I’m sure all the Wave puns have already been made, and I’m not about to further muddy that particular pool. Google Wave is at least deserving of some attention, having just played around with the preview for a couple days now. It at least meets the original idea of being a good evolution of e-mail, with everything being conversation based as opposed to discrete individual messages that steadily grow in size as reply text is copied each time. Like some kind of out-of-control text-sponge being passed around, e-mails often reached the point where they rarely, if ever, related to the original message and became a form of delayed IM system. That’s an oxymoron, I know, but the advantage e-mails always had over IM was that they were not tied to one particular system or application.
Google Wave addresses the e-mail issue while introducing the very same IM issues. It is currently a closed system, and while the help topics do say the development team hope to implement traditional e-mail support in the future, I wonder how well that can work with the dynamic functions of Google Wave. Either Wave sends out periodic updates to “e-mail subscribers” of a particular Wave, or the Wave itself is limited due to the presence of e-mail participants. I’m sure the developers have thought about all this, though I’d still like to see what they come up with.
Besides the lack of backwards-compatibility with any existing system, the features of Google Wave do seem pretty exciting, as long as all your friends also have an account.