Google Wave – A step up the federation ladder

No doubt there’s much stuff written on Google new “Wave” web application, but an area which interested me is the idea that multiple Wave installations can be federated.

True Federation currently only really happens in the e-mail space.  Each organisation either runs an E-mail server or has it hosted elsewhere, but they all agree (pretty much!) on how to send and receive messages allowing users to collaborate whilst their organsations kept a measure of control over where their data (e.g. attached doc) were kept and managed.  Other systems can be federated, for example instant messaging, but only within a particular techology (MSN, Jabber etc), or with a lot of standardization – e.g. all participants choosing the same platform.

Google’s Wave  technology promises to step up the ladder from e-mail towards IM, Twitter, Wiki and Document sharing because the underlying protocol is designed for federation. So each organisation can implement it’s own Wave system or outsource to Google etc.  These Wave “servers” could come from any number of different suppliers – or there could be gateways or integrations for other systems.

Expect perhaps,  a Novell Wave Server, an IBM one, even a Microsoft one?  Or perhaps an integration with Sharepoint or Novell Teaming.  Members of organsations can collaborate within a Wave, without  reallyworrying about which systems exist for collaborators outside their organisation.

It’s what research projects would die for! Furthermore there’s scope for building an MLE on top of the same federation framework, making inter-institution courses simple- e.g. outside tutor commenting on student work directly?

Scope for a University project here I feel!

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