> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @03:29PM (#33327372) Homepage Journal
        Longhorn, WinFS, etc. were probably more a product of MS Marketing than the 'too many Geniuses' problem. It's an old trick that they probably learned from IBM's heydays.

        Promise your existing customer base ('everyone') a miracle (vaporware) product that will do everything that they ever wanted. Promise it next year. That way, when your competitors come out with a real product that does most of what your customers want -- or even all of what they really need, you can convince their CxO to "just wait until next year when our miracle product comes out -- then you won't have to deal with migration issues, etc.".

        Then you can slowly move the target -- both what your 'miracle' product does and when it will be out -- until your promises and reality jive. By then your competitor's product will be easy to pooh-pooh as 'only slightly better than what we've got' and needing all of that migration work, etc.

        Rinse, repeat.

        Microsoft took a big hit with Longhorn -> Vista because Vista turned out to be such a massive dud. Now, MS is going to have a hard time convincing people to believe any of their long-term promises about much of anything.

        • Now, MS is going to have a hard time convincing people to believe any of their long-term promises about much of anything.

          I doubt it.
          A. Longhorn was not the first time this happened, with Microsoft, or anyone.
          B. There are several long-term Microsoft promises in the pipeline right now and people (& media) have bought into them.

          It's an old trick that they probably learned from IBM's heydays.

          No reason for it to stop working now unfortunately.

          Rinse, repeat.

          I suspect you already know what I'm talking about :\

          It's sad that even here on /. I feel like the only one that rolls my eyes at things like Kinect. Or statements about what the next version of Windows will do. Or what the next Microsoft product _

          • Now, MS is going to have a hard time convincing people to believe any of their long-term promises about much of anything.

            B. There are several long-term Microsoft promises in the pipeline right now and people (& media) have bought into them.

            People were convinced that when Microsoft killed Courier, they were killing a bug free, complete product which was ready to go into production, and not killing a project that still had a lot of work to go.

      • Sometimes projects swing and miss, ...

        Yes, I agree. The problem isn't that the folks who created Wave aren't smart (some of them could even be geniuses). The problem is that they weren't even in the batters box with respect to what their customers were pitching, to mangle the metaphor.

        • Woah. There was no reason to mangle that metaphor so badly. The engineers could have been the pitchers throwing wild. The customers could be the batters watching, bemused, as the balls flew over their heads. And the Google marketing staff could be the catchers, haplessly trying to make it look as if the crazy throws were intentional.

          And we, the slashdot commentators, of course, are the umpires. No. We're the sportscasters. No. We're the annoying weather person who tries to say something pithy aft
      • by digitig (1056110)

        Sometimes projects swing and miss

        Yes, I think that's the point. Wave didn't seem to do anything that we couldn't do better with other tools (and I have used it a fair bit for real, as part of a standardisation process). That doesn't mean that it was a daft thing to do, it was worth trying, it just didn't come off. Wasn't there a batsman in some sport who, when somebody commented on how many balls he swung for and missed, replied that he missed all the ones he didn't swing for?

    • by nomel (244635) <turdNO@SPAMinorbit.com> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @07:07PM (#33328606) Homepage Journal

      I can somewhat agree, but I think it was mostly releasing poor code that caused its death. To me, *the* biggest problem with wave was that it was virtually unusable for the majority of its life. If you reached near 50 edits, the page would begin to crawl and the whole timeline system would come to a standstill. Once you neared 100 blips, the typing would slow to a few characters per second...on a dual core system. Loading was into the 10 to 20 second range, and scrolling with their whole custom rubber band scroll bar became unbearable, well more so than it already was. The code was *horribly* unoptimized. This is why all of the heavy users that I knew, including myself, stopped using it. When they finally got around to making the interface something usable, we weren't interested anymore.

      Also, the whole lack of inline images (without searching for a bot), lack of gmail integration, and lack of blip management (copy, move, etc) was a real PITA.

