Annoyed that EtherPad is closing following its acquisition by Google? Worry not – EtherPad’s developers AppJet and Google have come to an arrangement.
In a post on the EtherPad blog AppJet’s CEO Aaron Iba has declared that the service is to reopen to the public and be taken open source.
When it was announced that Google was buying AppJet and that the EtherPad team would be transferred to Google Wave development, we praised AppJet’s move to release a clear roadmap to the shutdown of the service. All to often existing users of bought-out web services are left in confusion, not knowing exactly what the future holds.
EtherPad’s users weren’t so keen on the plans, which would have seen the service shut down in March 2010. The sweeteners of a Google Wave invite and free EtherPad use until March weren’t enough to cool the tempers of users who didn’t want to lose their document collaboration service of choice.
So, the new plan is that EtherPad will remain fully usable to all until it has been made entirely open source. While that sounds like great news for EtherPad addicts, there’s no guarantee that any developers will take up the mantle of running their own EtherPad-style service. Once the code is out in the open and the official EtherPad closes down, users may be left in the same position they were before.
The ideal solution would be for someone to create an EtherPad plugin for Google Wave. Give the interest the service has gained over the past couple of days, that wouldn’t be too surprising to see.