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Apache open sourcers welcome Google's unwanted Wave

Mountain View orphan finds home

Google's "clever" but misunderstood Wave is getting a fresh shot at life with open-sourcers at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

The Mountain View Chocolate Factory, Novell, and a handful of others have submitted client and server code to ASF for what's now called Wave in a Box (WIAB).

The code is available as an incubator project, a phase ASF projects pass through before becoming full-fledged projects. Apache uses the incubator phase to evaluate legal requirements of the code and help establish the project as a functioning community.

Those submitting WIAB said their immediate goals are to migrate the Wave code base off its current home on code.google.com and integrate it with Apache's management and build systems, to "quickly" reach a position where it's possible to continue development of WIAB, and to also add new committers to the project. The code.google.com site was due to be turned off by Google at the end of the year.

According to the submission document: "We anticipate early future committers coming from places like Novell, SAP, companies related to the US Navy's usage of wave, startups in the wave ecosystem, and many independent individuals."

Wave was killed off by Google in August citing a lack of interest, having only been unveiled by the ads and search giant in May 2009. Announcing Wave just the year before, Google had urged Wave was an "unbelievable" demonstration of what's possible in the browser.

The idea was Wave combined email, IM, and document-sharing in a threaded conversation model shared between users while also letting you drop in media like photos, videos and maps. These threads - called "waves" - could be embedded into blogs, wikis, and other webpages.

Wave didn't wash outside a few early adopters like Novel, SAP, and, er, the US Navy, and it looks like Google's still having trouble conveying exactly what Wave is and what it does. According to the Apache submission document, WIAB is a server that hosts waves. "The best analogy for this is a mail server with a web client," the document says.

Still struggling? You can read more here. ®

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