Now Google "Wave in a Box" available at a server near you

Published Date
06 - Sep - 2010
| Last Updated
06 - Sep - 2010
 
Now Google "Wave in a Box" available at a server near you

...Thanks to Kshitij Sobti

Google Wave has been sentenced to death, and there isn't much that can be done about that. It must have hurt Google though, to abandon a product which they launched with so much pomp, and one which created so much hype. So, now, while Google Wave is doomed to Google's pile of failed experiments, they have taken a step, which is sure to delight developers, and ensure that Google Wave lives on, even if it isn't on Google's own servers.

Dubbed as 'Wave in a Box', the new venture will expand on the existing 200,000 lines of open-source code from the Wave project, and it will let developers contribute to it and continue developing it. While Google Wave was meant to be an open project, not all parts of it were open. Just as email protocols POP, IMAP, SMTP are open, and can be implemented in any application, Google Wave's protocols for communicating in waves was open and based on existing open standards. However, while POP, IMAP, SMTP, and Google Wave's federation protocols were open, a lot of the server and client code which actually forms the frontend of the project was closed source. You can compare this to how Outlook and many other email clients are closed despite email itself having free protocols. Now Google will be opening up a significant portion of their previously closed parts of Wave.

Enterprises could always implement their own Wave servers, based on the open source clients, servers and protocols Google had developed, and some even had. Novell Pulse, for example was a Google Wave-based solution which is still in development, and was eventually to become interoperable with Google Wave. Despite Google Wave's closure, Novel will continue developing Pulse. However Google will make enough of Google Wave open, for one to run it on their own servers with nearly all the features they have gotten used to.

Those running Wave in the Box will be able to run it on their own server, and have real-time communication. They will be able to have the same kind of structured conversations which are
possible with Google Wave. Not only this, Google Wave in the Box users will configure their "boxes" to federate across instances! So you could use your Wave setup to communicate with other Wave setups. Just like email.

Google will also provide the means to people to import their current Google Wave conversations to their own server, so they will be able to find a new place for the data one Google Wave shuts down at the end of the year.

Definitely it's not a re-incarnation of Google Wave, but it's obviously better than dumping an enormous project with huge amount of man-hour contributions, for nothing. There are several reasons — and many good ones — to hate Google Wave, but erasing it off the timeline would have been a severe waste of intellectual resources. Kudos to Google, on behalf of all the developers.