Google Wave Comes Back From the Dead in an Apache Proposal

Google Wave, which was thought to be all but extinct after Google ended development on the project, has been given new life, thanks to Apache. Once considered the e-mail killer, Google Wave was one of the most-hyped launches of 2009. I’ll be the first to admit that I got swept up by the excitement. At the time of launch though, I said that Google Wave would either succeed spectacularly or completely bomb. Unfortunately, my latter prediction came true: Google’s realtime communication tool was a failure. Thus, Google shut the project down, open-sourced the code and released Wave as Wave in a Box. That was supposed to be the end of the story, but now Google Wave has resurfaced in a new proposal to the Apache Software Foundation. Best known for the Apache server, the ASF is host to more than 100 open source projects. Several people from Google, Novell, SAP and even the U.S. Navy hope to add “Apache Wave” to that list. The proposal’s three goals are to migrate Wave’s codebase from Google to the ASF’s infrastructure, to get Wave back to a state where development can be continued and to add new committers to the project. While the proposal notes that there is a risk to adopting Wave as an ASF project (it notes that Wave didn’t gain sufficient traction at Google), it also claims that its use by the U.S. Navy and other adopters makes it a worth project. Apache Wave is still a proposal though; the ASF still has to accept the project. With a well-developed codebase and some big committers, we expect that this project will see the light of day. If it does, Wave will have been given a second life.