Google has just opened the gates to a public preview of Google Wave to a lucky 100,000 users. This is big news for developers as anticipation for the release of invites continued to build up over the last few days. Google Wave is still trending in Twitter.
For the last several months, thousands of developers (out of 1,000,000 or so who signed up for access) have had access to a private "developer preview" of Google Wave in a sandbox environment. If you're one of the lucky developers that got access to the early preview, you're likely already in the know about the platform's capabilities and its API (our Google Wave API Profile).
Ostensibly, the new user base that has been added to Google Wave represents a great opportunity for developers to expand the reach of their extensions (including robots and gadgets) as well as the wave embed API. A variety of extensions have already been developed, ranging from basic games to outright enterprise modules that integrate nicely with Google Wave. It would seem that momentum will continue to build as a broader audience gains access to these extensions through the Google Wave Client.
If you haven't come up to speed with the latest additions to the API, it's worthwhile noting that the Google Wave team has posted a set of Extension Design Principles as well as a new way of bundling extensions through Extension Installers. Extension installers include a manifest that provides meta information and instructions for the addition of a robot or gadget to a wave.
If you're not one of the next 100,000 preview users, you can always hope that a friend received an invite. Apparently the initial batch of users will be able to "nominate" 8 other users for invites (however, those other users will not have the ability to nominate others). If you do the math, you realize that the public preview will have a broader reach than expected. Here's hoping you receive an invite, and happy waving.