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Google Wave to live on as Apache project?

Collaboration tool back from the dead

Some of the developers behind Google Wave have submitted their software to the Apache Software Foundation for inclusion.

The project is now a candidate to become a Podling within the Apache Incubator, ASF's preparation stage for Apache open-source products.

Google first introduced Wave in 2009, only to abandon the project a year later, citing low user adoption. A wave is a digital conversation that can span different electronic modes of communication, such as email, chat and document sharing.

Because many of Wave's components were open source, or relied on other open-source components, several of the Google developers behind Wave, along with outside developers, could continue work on the technology. They are building a package called Wave In A Box (WAIB), which is server software that hosts and stores waves.

"While the initial implementation... did not gain sufficient traction for it to continue as a stand-alone Google product, there are other related projects... and several startups in the space that are continuing to build on the technology," the Incubator proposal states.

Novell packaged the Wave software within its Vibe collaboration platform. SAP uses it as part of its StreamWork software, and the US Navy is exploring ways to use the technology for ship-board communications.

Wave is one of 113 projects being considered for the Apache Incubator. To be accepted as a Podling, the project must find a champion and sponsor from within Apache, demonstrate it has an active community of users and developers, and pass a formal vote for inclusion.

Dan Peterson, one of the developers behind the project, anticipates that the Apache vote on WAIB may happen as soon as next week.

The not-for-profit ASF provides organisational, legal, and financial support to over 100 open-source projects, including the Apache Web server, the Hadoop distributed computing platform, the Tomcat application server and the SpamAssassin filtering software.


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