Google Wave is far from dead, and developers, early adopters and enterprises will be glad to hear it. Today Google announced it will expand on the code it has already open sourced, building Wave into a functional application that will allow users to run wave servers, host their own waves and build bigger and better applications with the real-time collaboration technology.
"Since the beginning, it has been our vision that the Google Wave protocols could support a new generation of communication and collaboration tools," engineer Alex North wrote on the Google Wave developer blog.
Google had big plans for Wave - it was supposed to replace email and the killer app among Google Apps, but the company basically gave up on the project earlier this month (see Google Wave Is Dead). It still seems possible for the technology to do big things. But it sounds like Google plans to move on after the application is released. The future of the open source project will be defined by developers' contributions, North wrote.
Wave In A Box will not have the "full functionality" of the Gmail-integrated Web app, but it will feature threaded conversations and support importing data from wave.google.com.
The release of Wave as an application could be a big deal for developers, especially at businesses that want to take advantage of Wave for real-time collaboration and discussion (see our post, 5 Services That Leverage Google Wave).
Wave was always intended for people to run on their own machines, but this release will make the process much easier. Developers and enterprise users that have been eyeing Wave will be more likely to take the technology into their own hands and build things like feature-rich Web forums, productivity tools and apps to facilitate collaborative projects.