The Name of Google’s Short-Lived “Wave” Collaboration Framework Was Inspired By Which Sci-Fi Show?
In 2009, Google released a real-time collaborative editing framework called Google Wave. The Wave system was web-based and brought together key features of older communication platforms like email, Usenet posting, instant messaging, and previous modes of communication with real-time updating and centralized storage of the “waves” (the message documents) and the “blips” (multimedia). Although it didn’t gain a ton of traction (and Google abandoned the project shortly after announcing it), it was well received by the people who tested it.
The name of the service was a direct nod to the popular (and, somewhat ironically, also short-lived) Sci-Fi series Firefly. During developer preview presentation of the platform, the developers made multiple references to the show while presenting Wave. Within the context of the show, a “wave” is a real-time or recorded audio-visual transmission sent over the Cortex—the show’s deep-space communications network equivalent to our internet.
If all of this has you a bit nostalgic, don’t fret, Firefly is available for streaming on Hulu (or as a Blu-ray set). As for Google Wave, it was open-sourced and handed over to the Apache Foundation for further development as an incubator project, but it was officially retired on January 15, 2018.
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