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Add code highlighting to your Google Waves

Google Wave is still rough around the edges, but it has a lot of potential in terms of becoming a great collaboration tool. As a developer, your first question will probably be: “How do I add code highlighting to my waves?”. The answer is straightforward, however not very easy to find if you google it. I hope this post will help fellow developers who are experimenting with Google Wave.

The following steps are required to obtain syntax highlighting for your code:

  1. Create a new wave and add the Syntaxy robot to your wave. Use the wave address: kasyntaxy@appspot.com.
  2. Reply to your first message or within it, thereby creating a reply (called “blip” in Google lingo).
  3. Specify your code’s language, prefixing the name with a hash and exclamation mark, like #!python or #!ruby.

At this point, as you type the code in your blip it will be highlighted by the Syntaxy bot as shown in the picture below:

Highlight code on Google Wave

More advanced automatic syntax highlighting bots will probably appear as Google Wave progresses, but this one should do the trick for now. On a side note, if you copy and paste code from XCode, the code formatting will be kept in your waves and blips without the need for bots.


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5 Responses to “Add code highlighting to your Google Waves”

  1. Interesting, thanks, I’ll have to give it a try. Here’s a link to the Wave Sample Gallery page: http://wave-samples-gallery.appspot.com/about_app?app_id=14008 which also has a 1:46 video demonstration.

  2. Kevin says:

    Can’t get it to do squat for me… Yet I find no evidence in searching the web that it’s completely broken, which leads me to believe either (a) something I’m doing wrong or (b) an incompatibility w/ Ubuntu Karmic and Firefox.

  3. Prasad says:

    Does not work with C code! :-(

  4. Untit1ed says:

    the bot doesn’t work right now, it is over quota.

  5. Martin says:

    Wonderful Robot!

    However, I would be nice if you could use a set of custom tags to highlight snippets of code within normal text:

    #!perl start
    code goes here
    #!perl stop

    And we have normal formatting here.

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