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:
Create a new wave and add the Syntaxy robot to your wave. Use the wave address: email@example.com.
Reply to your first message or within it, thereby creating a reply (called “blip” in Google lingo).
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:
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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Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and AI Evangelist at IBM. He authored Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers (Wrox, 2009) and Technical Blogging ( The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2012, 2019). He is also the Marketing Lead for Cognitive Class, an educational initiative which he helped grow from zero to over 1 Million students. You can follow him on Twitter.