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9/3/2010
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Google Plans 'Wave in a Box'

Would-be Wave users will soon see the project's open source code packaged for easier deployment.

Google on Thursday offered some additional details about the fate of Google Wave, the real-time communications platform that the company discontinued last month.

Google Wave software engineer Alex North said in a blog post that the Wave team is planning to release "Wave in a Box," a complete package of Wave server and client software.

Wave in a Box will be open source code and will expand upon on the existing 200,000-plus lines of code already available at waveprotocol.org.

North said that the project won't duplicate Google's version of Wave. But it should allow developers and businesses to run their own Wave servers and clients using their own hardware.

Wave in a Box will include the application bundle, supporting real-time collaboration between servers and clients, a Wave panel for threaded conversations in the client, persistent Wave storage and search capabilities, improved client-server protocols, support for gadget, robot, and data APIs, and support for both Wave data importation and Wave federation.

In a post to the Wave protocol developer forum, North said that the Wave team aims to make the specific improvements mentioned in his blog post by the end of the year.

As Google steps back from Wave, enterprise software providers like Novell and SAP are keeping the flame alive. When Google announced that it would end Wave development in August, Novell reaffirmed its commitment to Pulse, its Wave-based collaboration product.

Wave's key innovation, its operational transformation technology, is already showing up in other Google services. On Tuesday, for example, Google said that Docs users can now follow edits being made by document collaborators through highlighted text, a real-time capability similar to editing in Wave.

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