Modern Software Experience


Google Wave logo

Google Wave

open source

Google Wave will be completely open sourced, not just to be open about how it works, and provide free copies to everyone who wants it. Google Vice President of
engineering Vic Gondotra admits that it is also because Google need developers to help complete the project.

Since the original Google Wave announcements, some parts of the project have been made available already. I recommend following the Google Wave Developer Blog to keep up to date on things like this. You may also want to follow the Google Wave Team on twitter.


Open Wave is an HTML 5 application. That Wave is based on HTML 5 is a somewhat remarkable and interesting decision, because (X)HTML 5 isn’t a standard yet. It makes Wave an application based on a future web standard. It is not entirely unexpected, as (X)HTML 5 offers great features for rich web applications. Google Wave is perhaps the best demonstration yet of (X)HTML 5 capabilities for rich, interactive web applications.

Google Gears

The version of Wave that was demoed at the Google I/O demoed needed Google Gears for some of its functionality. The version of Wave I am using now still needs Google Gears.

During the demo the team stressed Wave will not depend on Gears, but it is natural to wonder whether there will not always be some part, something new that depends on Gears instead of web standards.

Google Web Toolkit

Google Wave was built using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), a development framework for Java, so Wave was apparently written in the Java programming language. GWT allows the developer to write in Java instead of JavaScript, without worrying about browser idiosyncrasies, and then let the GWT cross-compiler generate the - optionally obfuscated - JavaScript.

The Google Web Toolkit makes it relatively easy build so-called AJAX applications, and during the Google Wave session at the Google I/O conference, the Google Wave team stated very clearly that they could not have create Google Wave without the Google Web Toolkit.


Java used to be a proprietary programming language of Sun Microsystems. It was often perceived as open while it was not - and that would make it an odd language for Google to choose. However, late in 2006, the bulk of Sun’s own Java implementation was released under the GNU Public license.

Google Wave is written in Java using Sun’s OpenJDK (Java Development Kit) and the Google Web Toolkit.


Each wave in Google Wave is an XML document. Formally, XML is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation, informally it is a web standard. In practice, use of XML is not restricted to the web at all, but used throughout the industry. XML is the core standard in a large group of XML-based standards.


2011-07-16 Google Gears

Google ended the Gears project on 2011-03-1 to focus on HTML5 instead.


The site is gone. The link has been removed.

2012-05-22 Google Wave API

The Google Wave API is no longer available. The link has been removed.


Google Wave