Curses, foiled again

For a long time I have been trying to come up with the “killer app” for my new programming paradigm. A few weeks ago I discovered it. As I thought it through, I started to panic, because I realized that it really was a killer app that didn’t need a new programming language. One could drop the fancy features and end-user programmability, and be left with something much simpler but with far greater impact: a replacement for email. Now that is a killer app. Should I shelve the research and do an open source project? Try to shoehorn my language in anyway? My head has been spinning. Well, Google just announced it today.

I am in shock. Going to take some time to digest this. Maybe it will turn out for the best: silence the siren call of commercialization, but still open up a niche for my language. Or maybe it is back to the drawing boards. Really only three weeks sunk at this point. What a trip.

10 Replies to “Curses, foiled again”

  1. Bummer.

    Maybe this Wave is an ad hoc implementation. I say go-ahead and implement Wave using your language, if for no other reason than it could serve as a proof of concept. Then, if your language is truly good for implementing this type of app, you can “Wave-ize” (Waver?) other applications in less of an ad hoc manner.


  2. I vote for doing it anyway and using your language. If anything, it might lead you to other things or a related idea that’s different but unique. Or.. who knows? 🙂

  3. Have you seen the Google Wave Federation Protocol? You could definitely write a Wave server in your programming language. Granted, it would take a lot of work to keep up with the still-developing spec, but I still think it could be a very beneficial thing. After all, you won’t have to do much work publicizing it given the popularity Wave will be gaining.

  4. The area of collaboration and general convergence of social media, instant messaging, and web based applications in my view is the next big thing. There’s plenty of room for more than one killer app.

    Wave looks to rely on server hosted collaboration. A similar and also interesting area is true distributed collaboration. Probably a little harder, but with a lot of interesting benefits.

    I think you should build whatever you were planning. Don’t bet the house on it though. 🙂

  5. So, if I understand you right, you had this idea three weeks ago, but didn’t tell anyone about it publicly? If you were going to commercialize it (patent it), then I can understand secrecy. However, if you were going to open source it and continue your “open academics” policies, then you should have just blogged about the idea the moment you had it.

    According to Lars Rasmussen, there is no way Google itself could finish Google Wave. Instead, they are counting on open source developers. Just wondering… how did you plan to commercialize it without an equivalent army? Do you think your programming language gives you that much of a competitive advantage?

    …Just curious.

    For what it’s worth, I think Wave is just the front of a new frontier that we’ve been edging towards since the dawn of computers. Wave doesn’t advance theory much, because Gordon Bell and David Galant-Gertner have both advocated we communicate in this way. According to Wave’s Product Manager Stephanie Hammond, Wave “makes it easier to keep track of structure”. However, you’re still limited to the Conversation object. Following David Ryan’s suggestion, true distributed collaboration doesn’t need a Conversation object, it simply needs distributed OO.

  6. I also agree that you should implement it in your language anyway. If Googles version takes of, at least you can say “Hey, look, theres an implementation in my language too!” which at least would demonstrate its usefulness (assuming that its not a horrible mess in your language, of course) 😉

    In any case, you probably should keep a look out for any other “killer app” ideas anyway..

  7. No matter how clever one thinks an idea is, there is always someone else just as clever who hasn’t wasted time thinking about how clever an idea is, and who instead has implemented it.

  8. A humble suggestion for an alternative killer application: data analysis software.

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