a hands-on look at Google's Wave
The scope of Google's Wave project is broad, which makes it difficult to define concisely. It brings together elements of instant messaging, e-mail, collaborative rich document editing, and generic support for third-party Web services in a single seamless communication medium that is more flexible than any of those things individually. On a technical level, it is a messaging platform that consists of a protocol, a Web service, a set of standard extension APIs, and an open-source concurrency framework.
Communication within the Wave service is organized in a structure that is a bit like ad-hoc forum threads. Each top-level conversation contains groups of messages that are sort of like subthreads. The conversations are referred to as "waves" and the subthreads are called "wavelets". Individual messages, which are called "blips", are the smallest discrete conversational unit of a wave. The distinction between Wave—the service—and "wave"—the conversational unit—is significant, so keep an eye on the capitalization.
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