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Well, that sucks.

I was psyched when I first read the subject, since I figured they'd be lending Google Docs their awesome text editor. Instead they're going to Google Wave, where the interface blows. Etherpad's lightyears more useful, more flexible, and more valuable. Blah.




The Etherpads themselves were very impressed with what the Wave guys showed them, and they are the best qualified to judge this sort of technology of all the hackers I know. Maybe some of the stuff they saw was unreleased, but whatever it was was, the Etherpads liked it, and they seem genuinely excited to work on it.


It seems understandable that both buyers and sellers are pleased with the transaction, after all, they both agreed to it. It doesn't really address the OP's (however direct) 'that sucks' comment.

Any early-adopter of a start-up product accepts the risk that the company behind the product might be unsuccessful. Customers like that bet, in part, on the notion that despite the statistically long odds, the company is making every conceivable effort to stay alive and succeed.

The 'buyout-and-the-product-dies'-type exit introduces a sort of divided loyalty and misalignment between the goals of the founders and the goals of their customers - if you're unsuccessful you might fail and we might suffer an abrupt service termination but at the same time, if you're quite successful, we might also suffer an abrupt service termination.


If only they had interviewed at Google and joined the team they wanted to be on a year ago.

These transactions trade on the goodwill of early adopters. And they make it harder for other startups as potential early adopters start to assume that it's better to wait for what Google releases instead of investing time in a product that will be scrapped either if the company fails or is successful and acquired.


Most of the Etherpads are ex-employees of Google that left to start their own company. I don't see any other way to interpret your comment except that you are suggesting that they should've quit running AppJet a year ago (since the option to be bought didn't seem to be available then) and interviewed at Google to get their jobs back to work on GWave at an early stage, but without the added benefit of having millions of dollars worth of Google stock. This seems quite bizarre.


My point is that if they wanted to build their own company they should remain committed to the product they built, and find a better support model for current customers/users than shutting down without notice.

I do not begrudge them making money at all. But one reason that they have "millions of dollars worth of Google stock" is because they offered a service that people adopted and paid for. I think they have more of an obligation to customers and users than the initial announcement indicated and I worry that not taking better care of customers in the transition makes it hard for other startups.

It now looks like Google has reconsidered the shutdown and EtherPad will be on-line until open sourced. http://etherpad.com/ep/blog/posts/etherpad-back-online-until...


Agreed. When Google Wave first came out part of me thought, "Shit, this could kill Etherpad". Then I tried Google Wave and realized that Etherpad was completely safe. I guessed wrong, Google still killed it.


As they say, if you can't beat them, you buy them.


Well, hopefully the Etherpad guys will help Wave suck a little less ;-)


Don't be selfish. Someone just had their hard work payoff; for me it's better to know they have been rewarded for their effort, instead of me just being able to use a nifty web app.

To the Etherpad guys: listen up! it goes like this, tonight, wherever you are, you're buying a round for everyone, capice?


It's awesome for them that they're getting a big check from Google, but that has no relevance to me as an etherpad user.


I think the benefits of having a successful peer far outweigh your ability to use a free online text editor. Whatever loss in productivity is caused by the absence of Etherpad (or god forbid, having to use a G-branded version, or another service) can be made up for with the rush and motivation you should get from seeing one of your own get off the Ramen diet at last (or at least not have to worry if their effort will ever pay off; stuff like Etherpad will get built into browsers and OSes RSN)

Any big fish could have taken their client base without paying a dime; everyone from Skype to Computer Associates could have obsoleted them without even trying. Heck, Open Source IM packages like Pidgin could easily add a service like Etherpad and those boys would have labored for nothing.

If you don't like what I am saying, the next time you cash out, just know that I am just as happy for you :-)


You do know that probably most of Etherpad's users aren't their peers, yeah? So to them, they've just lost a really great service.


Correct, that's one misunderstanding on my part that I have been trying to rectify for the last hour and half: forgetting there was another side to this, the end users'.

I will have to repent and become a consumer activist: I will boycott products A/B tested on humans.


Saying that everyone could have obsoleted EtherPad is like saying Intuit could have obsoleted Mint - Hard to argue with except by pointing out the facts on the ground don't support that version of reality.

Etherpad ROCKED - I've spent a couple weeks now with Wave, used it for a bunch of projects, and every time I use it, I did so grudgingly, realizing that Etherpad was lighter, cleaner, and more elegant compared to Wave's all-in-one platform approach. Yes, it's true that I can insert YouTube Videos, Polling Systems, and even a freaking ChatServer into my WaveDocuments - but it always felt like more of a technology exercise than a useful use of an application.

Let's hope that the EtherPads can do for Wave, what the Mint Team will (hopefully) do for Intuit.


I don't know if AppJet was profitable (enough) or not, but I would be some kind of an exit was inevitable. Could have been worse then this for them and their users. Good luck to them anyway.


Well, to be fair, as a free user, you have no relevance to big checks for them, either :-)


Definitely! Agreed 100.


I don't think anybody is being selfish, its bittersweet: Accolades for the AppJet team and disappointment that Etherpad will be killed.


That's like saying it's good when a band starts making music to make money instead of to make entertainment/for the love of music. It's great for them that they have profited from their effort (and they have the right to do so) but the ultimate goal of all this should be to make the world a better place in some way, not to make money. Creating a sustainable way to improve people's lives is the goal.


The band comparison is a fallacy: musicians are not in my line of work, I don't watch musicians for social cues and I sure as hell do not use their business decisions, lifestyle and success as a benchmark for my own. Software developers and entrepreneurs I do.

Game recognizes game, and right now I don't see much of it in this thread.


You may have the wrong sport.


I've missed Jotspot, now Etherpad. Just hope Google Wave will not be the next Google Sites.


I used JotSpot, not too heavily, just as a company intranet. Google Sites definitely streamlined everything. Maybe because I'm not a power-user or whatnot. But Google Sites is way easier, leaner, and faster for me at the end of the day.


Yeah, as someone who used Etherpad every week or two (as well as Wave), I'm really annoyed that Google has shut this down. Shame on Google and Etherpad.


Don't conflate Wave-the-framework with Wave-the-product. A lot of time and effort were spent on Wave-the-framework, whereas Wave-the-product feels like a first cut demo. I assume that Wave-the-product will go through a number of revisions that will be more Docs like, and I expect EtherPad to be a part of that.


Also, Wave-the-product might just be one client Google releases. If they really want to encourage a "Wave ecosystem," they'll likely pump out multiple clients with different focuses (including, hopefully, a new Wave-the-framework-backed Etherpad.)


What is 'wave the framework'? We've had XMPP for 10 years. And it still hasn't really taken off.

Frameworks are pretty useless unless you have a killer app built on it.


Again, product versus framework. XMPP as a communications framework has decent adoption, a number of open source servers and clients libraries in different languages. Jabber has limited adoption because its competing in a network-effect field. GoogleTalk is probably the most popular use of XMPP.

But, the meat of Wave isn't XMPP, its the combination of Operational Transforms on a federated XMPP layer with a web interface. Each of these features is equally important, so don't overlook them. OT makes collaboration easy, the web interface is the easiest user experience, and XMPP lets you scale the backend.


>> "combination of Operational Transforms on a federated XMPP layer with a web interface."

This is why I hate XMPP. Over-engineered to the point of absurdity.


See syntaxy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vib9hOL4Ju0 and similar tools in Wave.




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