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Google Wave Architecture

Update: Good Vibrations by Radovan Semančík. Lot's of interesting questions about how Wave works, scalability, security, RESTyness, and so on.

Google Wave is a new communication and collaboration platform based on hosted XML documents (called waves) supporting concurrent modifications and low-latency updates. This platform enables people to communicate and work together in new, convenient and effective ways. We will offer these benefits to users of Google Wave and we also want to share them with everyone else by making waves an open platform that everybody can share. We welcome others to run wave servers and become wave providers, for themselves or as services for their users, and to "federate" waves, that is, to share waves with each other and with Google Wave. In this way users from different wave providers can communicate and collaborate using shared waves. We are introducing the Google Wave Federation Protocol for federating waves between wave providers on the Internet.

Here are the initial white papers that are available to complement the Google Wave Federation Protocol:

  • Google Wave Federation Architecture

  • Google Wave Data Model and Client-Server Protocol

  • Google Wave Operational Transform

  • General Verifiable Federation

The Google Wave APIs are documented here.

Reader Comments (15)

It looks like Google has put a lot of effort into this, but will it replace the common email? I doubt it.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered Commenterfoxy

Has Skype replaced telephony? No. But it is very successful! Google Wave is awesome, yet email has large legacy.

Will it scale well in a real-time federated architecture?

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm just wondering if Google Wave will be a killer app?

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered Commenter布里斯班

I think this guys has a nice approach on Google Waves Architecture http://www.corvalius.com/blog/?p=40 What do you think?

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterWalter

Wave has the potential for becoming the next standard in online communication. First there was email, then came IM. With its user experience that is updated to modern web design, Wave has introduced new and innovative ways to interact with others. Will it instantly replace email and IM? No. This standard won't be touched by the mainstream audience until 5-10 years after its 1.0 release, which is when developers would start creating apps for their teams and companies will be created around the protocol to push it on to new customers.

Wave has a ton of potential and it was smart of google to introduce it first to an audience of developers as well as release it as an open sourced protocol. The developers are the ones that will be creating the apps that people use for this, but it would also be good to monitor how the browser vendors will come to accommodate it as well.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered Commenterstrife25

How can I download the source code of google wave? Is is available already?

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

What problems does this really solve? And might it introduce more problems than it solves? (It seems to be damned complicated)

At the beggining of the Google demo presentation Lars Rasmussen says that they asked them selves the question "What would email look like if it was designed today?". In my opinion the obviously fault with email is it's lack of inherent ability to control spam. How is this addressed in Wave? Seems to me that this has not been given as much priority as some of the more flashy aspects.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterSosh

Interesting Questions and Answers about Google Wave here:

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAdam


Spam is a problem in all online platforms. It is not unique to Wave. Google Mail solves it rather effectively.

How would you design e-mail today to address the problem of spam?

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterChris

We wrote some thoughts about what is coming with wave that we want to share with you and to hear your opinions.


If you can read Spanish (or just want to practice it :-P) http://www.corvalius.com/blog/?p=49

We REALLY would love to hear your opinions.

Thank you very much!!

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The Google Wave source code is not available yet but developers can use the sandbox described on the http://googlewavedev.blogspot.com/2009/07/google-wave-sandbox-update.html">Google Wave Developer Blog

Thank you for the Corvalius Blog!!!

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterJuan Carlos

Google Wave to send out 100,000 invites in September:

You can sign up for more information about the limited launch at wave.google.com.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


there is a wave protocol reference implementation online. The source code is available on
http://code.google.com/p/wave-protocol/source/browse/">google code.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered Commentergeekr

http://code.google.com/p/pygowave-server/">PyGoWave Server is another Google Wave implementation based on Django - a well-known python web framework - as its backend and is in a very early stage.

Google said: “…anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server…”
I said: “Ok, let’s do this!”
Then I looked into my development toolbox and chose Python, Django, Orbited, RabbitMQ, JavaScript and MooTools.

Check out the http://pygowave.p2k-network.org/blog/">PyGoWave Blog here.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered Commentergeekr


Well obviously I'm not suggesting that I have the answer to that question.

I'm saying that if you are going to ask the question "How would you design email, if it was designed today?", and you are going to spend a lot of time and money thinking about it, then surely a major consideration would be fundamental mechanisms to combat spam (rather than just bolt-on filters).

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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