As you can probably tell by my recent posts, I’ve been mucking about with Google Wave for the last week or so. It shows a lot of promise, but we still need to work out the best way to use it.
Some colleagues and I were discussing some practice development the other day. One of them said that they had created a mind map on mind42.com and had shared it with us so that we could map out some ideas. Mind42 is a great tool and normally I would jump straight on it, but it seemed unnatural to leave the context which we had created in the wave. It would have been much cooler if we could have had the mind map directly in the wave.
Google has thought of this, and have included the ability to incorporate gadgets into your wave, which allow essentially any web application to participate in waves. A Mind map is a natural tool to include in waves as it forms the start of a lot of collaborations, which is exactly what wave is for. Rather than wait for mind42 to change their application so that it could be embedded in google wave, I decided to write my own. Mind maps are relatively straight forward applications, and I wanted an excuse to use GWT in anger.
The result is my newly released google wave component. I’ve uploaded it to the Google Wave samples gallery, but if you have access to the wave preview then you can go directly to the source (With a sample) at this wave link. Install, have a play, and make suggestions for improvements. I’m hoping we’ll start using it within our organisation as well.
Here’s a video of it in action: