Earlier this year Google made an unexpected move when it announced it would shut down Google Wave as a standalone product. Since then, despite a lack of mainstream use, it has become clear that Google Wave has a loyal fan base, and Google has made efforts to open source much of the code behind Wave.
Wave lives on to an even greater extent now, as Google is giving it to the Apache Software Foundation, which supports open-source software projects.
"One of the best outcomes from November's Wave Protocol Summit was a proposal for Wave to enter the Apache Software Foundation's incubator program," explains software engineer Alex North with the Google Wave team. "Apache has a fantastic reputation for fostering healthy open source communities that create great software. Last week, that proposal was accepted, and we're spinning up the project infrastructure so that the community can continue to grow in the Apache way."
"During the summit, it became quite clear that there is a healthy community of startups, independent developers, and industry partners enthusiastic to continue development of the Wave Federation protocols and Wave in a Box product," adds North.
It did indeed become clear after Google's initial announcement that it would be halting Wave development that there were quite a few saddened by the news. Many as it turned out viewed Wave as a helpful realtime collaboration tool. They should be happy with today's news that a broader open source community will likely bring good things to Wave's technology.
The creator of Google Wave recently left Google to go to Facebook. Google had previously suggested that it may utilize some of the technology behind the product in other products.
The chain of events has been quite interesting considering Google's heightened emphasis on social and the very social nature of Wave.