  • by TheoCryst (975577) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:00PM (#33326194)

    Google Wave didn't fail because it was "too innovative" or "too radical." History is jam packed full of inventions and technologies that succeeded precisely because they were drastically better than what came before them (lightbulb versus candle, car versus horse, calculator versus abacus, GUI versus CLI). Google Wave failed for a combination of reasons. It wasn't marketed well, it didn't really solve any problems, and it just wasn't "better" enough over the standard ways of browsing the web.

    Google Wave was a cool engineering project, but never should have been taken to market.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      More importantly Google gave it not even three month in public, how exactly did they expect it to take on in that time frame? Also the software was slow and unfinished, with rather important features still missing (no public wave).

      Wasn't there talk about integrating Wave into your Blog and stuff like that? Did any of that ever happen?

      • That is the real crux in the matter. People don't just go in and jump to a new platform which is said to be cool and inovative. Most people have a wait and see mindset. Professionals don't have the time to jump to the latest and greatest. Otherwise they spin their wheels learning all tue new stuff and never getting it done. For example, I knew about XML for years I even took a little time to understand the concept and get past the hype that was huge in the early 2000's.
        After a while I slowly started using i

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      It was also slow apparently when there were many posts in a wave. You don't go releasing fundamental software like that until everything at least feels fast for the user.

    • by kestasjk (933987) *

      [...] it just wasn't "better" enough over the standard ways of browsing the web.

      It wasn't intended to replace web browsing, but let's not get into that..

      Google Wave was a cool engineering project, but never should have been taken to market.

      They didn't really lose out by giving it a shot, it was fairly well polished, and as you say it was a cool engineering project not an unspeakable disgrace.
      What happened to Google Cubed or Square or whatever, the one with the table, is that still around? Why not put it out and see what happens?

      The guys writing these articles are probably making a much bigger deal about a Google Labs project ending than Google are..

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by CarpetShark (865376)

        It wasn't intended to replace web browsing

        Alas, now that the project is cancelled, we'll never really know what it was supposed to be ;)

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:31PM (#33326468) Homepage

      I think the main problems were:

      (a) It was unfocused. What were they trying to build, a replacement for email or a collaborative word processor? It wasn't really great at either. Take a lesson from Apple-- sometimes it's better for a product to do 3 things really really well than to do 10 things poorly.

      (b) The limited invite system is not a good way to launch a communications product that only works for talking to other people with that product. Invites worked for Gmail because you could still email everyone. Waves only worked with other Wave users, and there weren't very many of them. Google should have polished the system more and then launched big. If they made a big splash, they might have captured enough interest to keep it going. Instead everyone tried it out for a week or two, said, "this doesn't seem to be useful," and then they never looked at it again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkf (304284)

        If they made a big splash, they might have captured enough interest to keep it going. Instead everyone tried it out for a week or two, said, "this doesn't seem to be useful," and then they never looked at it again.

        I for one am not sorry to see it go. We tried it pretty heavily for about 3 months as a way of helping people across multiple sites do collaborative software development and deployment, and it's big problem was that it was extremely hard to find what you were looking for (ironic for a Google product!) or what had changed in a large Wave (several hundred messages, many of which were relatively large things like full stack traces). Perhaps we just didn't try it right, perhaps, but going back to email and wiki

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by asavage (548758)
        I think your points are good. Additionally it was too buggy. Google is good at producing proof of concept software but don't seem to have people willing to flush out bugs (outside of core projects). A messenger or collaboration tool needs to show who is online. When I started using Google wave it would show yourself as online with a green dot but didn't show anyone else online. They eventually fixed this, but when they did, it was still broken. I have a friend who was always marked as online for sever
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lakeland (218447)

      Well, I disagree with you :)

      I think wave failed because it did not have a transition path.

      Wave is for collaboration, it was pretty much useless for just one person. Gmail interacts with any SMTP server so it was easy to grow organically. I think wave was a similar step above gmail as gmail was to webmail at the time. However wave made no real attempt to interact with legacy systems (even google legacy systems like gmail, google talk, google docs) and so with wave it was almost like joining a gated commu

    • Google What? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gutbunny (967518)
      I spend 8+ hours a day programming in front of 3 screens with about 10 tabs open in each and I've never even heard of it. Maybe, just maybe, that's why it failed.
      • by mini me (132455)

        You did not hear about it because it already failed in the minds of early adopters. You did not hear about it because they were not talking about it, because they were not using it. If Wave was the next Gmail, you would have heard of it before now.

