Wave, Docs and Etherpad

Ok, so before anyone says anything, I know, only 1 of these products actually still exists as a product. The other 2 are opensource code that you can run on your own server, which don’t get me wrong is great, but they aren’t getting development at all now.

However, there are things I think Google should be doing with all these things that they aren’t, which I have said for a while would be great.

First of all, they need to keep developing on Wave, but keep quiet about it, and come out in a year or 2 time when the world is more likely to listen, it runs better, and browsers can handle it. Wave is a fantastic conversation tool. It is not a document editor, it is not a code editor, but it works great for collaborative conversations. The whole way it is structured is great for discussions. I had quite a few waves with people that were discussion projects, or working on something that we had to get done, that were not actually the code or document that we were doing, but were a seperate discussion within it.

That leads me on to my next point. Google Docs and Etherpad. Google Docs is great nowadays. It used to suck, but now it is fantastic for editing and collaborating on documents. I use it for most of my document editing (I generally don’t use OpenOffice anymore, as this fullfills all my needs). However…it lacks 2 things:

  1. A plain text editor. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this, but I would love an option in Google Docs to have plain text. Currently it has to be a “Document” or a “Spreadsheet” or something like that. Theres no option just to bung text into it. Why? Well, I think this is where Etherpad can be integrated into it. Google bought etherpad, and we have to wonder why. I’m hoping they will put the technology into a plain text editor into google Docs. This would make Google Docs the hub for my online life. Collaboration on documents AND code. Fantastic. Hey, they could even put syntax hilighting into it. Google, you need to do this. I WANT this so badly.

  2. The chat. Yes, ok, the chat exists, but I’ll be honest – it is rubbish. For one, it dissapears when you close the document, and open it back up. What is with that? I can’t see comments in the chat that people leave when I’m offline??? Thats just weird. Second of all, I think this is a perfect place to integrate Wave. Create a wave, and allow that to be the chat at the side of Google Doc editing. Then you could have a great chat at the side of it, and even see it outside Google Docs, and possibly even embed it onto a website, as you can do with any Wave.

Frankly, if Google do these 2 things, Google Docs would be full of awesome, and Wave would have a great purpose so therefore noone could ever say that Wave had no purpose, and shouldn’t be worked on. It is perfect for this, and would only help Wave in adoption with people. Just sayin…