Beyond the limitations of Google Wave

Google Wave has the merit of bringing very important new Internet features to reality, and catching public attention to them. Still, in the way it is currently defined, a widespread acceptance as a replacement for email remains doubtful. More precisely, this progress remains incomplete as compared to what could be done, as I had already envisioned years before. But, once extended with further major innovations, it can finally indeed become the really successful replacement of email, and more than this, the new foundation for the Internet of the future.

To implement this, as I'm not a programmer, I'm looking for programmers or organizations willing to make it. I'm not looking for money nor trying to set up any business for myself, I'm just trying to freely speak about innovative ideas for free software creation.

If you wish to work on it, please contact me.

You can see here the details of the « Trust-Forum project » I had already envisioned way before Google Wave came. You will see important similarities. (You can check with that it was already there before)

Of course I had not envisioned all details of Wave. One reason for this, is that this description I made was already quite more than I could dream to get a programmer doing in the short term – and I hardly got anything done. At that time, fancying more of what Wave finally did, would have been mere utopia. On the other hand, some other details I wrote about, even for the conversations part itself, are still not done in Wave. Also, the technical method I considered for sharing conversations between users of independent servers was radically different. I think, it would make sense to finally let both methods work with the same data.

Another, shorter account of my ideas on the limitations of Google Wave and my suggestions of what to add to it, is here. When I wrote this, I did not know yet that the programmers I had contact with, were giving up as it would be too hard for them. Yes, it's not a very simple project, but what remains to be done until a first real success, won't be harder than what has already been done with Wave (not mentioning some longer term vision of developments such as trust system and online money, which may admittedly be harder than this). So, if Wave could be done, why not these additions too ?

For a new global identities system, better than OpenId

Google Wave already offers the possibility that. This way, users not locally registered, but only registered at independent peer hosts, can participate in a discussion. This way, pieces of text in a site can be authentified as coming from a user of another site, with no need for this user to create another account locally. This is good for discussions. However, there is more to do across the Internet in an authentified way, than standard discussions: it is normal for each of many independent sites to offer different sorts of services, or to let people interact in its own different, unique way.

Life would be simpler and better structured if users could just keep the same identity for all sorts of uses and operations across the web. At the same time, there is a need for anonymity. But even more, combining use of another pseudonym with the benefit a certification of the trust received from friends, would be extremely useful. And, as paradoxical as such a combination may sound, it can be done.

See my project page for details

This would solve the traditional defect of so-called social software that in fact divides people rather than unites them, as it can only connect users who have account in the same site owned by a big business, which needs to become the Master of the World in order for its official wish to unite the world, to become true; otherwise it forces every user to have virtually as many separate accounts as friends he wants to connect to.

Here is a random example of an article found on the web that points this lack of a general integration, in the current conception of Google Wave.

Are Letter-by-Letter Updates Too Much ?

When reading the many comments made through the web about Wave, this remarks comes very often : letter-by-letter updates are often perceived more as a trouble than an advantage. When someone starts to write a message, it can be disturbing to know that others are seeing every hesitation, and may even understand and misunderstand before the sentence is finished, and reply to it immediately.

It is said somewhere that this functionality can be disabled by the user at will. But still, it seems to me doubtful to let it exist in the first place.

More technically, I did not have a close look at the explanations, but I find it very strange, and I'm afraid it will raise some troubles. Especially, that it may overload the server's resources.

A deep logical problem I see is that: as I understand and I think would be right, the whole communication will have an history, where everyone can find out what was written by every user, and at what time. This will be especially useful for the trust system (see below). So, every update should have its own time and signature. Now, how can this be done letter-by-letter ? Will every written letter have its own time and signature ? In such a case, the stored data will be hundreds of times heavier than the contents; otherwise, the history won't be accurate.

To make the history data both accurate and of reasonable size, I guess that bigger pieces of texts (wavelets) than mere letters, would be more appropriate.

For a universal dating system

I have plans of how to make a new online dating system that will be by far the best one of the web.

I made a first first version of the specifications some time ago. More recently, I started writing a new version.

