Wednesday, July 28, 2010

[New] STOP! Waving Time!


Over the last few months, I've seen a surprising number of time-related extensions popping up in our gallery - timers, stopwatches, countdowns, and the like. I think it's because 1) many people use Wave to interact with folks from different timezones, and 2) many people use Wave during meetings... and many people don't like meetings to go over time. :)

Whatever the reasons may be, it's a good thing for all of us, as these extensions come in handy in a variety of situations.

For example, the Remaining Time gadget is a favorite of mine. Its simple interface lets you specify an event name and an event time, and then it countdowns to that time.

We first used this gadget in the Google I/O 2010 conference session waves to show the countdown until the start of the talk. We did this because many developers were eager to watch the live notes for a session from afar, but they couldn't easily convert from the San Francisco time listed into their own local time. By including a countdown, they could look at the remaining time and instantly know when to return to the wave.

More recently, in our local Google DevFest AU conference, I used the gadget to let speakers know how much time they have left to present. I set up a laptop in front of the speakers, created a wave with the gadget in it,and set it to countdown until the end of their talk. By using a wave instead of a desktop app, I could modify the wave from my comfortable seat in the back if I wanted to give them more time or send them a message.

Besides the "remaining time" gadget, you might also check out these time-related extensions:
  • Time-me: Gives you all the basic functionality of a stopwatch - start, stop, and split, but since it's in Wave, anyone can do those actions, and it shows the usernames for each split.
  • Time-Manager: Lets you start and stop counting time, and shows the total time counted. The developer created it because he loves the similar functionality in Basecamp ® for tracking the amount of time spent on tasks and wanted to bring that to Wave.
  • Local time gadget: Lets you specify a time in your locale and converts that time to the local time of whoever's viewing it. It was created by a gamer in the US who schedules gaming sessions for him and his friends in wave, and he wanted to make it easy for them to see the local time for each session.
  • Deadline gadget: Similar to the gadget I described above, this one lets you specify a end time and shows the remaining days, hours, and minutes. This one is designed specifically for visualizing task deadlines, like when a blog post should be completed, and lets you check off the task when done.