Is Google Wave back from the dead?

Google Wave was the most hyped launch of 2009. After it’s initial failure to capture the attention of the masses, can Apache bring it back to life?

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Google Wave was the most hyped launch of 2009, it promised a new way of communication that was set to eliminate email forever.

The project received rave reviews from early testers and tech heads alike. However, perhaps Wave’s biggest problem was that it was a little ahead of time and too advanced for the ‘every day user’.

Unfortunately, Google Wave failed spectacularly, its user base soon diminished, and it wasn’t long before Google pulled the plug on the project.

In early April 2010, Google announced on its blog;

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 and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.”

Google open-sourced the code and released Google Wave as ‘Wave in a Box’ – allowing developers to build on Wave or use the open source code to repurpose its technology for new applications.

The end. Or so we thought.

Mashable reported today that “Google Wave has resurfaced in a new proposal to the Apache Software Foundation. Best known for the Apache server, the ASF is host to over 100 open source projects. Several people from Google, Novell, SAP and even the U.S. Navy hope to add “Apache Wave” to that list”

Taken for the Apache Wave Proposal, the proposal’s three goals are as documented as follows;

  • To migrate the codebase from and integrate the project with the ASF infrastructure (issue management, build, project site, etc)
  • To quickly reach a state where it is possible to continue the development of the Wave In a Box implementation under the ASF project
  • To add new committers to the project and grow the community in “The Apache Way”.

Don’t get too excited just yet though, the project is still in the proposal stage and is yet to be accepted by the ASF.

With enough big committers and a well developed codebase, there might just be hope for Google Wave to live again, albeit as Apache Wave.

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