Google Wave was launched last year, in September 2009. However, in August of this year, the company announced that it was axing the 'community collaboration tool' because not enough people were making use of it.
"… Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year," the company said in a posting earlier this year.
Though most people probably didn't shed a single tear at the news, Google Wave did have a small but loyal fanbase that was disappointed by the news. However, in a happy twist of fate, it seems Google Wave won't die off completely, but live on in the form of Apache Wave.
Google this week confirmed that Wave would soon become Apache Wave, explaining that the move was a result of a recent proposal that Wave enter the Apache Software Foundation's incubator program. The proposal was that Google would share the 200,000 lines of Wave code, creating an open source 'Wave in a Box.'
In September, Google said that the Wave in a Box project would include the following:
- an application bundle including a server and web client supporting real-time collaboration using the same structured conversations as the Google Wave system
- a fast and fully-featured wave panel in the web client with complete support for threaded conversations
- a persistent wave store and search implementation for the server (building on contributed patches to implement a MongoDB store)
- refinements to the client-server protocols
- gadget, robot and data API support
- support for importing wave data from wave.google.com
- the ability to federate across other Wave in a Box instances, with some additional configuration
"During the [November's Wave Protocol Summit], it became quite clear that there is a healthy community of startups, independent developers, and industry partners enthusiastic to continue development of the Wave Federation protocols and Wave in a Box product," wrote Google Wave Engineer Alex North.
According to North, Apache accepted Google's proposal last week.
"Last week, that proposal was accepted, and we're spinning up the project infrastructure so that the community can continue to grow in the Apache way," North said.
Work is already underway to improve the current iteration of Wave and Wave in a Box. Progress so far includes "significant improvements to the wave panel, visual enhancements to the login pages, gadgets hooked up and working, improved development set-up and documentation, and a draft HTTP transport for wave federation."