Google To Allow New EtherPad Creation; Will Release EtherPad Source

Last week was a busy one for acquisitions: Apple bought Lala, a streaming music service, and Google acquired AppJet, makers of realtime collaborative text editing software EtherPad. Google announced that the AppJet developers (many of whom previously worked for Google) would be joining the Google Wave team, improving the services offered by the new Wave product.

When Google acquires a company, it tends to immediately suspend new account creation for the acquired company's products. Users of EtherPad faced a similar situation, and rather than rejoice at the news that their favorite collaborative text editor had been bought by Google and would no longer allow users to creation new pads, EtherPad's users revolted.

EtherPad users left over 100 comments on a blog entry that announced Google's aquisition of AppJet, many of which expressed dismay at Google's shuttering of EtherPad's services, as well as how Google Wave was not an adequate replacement for the simplicity of EtherPad. (One of the features of EtherPad is that it does not require an account to edit pads.)

Google and AppJet listened to the feedback of their customers and renegotiated the terms of the acquisition. Rather than closing EtherPad, Google would continue to offer AppJet's products. On the EtherPad blog it was announced that not only could users keep creating new pads, but also that EtherPad's source code would be released. It's not too often that we hear about happy endings like this: Google Wave will be improved by the addition of AppJet's technology, while users get to keep using the EtherPad product as well as can look forward to the opening of its source.

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