Google Wave is intuitive, but it isn’t quite as simple as email. In Wave, you can’t just hit a “Delete” button to get rid of a wave forever. Deleting aside, there are other options to manage your waves; there are some big differences between unfollowing, archiving, and trashing waves (which is recommended reading).
Despite these useful options for managing waves, people still seem to be a bit stumped about the basic function of deleting a wave. Well, the reason why you haven’t figured out how to “delete a wave” (in the most conventional sense) is because you can’t.
Why? What gives?
The basic design philosophy of Wave is the complete opposite of email. Waves are live, dynamic pieces of content that can be edited in realtime. Emails aren’t; you hit “Send” and that’s it.
Because of this philosophy, it’s not as easy as hitting the “Delete” button and be done with a wave. Why? Just because you delete a wave doesn’t mean that the same living wave still exists in somebody else’s Wave inbox. People are “linked” to waves, whereas emails are standalone messages.
Despite the inability to “delete” a wave, you can still delete individual pieces of content within a wave.
So… how do I get rid of this wave?
The closest thing to deleting a Wave is by taking two actions.
First, unfollow the wave. If anybody posts any more content in that wave, you won’t be notified of the changes (i.e. have an unread message).
Second, move the wave to the Trash. Trash is simply another folder. It cannot be emptied (which seems to be a major design flaw). If you’re viewing the All folder in Wave, items from the Trash will appear there.
This is as close as it gets to “deleting” a wave.
A Note from @doctorwave
Google seems to be aware of this issue and commented on the doctorwave Twitter with this tidbit of hope for frustrated users:
I understand where you’re coming from! Remove participant is coming quite soon (as long as all goes well)