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An Open Letter to Google

May 7, 2012

I started to use Google Wave from 2009, when it was just opened to public.  I like the product, which is quite powerful and easy to work with. For over 3 years, I have had over 50 Waves. In each Wave, there are a lot of contents. It includes my class notes, research notes, and programming notes. It even includes a lot of my contact information, which is very important to me.

Today, as 5.7.2012, I want to find one technique about Ruby on Rails. I logged into Wave. What I  found is that the Google Wave server is shut down. To be fair, I know it is not totally Google’s mistake. They have notified users to backup Waves in the end of 2011. I also know Wave is only readable from January of 2012, which i thought it is not a big deal. So from January, I started to worked on Google Doc. I think once I need to use Wave, I just go back to Wave to search among my notes.

I have actually tried to back up all my Waves. But the backup process is quite painful. I have to export single Wave one by one. I have so many Waves. So I stopped to export my Waves.

One reason for me not able to know Wave was already shut down in 4.30.2012 is that I am still in School for my Ph.D. degree, I use my school mail daily, and I have not checked Gmail very often, which is associated with my Wave account. So I have missed all Google’s notices about shutting down Wave server.  But I think this “stay UN-notified of Wave shut down” experience may not just be limited to me.

I am not sure it is just me, I have not expected that a company like Google will shutdown the Wave server totally! Even they shut down the Wave server, they should still give some “slow” users like me some time window, a grace period for them to react. A big company like Google should act more carefully and responsibly. Especially for the important product like Wave, it is a document and technical collaboration center for many people, including me.

If Google can do this for Wave, I am not convinced that Google will not do this for Google Doc in the future. If I put all my documents into Google Doc, I may still end up with losing all my work. The longer I work, the worse loss I will suffer!!

Google, Please be considerate and responsible for all your users!

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