Google Wave Robot and gadget interaction

With the new Robot API version 2 is it possible to interact with the gadgets using robots. This will allow for some interesting integrations and will mean that the gadgets can be used to show the graphical information that needs to be displayed by a user. By using the robot to fetch and populate the data, you are also able to make the requests update other information than is possible using the social API.

I have created a small demo that shows how this can work out. Look at this video.

The code for the robot is the following.

  @Override
  protected String getRobotName() {
    return "DGR1";
  }

 
  @Override
  public void onWaveletSelfAdded(WaveletSelfAddedEvent event) {
    Blip blip = event.getWavelet().reply("\nHi everybody!");
    blip.append(new Gadget("http://dgrjava1.appspot.com/gadget.xml"));
  }  
  @Override
    public void onGadgetStateChanged(GadgetStateChangedEvent event) {
      Blip blip = event.getBlip();
      Gadget gadget = (Gadget) blip.getElements().get(event.getIndex());
     String count =  gadget.getProperty("count");
     
     blip.append("State changed changed " + count);
     gadget.setProperty("count", "56");
  }

Currently it is not possible with the Java api to update the gadget. But there is room for it in the gadget state information.

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Email with updates on Wave changes

Probably the most requested feature of Google Wave has been delivered yesterday. It is simply to get email notification when a Wave changes.

It is quite easy to start to use. Simply select the dropdown button on your inbox, select notifications. Then you have the option to select how often you want the notifications.

 

The email you then will get looks like the following.

One feature missing feature is that it is not possible to look for updates in the inbox. I might only be interested in updates in Wave, when a search term is updated. So I only get updates when Waves with the word SAP or the tag SAP is updated.

I currently use Google Wave Notifier to get updates, when a Wave is changing. The program gives instant notifications when your inbox changes. It is quite useful. But it is probably not a solution for non-it savvy users how don’t want to install all kinds of addons.

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5 Easy Steps To Create A Google Wave Gadget Using Flex

Hi Everyone! We’re presenting you a simple 5-part video tutorial showing a sample in creating a google wave gadget using flex (Flash Builder Beta as the IDE and Flex 4 as the Compiler). The application is of the same with the common flash actionscript file having a counter button that increments the result number by 1 and a reset button that resets the result number back to 0. Any of the participants that will click the buttons will be able to update the state having them with the same result on their screen. Apologies if you find the video not clear enough and so as the speaker or mispronounced some words but hopefully you’ll be able to follow and at least this will give you a head start.

The 1st part of the video is some sort of a short introduction to flex showing how to call or place given components from flex through typing the codes or dragging the component in the design view.

FlexWave Gadget Part 1

The 2nd part of the video demonstrates how to add functionality to your components and testing the application locally.

FlexWave Gadget Part 2

The 3rd part of the video shows how to apply google wave api (wave-as-client) or incorporate it as a library in the flex application/project.

FlexWave Gadget Part 3

The 4th part of the video is the continuation of how to manipulate or use the  google wave api to pass or update states.

FlexWave Gadget Part 4

The 5th part is the last part of the video that shows how to publish a release build of the application/project and compile with all the files needed to get it work as a gadget in google wave.

FlexWave Gadget Part 5

Reminders: You always need the wave-as-client as the library of the flex application and make sure to have the wave-as-client.js placed in the same folder of the release build. In creating a gadget.xml, just make sure you’ll be able to apply an extension code to the url of your flex swf file application to avoid caching to prevent problems in updating and testing the application on the wave.

Thank you so much for the time and hopefully the video is helpful. Have a blessed and healthy day everyone!

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Why is flex the best way to make Google Wave gadgets?

Before anything else, let’s have a short introduction about Flex. Flex is actually a software development kit released by Adobe that will let you develop and deploy a cross-platform rich internet applications (RIA) having Adobe Flash as its platform for web and Adobe Air for desktop version. Since according to Adobe Flash Player Statistics, flash reaches 99% of all the internet-enabled PCs all over the world; and that will give us the start. Now, let’s proceed to the core. I got two sides to completely turn your thoughts to consider Flex.

First, for the developer’s side, programming structure would be a concern and with Adobe Flex, coding are not that complicated since it is readable in an English like manner but of course you need to have a programmer’s logical thinking to get it going. It’s easy to integrate designs and even apply effects (as we all familiar with flash) to help improve your applications. Adobe Flex builder 3 and Adobe Flash Builder Beta are commonly used IDEs for developing Flex. Exporting and importing projects with the IDEs makes it easier to share or work on projects with the group and one thing that really bites me as a developer is the debugging feature. Debugging is your best bud to get your codes work well. When it comes to support for Flex, there are tons of tutorials available that you can research on the web and you can even start with the video tutorials from Adobe’s “Flex in a week”. So, as a developer, if you want to develop an impressive, well-presented, interactive, and functioning application, Flex is a top option. Even though there’s still some few bugs especially in flex 4 considering it’s still in beta, solutions are highly attainable.

Second, for the users’ side, presentation and functionality of the application are always been their issue. The users are the major factor to know if the application is well-developed. If the design or layout of the application is way too dull even if the functionality works well, the tendency is that the users will get bored and sometimes get confused to use the application. With Adobe Flex, great designs, interactivity and functionality can easily be binded together to create a stunning application. Users will then be interested, become familiar and the environmental cues are that understandable. Applications well-developed in Flex are always been that impressive towards the users. You can hear them say, “WOW!, NICE!, GREAT!, FANTASTIC!, WORKS WELL!”, and all other good stuff rather than “WOAH! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” and that is really heartbreaking.

Well, if you want to experience what has been written here, you might as well try our scrum gadgets in Flex and if you have a chance please post a comment for it will help a lot. Thanks for reading and have a nice day to all!

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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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