The Google Wave video might probably be the most watched 1 hour plus video on the web this year, discounting pirated movies of course. That it is now considered the most revolutionary thing to hit the web in recent times is a word that’s been going around since the moment people got a whiff of what Google plans to do with how we communicate. So since the time they announced the 100,000 free invites that is going to go out, September 30 might well be the most anticipated day this year, at least on the virtual world.
However, among many of us exist that curious few, and removing those who were lucky to get their hands on a beta test for Wave, they must be itching to enter the wave world. I don’t have free passes however, I do have links to two tools that are probably the next best things to wave at the moment.
First Up: PyGoWave
I read about it first on Mashable, and was immediately unimpressed by the name.
As the blog post there explains, there isn’t much to take home about PyGoWave, except the fact that all the Wave extensions available in the Sandbox can be used and even downloaded using this tool. Created using the Google Wave API Source Code, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the way Google Wave looked in the monster video Google released or the screen shots they presented. However, the fact that it is widgetised and pen source gives you enough of a playground to test and then wait with bemused eyes what Google Wave might actually be like.
In short it is the perfect way to while your time away creating new forms of communication and thus send your expectations sky high with what Wave can do.However, the team behind PyGo has put in enough effort to what doesn’t seem an easy project by any standards, and again at least till Wave comes out this isn’t an open and shut project at least for the team behind it.
Now this is something I like better and one that deserves more than a passing mention. Shareflow by the looks of things would seem almost everything Google Wave speaks about. It does almost everything to make communication move out of emails. And though it is essentially a paid product, the basic plan comes to everyone for free with 25MB storage and 5 flows though there is no cap on users.
Shareflow is a granular version of a flow-based collaboration; you can either view all flows or just single projects. In terms of content, it handles threaded comments, files of most types can be uploaded and previewed through Scribd’s iPaper interface, there’s Google Maps integration, images, and video.
However unlike Google Wave, there is no real time Chat and document collaboration.
While many might consider it an opportunistic imitation of Google wave the way it handles work flow, there are many reasons I refuse to brand it thus. Let’s say for any reason they might have been inspired by Google Wave at all, if they can put a business ready product that at least looks great 2 months before Wave comes out then one might as well use this one than wait for Big G. Even the Shareflow blog sounds somewhat similar in what was their defence of the acquisitions floating around. (All the more reasons for startups and companies in general to have a blog)