Google Buys Wave Competitor

Dec 08, 2009

The Californian Software company Appjet has been added to Google’s Wave team. Appjet’s collaborative Web editor Etherpad was initially supposed to be scrapped, but is now planned for Open Source release.

This past Friday, Appjet and Google made it known that the five-person team will now be working on the Wave communication platform. This means that the freely-accessible Etherpad service as well as the commercial variation will be discarded as of April 2010. In the following 48 hours, a plethora of disappointed comments popped up (i.e. “not cool Google”) in response to the announcement. In reaction to these responses, Appjet is currently negotiating with Google to try to preserve Etherpad (in Open Source form). The service is to stay online, at least until the code is open sourced, according to a new announcement from Saturday. The new comments are more favorable: “What a cool thing to do!”

Etherpad is a web based text editor. The application allows groups to register and work on documents together in real time without registering. The special point there is that real time is made possible via a patented synchronization algorithm. Should delays or pauses occur on the monitors of the users, this lies solely on the capabilities of the network cable. (Hence the name “Etherpad”.) The participants of such a work group are listed in the right side of the monitor display, where each user is assigned his or her own color. Each color also corresponds to the highlighted text each user contributes to the document at hand. The finished text can be exported as text, html, MS Office or PDF.

The founders of the Etherpad company mainly come from Google’s own ranks: one of the co-founders and the CEO, as well as the CTO and the COO worked for the search engine giant before their Appjet time and are now returning, in effect. Google has been working on the browser based communication and collaboration platform Wave since the middle of this year, which is also considered a real time collaboration similar to Appjet Etherpad. In contrast to Etherpad, Wave is intended to have more cababilities. For example, Wiki- and E-mail functions are to be incorporated. Etherpad for its part gets points for focusing on its feature of text editing and creating in real time for various applications including collaborative notes for conference calls, collaborative coding or also on the testing of programmer abilities with remote location job interview. Users of Etherpad are also invited by Google to get test accounts for Google Wave.

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  • Uhhuh - Competitor

    Absolutely. Sometimes headlines seem to be the best place to hide a typo. Thanks for the alert!
  • Uh?



    I fervently hope you mean "competitor"...
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