New features: Read-only and Restore

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | 3:44 PM


This week, we're launching two new features to help you manage the waves you create: making participants read-only and restoring a wave to an earlier state.

Read-Only Participants
The creator of a wave can now change other participants on the wave between full access and read-only by clicking on their picture at the top of the wave panel, and selecting the access level in the drop-down:

As the name implies, read-only participants are prevented from making any changes to the wave, including adding new participants. They can, however, view live changes to the wave, and look at the history in playback.

You can make entire groups read-only as well, including the "public" group, which includes all Google Wave users. Note that individual permissions take precedence over group permissions, so even if a group has full access, an individual can be given read-only access, and vice versa.

Restore from Playback
Anyone with full access to a wave can now restore that wave to any previous state visible in playback:

Restoring does not delete anything from the playback history, but adds the restored state to the end of the history. That way you can use the new restore function to correct mistakes you or others make in a wave (including restoring the the wrong state!).

For the Public people
We've occasionally received reports from users of public waves that they found it difficult to keep their waves on topic. Read-only and restore may help in such cases: the creator of the wave can make some participants read-only, and then restore the wave to a point they liked.

Future Features
These two simple features are only the beginning of a set of things on our drawing board aimed at giving users better control over waves they create. For example, we're planning to introduce a third access setting -- 'Reply-only' -- that would let users add new blips, but prevent them from editing blips they did not create. We're also re-designing the interface to let you change permissions for several participants more easily.

As always, we welcome your feedback on the new features.

Happy Waving!