Google's Wave was once one of the company's hot projects, promising a new way for people to communicate. However, the service never really seemed to catch on, at least not like Google had hoped, so the company shut it down. When Google announced plans to discontinue Wave in August, we knew that pieces of it would live on. Now, we're finding out more about what Google intends to do with Wave.
In a recent blog post, Alex North, a Software Engineer on the Google Wave team explained that the company plans to expand upon the 200K lines of code that it has already open sourced. It will then release most of the Wave code in the form of a "more complete" application that Google is calling "Wave in a Box."
The project will include:
- 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
North further explained Google's intentions with Wave:
This project will not have the full functionality of Google Wave as you know it today. However, we intend to give developers and enterprising users an opportunity to run wave servers and host waves on their own hardware.
Since the beginning, it has been our vision that the Google Wave protocols could support a new generation of communication and collaboration tools. The response from the developer community to date has been amazing and rewarding. Even more so now, we believe that developers and other projects are a critical part of this story.
While Wave in a Box will be a functional application, the future of Wave will be defined by your contributions. We hope this project will help the Wave developer community continue to grow and evolve. We'll discuss more technical details of our plan on the Wave Protocol Forum, which is the best place to keep up with the latest progress on the open source project and learn how you can contribute.