      • by Rary (566291) *

        I spend 8+ hours a day programming in front of 3 screens with about 10 tabs open in each and I've never even heard of it. Maybe, just maybe, that's why it failed.

        I spend 8 hours a day exactly (overtime is for suckers) programming in front of 2 screens (I dream of a third screen) with many applications and tabs open in each... and I have heard of it. I even tried it. I even thought it was really cool and wanted to use it.

        But I just couldn't find a reason to.

        If people like me who loved the idea and tried to find a use for it, had been able to find that use, then people like you who hadn't heard about it, would hear about it.

        That's why it failed.

    • The reason I didn't use Wave is simply because nobody I knew actually used the tool and I didn't have enough Wave invitations to try adopting it as an official communication platform where I worked.

      Sorry Google, but for a tool like this to work you can't make it exclusive to the elite technocrati like you did with the early GMail and Google Voice betas.

  • Incremental, gradual change is not radical change. The problem is that incremental, gradual, and radical have definitions, and those definitions are not synonymous.

  • A revolutionary rethinking of how we communicate will always take time to gain inertia. Real people have busy schedules, and you can't just tell everyone you are ditching email etc and moving onto the Wave: You have to get reluctant collaborators onboard and lineup a good project or two with which to get the hang of it at the start. This is never going to happen in 3 months, and i think google know this. I can't help but feel that they cancelled for some fundamental failing that they are not talking about.
  • by yyxx (1812612) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:25PM (#33326408)

    Google Wave was a collaboration tool, and that made it nearly useless during its limited preview. It was available generally for less than three months before Google killed it. That would be a ridiculously short time for any new service, let alone for one that actually requires network effects to become useful.

    I don't know whether Google Wave would have replaced E-mail or chat; it had the potential to do that, but that was far off. But it was an excellent collaboration tool. It could have been Google's replacement for Sharepoint, Lotus Notes, and systems like that, and it looked like it was on track for that. Incremental changes to GMail are not going to cut it.

    With killing Wave, Google killed something that could have become quite important for them in the future. And they also killed the good will and trust of a lot of developers and users.

    Google should have given Wave three years, not three months, of general availability.

    • It was also too damned slow. Maybe they figured out that computers need to be a lot faster before it will function on the lowest common denominator machines, and will release it under another name in a few years.
      • by yyxx (1812612)

        That was just the Google web frontend. Their Javascript toolkit sucked. But it was already usable, and in a year, with faster machines and better JS engines, nobody would have even noticed anymore.

        In addition, people were building other front-ends; micro-wave.appspot.com was much faster and simpler, and the first desktop clients started appearing.

    • by istartedi (132515)

      Indeed. Check out the chronology for Linux [wikipedia.org]. Three months? That's nothing.

  • by Ubertech (21428) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:33PM (#33326474) Homepage Journal
    I think this is one instance where Google's limited release method failed spectacularly. When they started to release Wave, I had a bunch of people in mind to collaborate with, but only one or two of us had it. By the time it was available to the majority of us, we had already gone back to using other means of communication, including Google's own docs. For all its potential, we ended up only having two active waves of substance. Hopefully they'll be able to incorporate some of the more interesting concepts into Gmail or Gtalk, and I think Docs already has some simultaneous editing features. So wave may live on, just not as wave.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by elysiana (1152995)

      I absolutely agree; one of my biggest frustrations was trying to get people I know to join so I could try it out. By the time I got the fifth person to sign up, persons 1, 2, and 3 had gotten bored with it and didn't want to give it a shot with more people involved.

      I really think it should have been made a part of Gmail so that anyone with a Gmail account could get on the bandwagon and give it a shot, rather than expecting people to sign up for this new scary thing where they have to open *yet another* link

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shillo (64681)

      You nailed it on the head.

