JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Apache Wave?

Google Proposes Wave as New Apache Project

Jessica Thornsby

Are things looking up for Google Wave?

Google are looking to contribute Google Wave as an Apache project. The initial contribution for ‘Apache Wave’ will come from the Wave in a Box project, consisting of a server that hosts and federates waves and provides a web client, and also from the Wave Federation protocol for enabling federated collaboration systems. The code base consists of core code from Google Wave and the “somewhat immature” integration code forming Wave in a Box. The plan is to move the codebase from code.google.com and integrate it with the Apache infrastructure, where new committers will hopefully join the project and create a new community around the technology. The Wave Gadget implementation has already been donated to the Apache Shindig project.

Initial committers include Google employees, in addition to a number of committers from outside Google, including a few existing Apache committers.

Wave has had a troubled history. In August, 2010, Google announced they would halt development of Google Wave, saying “Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science.” Later, Google promised to expand on the Wave code currently open sourced to create the Wave in a Box project. “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,” said Google, at the time.

So, are things starting to look up for Wave? When speaking about the Symbian platform, Matt Assay pointed out that open sourcing a project isn’t a fix-all solution, and that once a project has gone into decline it is often too late to open source it. An active mailing list, plenty of code contributions and rapid fixes for registered bugs, will all encourage the community to get involved in a project but, of course, dead mailing lists, bug tickets that remain open indefinitely and no new code contributions, will make any sensible developer give a project a wide berth. If the Wave project proposal is to be believed, then the project is in a strong position to gain transaction in the community:

“The development mailing lists are very active indicating wide community support. We recognize that now is a good time to migrate to the Apache Foundation while the codebase and community is a manageable size. Assuming the current momentum continues, we expect strong growth in the code and community in the near future.”

The full project proposal, is now online.

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