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Google Wave Free Association

So Google’s announcement of Wave seems like a big deal. Rather than the typical deep and thoughtful post, which I’m sure others have done, some random thoughts:

  • from what I can tell, unlike much of Google’s current application infrastructure (GMail and Docs), the code will be open source; this would be really big
  • also unlike the current apps, Wave is distributed; this is also a really big deal
  • the collaborative document-editing seems wicked cool, and goes a fair bit beyond Docs
  • I absolutely cringe when I hear the phrase rich text in 2009, particularly when Google has so failed to get the basics of structured documents right in Docs
  • OTOH, HTML 5 provides some room for them to improve this if they put their mind to it
  • would really love if the extension mechanism was rich enough to allow integration of citations (say a Zotero extension; though perhaps something more distributed), and flexible enough to do it right (which by definition means not based on bibtex)
  • This has potentially big, though as yet unclear, implications for higher education, and for the sort of work that happens these days in LMSs.

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