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Novell to plow new-age Wave minus Google

Trembling Pulse

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Novell has committed to keep surfing Google's Wave despite the search giant stopping development of its new-age collaboration tool.

The Linux vendor has said it'll keep building Novell Pulse, its implementation of Wave built using Google's APIs and protocols, as it can turn Wave into a successful technology.

Pulse targets enterprises, Novell said, who need combined real-time communications with social connections, while Wave was targeted at a generic consumer audience.

Novell's Wave is in technical preview with 7,000 of the company's employees, customers and partners.

Google this week said it's killing all new development of Wave because not enough people had shown interest in the fledging technology. According to Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Wave was "a very clever product" — but nobody could understand or use it, Eric.

Google will maintain the Wave site until the end of the year, but there'll be no new features or code released. Asked by The Reg whether Novell would now maintain and develop the 40,000 lines of code open sourced by Google, Novell said it has not yet "made an assessment."

Instead, Pulse has its own site, here, and Novell said it has no plans to maintain Google's site.

Novell Pulse uses the Wave Gadget API, based on Google's Open Social protocol, and the Wave Federation Protocol for real-time co-editing.

Andy Fox, Novell vice president of engineering, told us over email that Pulse doesn't use a significant amount of Google's code, and that it's focused on the operational transform protocol that helps enforce conflict resolution in the co-edit process.

From WordPerfect and Quattro Pro to GroupWise and OpenOffice, Novell has been all-in, then all-out, on collaboration software over the years.

With Pulse, the company now appears to believe it can now offer business users a form of web- and HTML5-based collaboration with a technology that provides the ability to co-edit documents, manage files, get social connections, provide rich profiles, and create groups all wrapped with the kinds of security controls that business types want to see deployed.

We’ll see whether Novell can get Wave up and running, and whether the idea survives an eventual buyer for the company. ®

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