The reasons to choose the context of Wave and its future developments as described here, to include this online dating system, are:

It is a decentralised infrastructure that potentially all Internet users will use for other reasons, without being slaves of any central business; this gives every user the opportunity to contact any other user in the Universe that may fit, without any need to try repeating the search in several systems, because all Internet users will naturally be using the same network;

Meanwhile, and even though this sounds paradoxical, this environment will respect a great deal of privacy : the global list of all dating users in the Universe won't be public, but each particular user profile will only be accessed when needed to that user's matches;

Any user can start using the dating functionalities with no need to create a dedicated login/pass;

The trust network functionalities that can be developed on the system, not only involving people interested in online dating, but connecting all internet users, can later be used to secure trust here;

Once dating matches are found, the goal is to start conversations. The Wave system already offers all the best online discussion techologies for this.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction text for future users:

<<The dating component aims to help users who need, to find their love among the other users of the network.
It has been conceived with very optimised procedures to work best when there will be millions of users in the network, and provide contacts with your best possible matches as quickly as possible, saving the time of the users dealing with it, much better than any previously conceived online dating system. It does not claim any esoteric knowledge in psychology, nor tries to guess your preference out of the preferences made by other people that would seem similar to you in a way or another. It will just obey your explicit preferences, but it will do that in very clever ways, technically.
The use of this system is free and decentralised, so there is no dating-specific administrator to control what is happening. However, in future developments of the Trust-forum project, will be general procedures to prevent abuses of any kind in the whole system, thus also protecting the dating component.
For the sake of time-saving, optimisation and other requirements, operations will have to be done in a more or less precise order. So, at every step the system will guide you, indicating which next steps are possible and which is/are recommanded, while of course letting you the reasonable margin of freedom you need.
Main advantages of this system compared to usual dating sites:
The use of this system is completely free. You won't have any bad surprise of having to pay something when you found a good match and want to start the conversation, nor at any other step of the process.
There is no absurd rule such as « you must not write any contact address in your profile ». You are free to add whatever you like to your personal presentation page that your matches will visit.
When you review pictures, you don't need to have a powerful browser able to open multiple tabs as a way to keep link with interesting profiles while you are reviewing more pictures: quickly selecting pictures is a task, while having a closer look is another task that will be done separately.
When you review pictures, there is no precise list of them that you have to review until the end before quitting your session, for fear of losing the next results or of having to repeat the review from the start if you want to find them back. You can stop at any time and continue another time with precisely those you did not see yet, without having to care about it. You won't be bothered reviewing several times the pictures of a user that you first rejected, unless you explicitly decide to come back to previously rejected pictures to review them one more time.
You don't have to bother developing artificial strategies to get the best of the system. For example:
You don't need to ever modify the criteria, unless you previously made a mistake or your situation changed; the system offers you define your criteria in flexible terms with all subtleties you need, expressing what questions are more important than others and so on.
You don't have to choose between multiple functionalities with each their good and bad aspects, such as « who is online », « newly registered users », and standard search with multiple criteria. You won't waste any significant time with the dead profiles of users no more using their dating account, without need either for them or the system to delete their account in case they would use it again later. The opportunity to contact the newly regitered members that match you best will be automatically provided as soon as possible if you use the system regularly.
You won't have to wonder what is the best strategy or use of your time between « send a kiss », « write a message » or « add to favorites ».
The system will lead you in the best procedure that combines all possible advantages of more traditional elementary functions, without their drawbacks, and without even requiring you to think about it:>>

I will reserve the full new description to the future team that will be ready to work on it, after an agreement will be found and they will will have started to work on other aspects presented here.

For moral and philosophical motivations to care about online dating, see here.

On the usefulness of Waves for an online trust system

How Waves will be a necessary tool for a proper trust system:
Just imagine.

People connect online, to prepare a transaction of any sort.
They discuss the terms of their agreement in a "wave". Each needs to have reliable (even if anonymised) identification of the other, to know what trust there is supposed to be between them at the start.
Then they process their transaction.

But one of them betrays. The other complains. So he invites to the wave a « robot » or « gadget » (?) of trial, to process the complaint.
This robot invites other people to the wave, starting with those that declared trust to either of those who disagree.
Each newly invited person can access the whole history of the discussion, from the start, so as to reliably find out what the terms of the agreement were, and how they were broken. Then, ifever things are not clear, they can write further questions to the people involved in the discussion, so that they can reply in the discussion, and explain the reasons of their disagreement.
All participants can form their own opinion about who is right or wrong. Someone invited to the discussion, who choosed who he agrees with, types his judgement to the trial robot (in a similar interface as a poll - but letting people the opportunity to change their mind).
So, this robot accumulates the data of who agrees with the one, who agrees with the other - which is called "parties", and takes account of this data to process further invitations to the waves, and to force the trust connection between disagreeing people to be broken.
This is processed until it cannot find any more person not yet invited who would trust one of both parties.
This party, with no more outside person trusting a member of, is "discredited".

For a more general an theoretical presentation about online trust systems, to understand the global trust connectivity this may build, see:

Infoliberalism : the general theory

A more technical description of the logical rules

Is the Wave team able to communicate ? and How To Think Big

There is no good way to communicate with the Wave developers team.

I tried to contact them in many ways, but they never replied.

They were coming across Europe.

