Thursday, July 29, 2010

Google Talk on Wave and Go in Canberra

Greetings from the hi-tech engineering lecture theatre at the Australian National University in Canberra. Pamela Fox from Google Sydney is talking about Google Wave. Later Nigel Tao talked on "Go Programming Language". James McGill was advertised as talking on "Designing for the Mobile Web" but Pamela is talking instead (I teach mobile web design at ANU). I have pressed the "record" button on the lectern and there should be a podcast of the presentation later (assuming I pressed the correct button).

Google Wave is a technology I have tried hard to understand. It offers a combination of the features of email, SMS and web publishing. However, it is a complex concept to understand with a complex implementation and currently with limited interfaces. One of the concepts behind Wave is operational transformation and conversation model. These are based on the same XML format underlying many electronic documents and may be useful for creating more flexible documents, even where these do not involve an email type conversation. Google did not use HTML for tie "Blip Documents" as the syntax is not suitable for the transformations to be performed.

Nigel Tao (an ANU graduate and Google employee) talked on "Go Programming Language". Google developed the Go programming language for large scale applications running on multiprocessor machines, as used by Google for their search system. Go is similar to C, but design to compile quickly. The language is still under development. Go implements Unix style pipes, with "goroutines" and "channels". This allows easy implementation of parallel computation, as used by Google to support of very large numbers of applications simultaneously

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