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EtherPad source code is free, now what?

Jan 08, 2010, 13:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"Google's newly-acquired startup AppJet released the source code to its popular EtherPad web editor recently, making good on a promise to EtherPad's users who were previously faced with a service shutdown following the acquisition. The source is under the Apache 2.0 license, which is GPL-compatible, making the code potentially useful to a wide array of free software projects. The release has the community debating the impact on similar and related software, and revisiting the contentious question of how free software in general can and should transition to the web-hosted environment.

"Pad timing

"EtherPad is a collaborative in-browser text editor. AppJet launched the product in the fall of 2008 with both commercial and free (limited to eight concurrent editors) versions, and it quickly gained popularity in the first half of 2009. When Google unveiled its own real-time collaboration system Wave in June, comparisons were inevitable. Many users found EtherPad's interface simpler to use and easier to understand, however, so it was no great surprise when Google announced that it had purchased AppJet and EtherPad on December 4. The AppJet engineers would work on Wave, ostensibly making it as easy to use as EtherPad itself."

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