I followed the link to the web page about the Zurich meeting.
There was no possible contact means on that page, which is directly hosted by the Google Wave servers. The only possible action was to register. The field "What languages are you programming in?" was required. So, the Wave master team is only looking for benevolent slave programmers to obey the general predetermined format of google wave axioms, and to add more robots to serve this format.
They are not welcoming any free thinker to raise questions about where all this is going to, nor to suggest any further major innovation than those already decided from the start. Or maybe, in the programming language field, I could put: "Other : free thinking", but I was afraid to not find there anybody else who knows about this language.

There is another site of Wave, where people can input ideas, and vote for other people's ideas.

But this only lets the freedom to propose very simple suggestions, that can be expressed in one sentence, that the Wave team would then gather and possibly implement for its own credit, without saying thanks.

They don't seem to let room for expression of complex ideas, for real discussions, and for considering any further truly major innovation.

They seem to insist to stay the masters and exclusive fathers of their projects, and to treat anybody else as children and/or slaves.

So, at first, for a time I hoped it would be possible to just reorient Google Wave to integrate the functions I considered.
Now, for lack of answer from the Wave team, and their way to only call for programmers to comply to the general structure already defined and add more line codes and robots to it, I'm having strong doubts about the possibility to have such a deep reorientation done.

Well OK I read on this blog : « Lars on video link says to budding developers ‘please think big’, think ambitious, big and meaningful about how to use this program, platform, protocol. ». Indeed, developers are not used to think big, especially for inventing new uses with a system they are just discovering, that they did not imagine before. And because it is not often the job of developers to think big, but rather to make little improvements to existing systems. But why did he only request developers to think big, and not exepect any other people to do so instead ? Why should big thoughts and small lines of code have to be produced by the same people ? Just as if one requested a public of individual lonely engineers to invent the best instruments for making the next big scientific discoveries. It is the normal job of programmers to think small. But the prosperity of this world largely comes from the division of labour, by which different sorts of problems can be more properly managed by a diversity of professionals, some working on details, others on general strategies.

On the problems of innovation and public attention...

While, by principle, the freedom and anarchy of free software development is very nice, it may raise a few organisational troubles in practice: the general habbit of free software development just operated by programmers as they feel like doing this or that, has some limits. This is why the evolution of the Internet, and even more of email, has been relatively slow for many years, and that thousands of software projects were made for nothing, while no developers ever worked on my ideas (while I could convice most of the economics students I debated with concerning my political ideas, but they were not programmers and thus could not directly help): it was very far from what they had in mind to do. It is a common temptation for everyone to think small, which is why email stayed nearly the same for a so long time, and why it took so much time and effort to invent Wave and to force people to pay attention to it and understand what it does, not just as « a new email system » or « another instant messaging service », but really a different idea. It may be time to change habbits.

Google Wave is now very famous for being "very innovative". Yes, as compared to already implemented codes it can be called innovative. But what is truly innovative there is not the idea, which is but some variant of a subset of what I already imagined before. What is new here is to have all the Google's resources in developers, money, technology and popularity available to make it "exist" from a mediatic point of view: by such means, to have obliged many people to consider the idea seriously. Because a general problem is that, no matter how good a project is, and how convincing are the arguments for it, hardly anybody ever bothers more than a few minutes to imagine, to discuss, to tell other people about, and even less to work on, a very different concept of a system from what has already been implemented. Any idea really different than what is already done is rejected by most people as a mere utopia.

Now that the first step of the utopia is seeing the light of day, let's hope it will be possible to go further.

How it can be made : Extending the Wave Protocol

If the Wave team won't do it as a part of the Wave project itself, an independent team or organization could do it instead, starting from the open code that will be realeased by the Wave team.

It must proceed according to the same scenario (which was already the scenario I had considered before knowing about Wave) : offer the service to some users on the one hand, release the code open-source on the other hand, for other people to implement independent peer sites to work in network with it.

All peer sites would include these new functionalities (and will be free to add their own further functionalities), would work together according to a new protocol, that would be an extension of the Wave Protocol.

Still, communication with servers working with the mere Google Wave protocol would be possible as well, except that, of course, these connections with « Old Wave servers » would not offer the additional functionalities.

Other Wave implementations

PyGoWave : an open-source Wave implementation in Python ; needs more people to work on.

Moodle, an open source environment for education, is going to interface with waves, as Moodle Wave

Ruby on Sails

Novell Pulse, a copyrighted platform for the enterprise, also still under development and will be interoperable with Wave through a partnership of Novell with Google.

(I'll complete this list as I'll find; if you know more Wave implementations projects, preferably open-source, even at an early stage, you can write me and I'll add it to the list. Thanks)

Other interesting links and criticism

Wave rider : anticipating google wave. Some thoughts on the future of Wave

Not a good html editor

On the top of the wave

How to contact me

Email : trustforum at gmail com.

My homepage