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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesoftwareemailapplicationse-mailinstant messagingInternet-based applications and servicesApache 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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?