(this was originally a rant on Whitechapel, expanded here)
I hate Google Wave so much. It is a terrible program, and whoever loves it should be sucker-punched in the throat. I hate it on such a base level, if it had children, I would be cruel to them. I just had my first real go at it, though I’d tinkered with it a little bit when I got the invite and immediately felt a dislike for it that should normally be reserved for meeting someone with a NO FAT CHICKS tattoo.
Now I want to stop right here, because this is the internet, where everything cleaves neatly into AWESOME and FAIL, and FireCancerAIDS is wished on people who tried to bring free content and media to others. I want you to understand that I’m aware of this, and I don’t want to be all “Fuck you for trying!” on some nice developers redesigning the Internet. But damn, Google Wave, that was a real Crying Game move you pulled on me.
Today’s objective was to coordinate with some friends while we used our cell phones and the web to make San Diego reservations. So basically, all we needed was a chat room. You know what Google Wave fails as? A real-time, multi-person conversation. Which would be fine if that weren’t the fundamental reason for its existence.
Want to finish a thought and start a new one? You’d better figure out SHIFT + ENTER is the shortcut to “Done,” but you’ll still have to stop typing, grab the mouse, and click in the screen every time you want to start a new paragraph. This is really frustrating when you’re an awesome typist trying to converse. It’s like running a 400-meter race wearing one track shoe and one mountain boot.
And you will want to start a new thought; otherwise a two-person chat is going to look like two incredibly long stream-of-consciousness explosions. As a conversation increases in length, you end up scrolling up and down to see what people said. But don’t worry, you can replay everything! Which is exactly how I want to waste several minutes. Fuck this “linear progression = chronicle” bullshit, I want to sit there and watch my computer play videos of people typing at its own pace.
You watch your friends type in real time, another one of Wave’s nice thoughts but bad ideas. You know why I choose not to use my psychic powers? Because I’d rather wait for other people to present the functional version of their thought than hear it bouncing around their head until it’s safe for public consumption.
Why did it take me 10 minutes to discover I can’t even empty the trash yet? Why did I have to discover that off-site from non-Google sources? For that matter, why can’t you empty the trash?
I know it’s just a stupid app no one uses; I should just shrug and move on. But my hate for it is far richer and poisonous than merely regarding an app that doesn’t work. If hatred were fat, this wouldn’t be chicken stock; this is the hate-fat of loveless trophy wives with collagen-puffed lips. This is a hatred reserved for people who would be dead in five minutes if they tried to do a fairly normal activity, like riding the subway or expressing a coherent thought.
Imagine for a moment that everyone celebrated Heidi Montag as some wonderful polyglot and you alone could see she’s just a broken personality. That’s how Google Wave makes me feel. It has the functionality of a three-legged rabbit, but everyone else keeps talking about how amazing it is.
No, amazing would be if I could insert a link by hitting CTRL + V. Wave would rather you go to the top, click the Link button, and then paste the URL. You know who let me paste directly while incorporating nearly all of Google Wave’s conversational features? AOL 4.0 and there’s a reason I stopped using that in 1998.
I realize Wave is a beta preview but it’s never going to revolutionize production if every new feature slows down interaction. Stop making me click in and out, select this button, that box, this area of the page just to have a basic chat room conversation. It’s like you built an expressway and then strewed it with nails. You’re not fostering creativity or development.
Wave positions itself as a real-time collaborative tool, when in fact it lends itself far better to, if anything, piecemeal collaboration over an intermittent period. Google wanted to revise email as this playground full of possibilities, but they threw out all the rules that made email functional, and then for some unknown reason, imposed all the features that email dropped last millennium because they made the experience slow and clunky.
Damn, Google Wave, I wish you had genitals so every morning of your life, I could rochambeau you before you had your coffee.