      Wave utterly depends on all your friends having it. At the same time, Google deployed it in the way that reliably prevented your friends from having it.

  • KDE 4 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @01:35PM (#33326498) Homepage Journal
    Probably was being too radical more than the initial stability problems and bugs what hurt the grow that KDE was having by the time the version 4 was introduced. Still, as was basically "the" direction to follow with the entire platform (you could leave it going to gnome, stay with kde 3.x while all the apps move forward, or adapt to the new approach) it survived, and now is growing (not having hard numbers of gnome, kde and other linux desktops, but i think it went that way)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      Nope. KDE 4 failed because the core developers saw themselves as smarter than their users. They saw KDE4 as a hobby project that they did for their own personal challenge; because they knew the code, they knew what it needed to become, users' needs (and expressed preferences) be damned.

  • by npcole (251514) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:15PM (#33326834)

    Google did a great job creating an open protocol. But they made two mistakes:

    1. They were not open enough. Although they had suggested that people would be able to build their own clients (and demoed a curses based client) they never opened an API for writing a wave client. They wanted it to be a flagship web application - but just as people like all sorts of different clients for email (even if many now like web clients), they would probably have liked client choice for wave - especially if 3rd party clients had shown waves along side email and the like.

    2. They were too open. Their programming model for wave (web-hosted applications with read and write access to your wave) had huge security implications. It was not clear from the UI who would have access to your data and when.

    Both of these were things that slowed adoption of wave.

  • Instead of Wave, what Google should do with XMPP is evolve it into a replacement for SMTP/POP3 and probably IMAP. At the same time, evolve Atom (the format, not the protocol, obviously) to replace parts of RFC 5322 that are not covered in XMPP. Properly done the transition could be gradual and invisible to the end users. Then IM, multi-user chat, email, and feeds would all have the same underpinnings.

    • mod parent up! XMPP (which basically boils down to the exchange of xml messages over a tcp connection
      ) makes a lot of sense in many areas where specialized protocols are currently used.

  • by theNAM666 (179776) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:19PM (#33326868)
    Google Wave stands or fails on its features and merits. And the Wave idea is actually incrementally seeping in across the Google suite of products, so the original article is simply... silly (stupid!).

    In regards to the original topic, "Revolutionary" change, especially in software, is often remarkably... effective in sweeping away the ghosts of the past which weigh upon the minds of the present.

    As example, a gem from the days of Wang [ephblog.com] which I just came across:

    As an example of this strategy, a frustrated developer wrote Wang’s second generation e-mail system (Wang Office) over a long weekend. In his view–and he was right–the official spec meetings were taking too long. So he decided to cut through the bullshit and just code the thing (he’d designed Wang’s first generation e-mail system, Mailway, so he knew what he was doing). He sent out the new code to several large accounts, they loved it, and started calling headquarters asking, “We have the checkbook out–how do we buy this great e-mail system?” Back at headquarters, everyone (except for Steve) was going, “Huh, what are you talking about?” Once management realized that (1) customers wanted to buy it now and (2) doing it the “official” way would take another 18 months, they swallowed their pride, shot the official project, and gave Steve a small official slap while privately lauding his initiative.

    /me files Matt Asay in the [bullshit|?|clueless|lost|confused] category.

  • I see no reason to discourage either radical new hardware nor radical new software. It will flower or perish on its own merits.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by s1sfx (1883880)

      I see no reason to discourage either radical new hardware nor radical new software. It will flower or perish on its own merits.

      Couldn't agree more! There is way too much "sticking a tail on it and calling it a weasel" going on anyway and way not enough REAL innovation. Which creates all these super-clumsy, over-inflated monstrosities that don't even do the job they're supposed to be doing properly any longer. Einstein said "When the solution is simple, God is smiling." That's real genius, nothing else will do!

