Google Jan. 20 added two new management features to the open-source Google Wave messaging and collaboration platform to help waves stay on point: read-only participants and wave restoration. The read-only feature will allow any creator of a wave to toggle participants in the wave between full access and read-only. The new restore from playback feature enables anyone with full access to a wave to restore that wave to any previous state, which lets users correct mistakes made in the session. Clearly, Google's Wave programming team has listened to calls for more granular access controls on Wave. What is the adoption and use rate for Wave?
Google Jan. 20 added read-only participants and wave restoration to Google
Wave, two features that should help collaboration sessions stay on topic for a
platform seeking to fill some management gaps.
Google Wave is the company's real-time collaboration platform, which
combines team document editing, e-mail, instant messaging and social networking
into one platform, whose code was released to open source in 2009.
The company launched the platform iteratively, first to 6,000 or so developers last July
, then to 100,000 users Sept. 30
and finally to 1 million people in December
Since Wave's launch, users have complained about the lack of management
features in the platform. For example, Wave users couldn't control what waves
they saw in their inbox, so Google in November added a feature
that let users shun waves they don't want
The new participants read-only feature will allow any creator of a wave-Google's
term for a collaboration session-to toggle participants in the wave between
full access and read-only, said
Narelle Cozens, a software engineer for the Google Wave
Users can do this by clicking on the wave user's profile picture
at the top of the
wave panel and selecting the access level in the drop-down. Similar to
permission levels granted in Google Docs, read-only participants cannot alter
waves, but they can view live changes and look at the history in playback.
Wave creators can also render entire groups read-only, including the public
The new restore from playback feature
enables anyone with full
access to a wave to restore that wave to any previous state, which lets users
correct mistakes made in the session. Cozens noted that restoration does not
delete anything from the playback history, and instead adds the restored state
at the end.
Finally, Cozens provided a teaser for Wave management in 2010.
Specifically, Google is creating a "Reply only" access setting
that will let users add new blips, but deny them from editing blips they did
not create. The Wave team is also redesigning the platform's interface to let
users more easily change permissions for multiple participants.
Clearly, Google's Wave programming team has listened to calls for more
granular access controls on Wave. But will this keep users waving? Moreover,
what is the adoption and use rate for Wave?
When Google sent out 1 million invitations, it provided the opportunity for
Wave users to invite eight or more users. How many users are spreading these
invites around and, more importantly, how many invitees are taking their
friends and colleagues up on the invites?
A Google spokesperson responded: "We have sent millions of invitations to Google Wave and have
more than a million active users."