Google Wave gets a second life from Apache

The Apache Software Foundation plans to continue developing the Google Wave concept as an open source project.

Google Wave logo

Google Wave logo

Rumors of the death of Google Wave are perhaps somewhat exaggerated. Google may have pulled the plug on the short-lived Google Wave, but the concept lives on in an open source project being embraced by the Apache Software Foundation.

The ambitious goal of Google Wave was to revolutionize online communication and collaboration. Similar to the way unified communications platforms attempt to integrate different methods of communication to improve efficiency and productivity, Wave merges e-mail, instant messaging, document sharing, blog posts, status updates, and more into a single environment.

Unfortunately, Google did a poor job of clarifying the potential of Wave or helping users understand how to embrace and utilize it. The initial excitement gave way to confusion, followed by apathy, and eventually to Google deciding to kill the project -- at least as far as Google hosting and supporting it is concerned.

That doesn't mean the wave concept can't live on, though. Google Wave threads can be exported as ZIP files, and imported into alternate wave environments like Wave in a Box (WIAB). Now the Apache Software Foundation wants to integrate WIAB into its management and build systems with the intent of being able to turn Apache into a wave server.

An Apache Incubator proposal describes the project. "Apache Wave is the project where wave technology is developed at Apache. Wave in a Box (WIAB) is the name of the main product at the moment, which is a server that hosts and federates waves, supports extensive APIs, and provides a rich web client. This project also includes an implementation of the Wave Federation protocol, to enable federated collaboration systems (such as multiple interoperable Wave In a Box instances)."

The proposal also explains some of the motivation for continuing Wave as an open source project. "Wave has shown it excels at small group collaboration when hosted by Google. Although Wave will not continue as a standalone Google product, there is a lot of interest from many organizations in both running Wave and building upon the technology for new products.

According to the proposal, support and contributions for Apache Wave are expected from "Novell, SAP, companies related to the US Navy's usage of wave, startups in the wave ecosystem, and many independent individuals."

Despite being widely misunderstood, Google Wave had potential. Perhaps, if Apache incorporates the wave concept into its software, and the open source community embraces and continues to develop it, it may one day live up to the ambitious goal of transforming online communication and collaboration.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags emailInternet-based applications and servicesinstant messagingapplicationsGooglee-mailsoftwareApache Software Foundation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?