  • Error in title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by heffrey (229704) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @02:43PM (#33327074)

    Should have been, "Google Wave and the difficulty of flogging stuff that's shit"

  • It didn't have time to fail. The article correctly points to the fact that e-mail took 40 years to become as widespread as it is today. When it began it was an unrecognizable form of communication, a huge sea-change if it were to ever be adopted. People didn't even really know what computers were, let alone understand networks. Yes, it provided a nice electronic metaphor for the regular mail letter, which let people grasp it more easily. But everything else about it was still fundamentally alien.

    But somethi

  • the ivory scientist in the mad tower.

  • by Spewns (1599743) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @06:32PM (#33328454)

    1. It failed because it had bad user interface design. There's nothing radical about that. In fact, it's all too common in projects run by most hackers and code monkeys aiming to make a "cool engineering project." The difference between those projects and Google Wave is there are people crammed up Google's bum, willing to call Google developers visionary geniuses whose efforts are beyond what mere mortals can comprehend instead of lambasting them as they would anyone else for lacking usability in their software.

    2. More importantly, it failed because Google intentionally made it fail. It was axed in less than three months of being public. Something very weird happened there, but who knows if we'll ever really know why.

    3. The best, most successful advancements in computing were done in leaps and bounds, not the safe, incremental nonsense brought on by the commercialization of computing in the 80's.

  • by gig (78408) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @10:18PM (#33329304)

    Are you telling me an iPhone isn't radical? A desktop Web browser with a display 1/4 the pixels of the original Web browser and 1/8th the size, no mouse, no keyboard, no windows (the document floats inside the viewport), and holistic zooming is not radical? Yes, it is radical, but it is also usable.

    With Wave, Google got blinded by how pretty it is under the hood and forgot to design a user interface. Wave should have looked like Microsoft Word v5.1, it should have shown the user "replace your Word, Email, and Content Management System publishing workflow with me." Have you seen how a company puts up a typical Web page? Word documents going around in email, eventually being pasted into a CMS, it is a joke. If MS Office didn't suck it would have had Wave-like features by now and no CMS would be needed by Office users.

    Google needs humility. People think Apple is arrogant because they are great, but the truth is, they are great because they are humble. They did only one phone, and it took them 4-5 years to do it, working away totally in secret, iterating and testing and innovating. If Google was not so impressed with whatever they poop out, they would actually finish projects and make usable and successful products.

    Even in ads, why did Apple have to do iAds? Why didn't Google offer ads that don't look like shit, ads that take advantage of HTML5?

    How has Search improved in the past 5 years? How has it been made easier for the 90% of users who do not know how to use all the options like -term and site:foo.com and will never know that?

    So call a failure a failure. Wave is a failure.

       

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      Are you telling me an iPhone isn't radical? A desktop Web browser with a display 1/4 the pixels of the original Web browser and 1/8th the size, no mouse, no keyboard, no windows (the document floats inside the viewport), and holistic zooming is not radical?

      Actually, yes. It's good, useful, and a successful product, but it's not radical. Web browsers have been done before. Small form factors have been done before. Touchscreens have been done before. Apple takes things, integrates them well, polishes them up and makes them work better than almost anyone else.

      But it's still not radical. I looked at the iPhone and thought "I've never seen this done so well before". I didn't think "I've never seen this done before".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mjwx (966435)

      Are you telling me an iPhone isn't radical?

      Yes.

      All those things you mentioned, have been done before. Firefox 1 had the same kind of zooming as the Iphone, but no one used it as it was never needed.

      I'm sorry you've been sucked into that delusion that the Iphone is somehow new or even unique.

      Now wave failed because Google 1. didn't push it enough. 2. didn't distribute it enough. There was not enough incentive for a significant community to form, nor for uptake in the private sector. I'm still wai

  • The real problem with wave, from my perspective were bad design decisions.

    1. To make things familiar, they made it look like a threaded Slashdot discussion, and made each element of text a big block with a lot of decoration, framing, etc. This was way too chunky, as there was no way to highlight or otherwise mark up someone else's text.

    2. There was no way to prune or trim a discussion, which made them stretch on to infinity.

    3. You really couldn't collaborate on a piece of text, you could only have a convers

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