Google makes its Google Wave Federation Protocol available to let would-be Wave providers build their own Wave servers and get them communicating with other Wave servers, similar to the way e-mail servers talk to one another. This federation would ideally pave the way to making Wave ubiquitous, making it more available for future users. But given the learning curve stumping early users of Wave, how many programmers will want to build their own Wave servers? That remains to be seen.
Nov. 2 made its Google
Wave Federation Protocol
available to let would-be wave providers build
their own Wave servers and get them communicating with other Wave servers,
similar to the way e-mail servers talk to one another.
Google wave is currently letting more than 100,000 users
each other instant messages, share files and connect via social networking
tools in sessions called "waves."
Wave has been released as open source
under the Apache license,
and application developers have been free to download the code to build applications
that work with Wave.
When Google Wave rolled out more broadly Sept. 30, it did so with nine
to extend the platform, including extensions from Ribbit,
So there are users at the front lines, with applications developers
somewhere in the middle. Yet there is a third part to the Wave tale that could
become the foundation for the Wave experience.
The Google Wave team has said it wants to enable any developer with the
programming chops to work on "experimental interoperability," using
the Google Wave Federation Protocol, an open extension to the XMPP core
protocol that enables near-real-time communication of wave updates between two
To do this, developers will use FedOne, the Google
Wave Federation Prototype Server
The Wave team wrote
"Given the goal [of building] out a distributed network of providers,
we're glad to be taking this step today and opening up the federation port for
development purposes. We look forward to working with you to continue iterating
on the protocol, developing an open source production quality reference
implementation, and, of course, federating wave.google.com with many wave
providers in the future."
This federation aims to enable Wave servers to proliferate in a manner akin
to the way e-mail systems sprouted up, paving the way to reach more users in
But how many programmers will want to build their own Wave servers? That
remains to be seen. After all, the service has been tricky for some users to
get comfortable with, prompting Lifehacker editors to create a 90-page user manual
If users are stymied by Wave, would developers want to spend time and
resources coding Wave servers to facilitate such communications?