Google buys Wave a little brother - EtherPad

By eboweebowe (1259971881|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Google continues to add new innovative start-ups to their roster with their recent acquisition of Appjet, a San Fransisco based company that created a new online collaborative word processing software. This addition will complement Google's release of "GoogleWave", which has been only accepting invitation requests, and are still in the experimentation phase. I have been trying to get an invitation for a while now and still haven't received one - so I'm assuming their is a huge backlog - thus it seems there is much demand for this collaborative software.

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So the main feature of the online software that inspired Google to purchase Appjet is their exclusive real-time online word processor, EtherPad. Unlike Google Docs, taking up to 15 seconds before the changes can be seen by the others, EtherPad shows changes with virtually no lag from the users actual keystroke. Technically, varying on internet connection and speed there can be some type of lag, but not much. As well there are color indicators for each user, so that you can clearly see who make what changes with no confusion.

Take a look at this screen shot.

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Something important in word editing is the undo option, with EtherPad it tracks all changes by keystroke and remembers them in order allowing for infinite undo capability. This always comes in handy when editing, and is something Google Docs lacks in as well.

There are three options for membership to the site, with two being paid versions and one being the free alternative with less security and less features.

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EtherPad stresses use during:

  • Business meetings
  • Teleconferencing
  • Software coding as a team
  • Engineering interviews

All of these uses seem very suitable for EtherPad and can be incorporated easily. In terms of using EtherPad it might not be so easy. Currently, EtherPad is not accepting new users due to their recent sale, but hopefully Google will come up with a way to monetize this site again and hopefully incorporate it with Google Wave.

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