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03 September 2010, 08:47

Google Wave's open source future "in a Box"

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Google has announced the "Wave in a Box" project, a stand-alone and functional open source version of Google's recently cancelled Wave real-time collaboration project. The company says that it has already open sourced two hundred thousand lines of code as part of the development of the Wave protocol and plans to expand on the example server that it release to create a "more complete" application. The move came, in part, in response to Wave developer community requests in the Wave protocol forums.

"Wave in a Box" will include a server and web client using the same structured conversation system that appeared in Google's own Wave service, complete with support for threaded conversations in the web client and a refined version of Wave's client-server communications. The server is based on the FedOne example server which was released on as a basic client/server prototype. Patches that have already been contributed allow "Wave in a Box" to implement a MongoDB based persistent store which supports searching and the server will also feature the gadget, robot and data APIs which allow for external applications to offer inline information or automated services within a Wave conversation.

With the Wave service due to be closed down some time next year, "Wave in a Box" will assist those migrating from the service by including the ability to import existing hosted Wave conversations into a local server. "Wave in a Box" will also be able to connect different instances of itself in a federated architecture but the company notes that "some additional configuration" will be required. Google does point out that "Wave in a Box" is not going to have the full functionality of the hosted Google Wave service, but it hopes that developers and users will take the project forward and expand the Wave developer community. No schedule for the release of "Wave in a Box" was announced at this time.


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