Google Wave Gadgets lack quality

I tested quite a bit of different Google Wave gadgets in my christmas calender last month. I tried 40 different apps with a large verity in their complexity and usability. Some of them did not have any useful functions or did not work.

I really liked many of the ideas created in the gadgets and some was really useful. It was fun to see how people wanted to impress with new ideas.

The quality of the gadgets and robot was lausy. Mine included. I believe that many of to my application must be improved. But with the limited option in the robot API hinders making layouts to shine. It also provide a hindering there is a lack of way the gadget/robots can work together. If there was a better way to make the gadgets/robot work together, the layout issues could be solved.

I will say that most of the gadgets except maybe the simpler voting gadgets all require extra work before they can be used by a wider audience. The robots where you need to write commands with # or ! as the only thing in blip, I doubt that my mother will pick it up easily which is required to get non tech savvy users on board.

One key to make it possible to get the robot to function better is to pay the developers. I guess most of the developers of the robots/gadgets I have seen just tried the protocol out of see if they could make something useful. And they can. But to make them look wave-y the gadgets need to look better.

To make the gadgets/robot complete we need to be able to get some better apis and more importantly be able to charge for your apps. Currently it can be possible to charge for the usage of a robot and with some development also a gadget, but it is a pain and will require to much of the user.

I’m therefore looking forward a Wave app store is created. It will be interesting to see if it only supports one time payments or monthly payments and maybe even corporate multi seat licenses. The wave app store will mean that more developers will start with developing programs for Google Wave, making the platform more attractive.

I’m currently only letting my apps be available to my mail list subscribers. We have a new scrum gadget that just need to be published. So sign up to the newsletter and try it out.

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Installing extensions in Wave

Extensions are an easy way to distribute you Wave applications. When the user has installed an extension the user can add robots or gadgets just by pressing a button. This is much easier then remembering the URL of the gadget or Robot. For robots it is pretty simple, since you can add the robot to your gadget.

What is even more exciting about extension is they can allow for an app store for Wave applications. It would be very interesting, if you could sell/buy as easy as you can from the Itunes App store. If it was possible just to make applications and then have somebody else to sell them, more developers would be interested in developing applications. That way you don’t need to finance you gadgets with ad words.

I was looking at the blog on How To Uninstall An Extension or Plugin on Google Wave. The blog does not give an explanation on how to install gadgets, so I have been working to find a way to do it. I should just have a look in the getting started wave.

I have been looking at creating my own extension and install them. In the sandbox there was a debug menu, where you can stall the extensions from. In the preview system you needed to find a place the gallery wave (Search for: Extension Gallery). From this wave it is possible to install the gadgets Google has accepted by clicking on a button.

This video shows how the gadget installer and uninstaller work.

I you are a developer and want to test your own extensions you can do it by installing the “Extension Installer”. When this is installed you can install new gadgets from the gadget URL. So this is the way you can test your application, before you send it to the app store. I don’t know you can share the applications with other or they need to install via the developer gadget.

Update: if you want to write an extension your self have a look at  Extension Installer XML creator (for Gadget)

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