Devotees of Google Wave have set up a protest site to persuade the global search giant not to abandon the collaborative messaging platform, following last week's decision to halt development of the tool.
The decision to pull the plug on Wave was a giant blow for Google Australia, which led development of the tool. Now Wave followers from around the world have called for the company to reconsider.
Wave's radically different approach to electronic messaging - enabling groups collaborating on projects to embed rich content such as documents, maps and images into message threads - had built up a loyal following. However the company decided to cease development of Wave last week because it had "not seen the user adoption" it would have liked.
Now a website called savegooglewave has been created to persuade the company to reconsider: "When we heard the news about Google Wave being shut down, we were devastated. Google Wave is an invaluable tool that we use every day to keep track and collaborate on projects (in real-time). Please help us to keep it alive and spread the word."
Although no groups have claimed ownership for the site, a number of support groups are listed on the site which has already recorded 23,199 "likes" and 939 Twitter followers.
It asks visitors to retweet its message in order to "get some attention" and suggests they wear t-shirts and badges to spread the word. Wave users have also been asked to write in to discuss their thoughts.
"I am a Theoretical Physicist and I use Google Wave for collaborating with my colleagues who are in different places around the world. Google Wave has to be saved ... it is such a brilliant tool ... unfortunately, badly advertised (not at all ...). A lot of people would quickly realize its potential and the way it can really change collaborative working in a positive way," wrote one.
"Google should just integrate Google Wave's features directly into GMail and it will take off big time!" said another.
One of the website's supporters has also developed a petition for Google chief executive, Eric Schmidt, requesting the company continue supporting Wave's development and, failing that, to ensure it can live on in another form.
"If Google still feels compelled to curtail its investment in Wave, we request that it is not fully abolished but continued with a lower level of support.
"Finally, if you still remain convinced that this service has no future, we earnestly hope that you will take steps to make all source code for the service, development tools and other applications based on Wave technology be provided to the user community under an appropriate open source license," the petition says.
Alan Noble, engineering director at Google Australia, said yesterday: "We're proud of Wave and the innovation that it has brought and will continue to bring to Google and the web.
"While we've announced that we don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product beyond the end of the year, we have already made central parts of Wave open source and we hope that the many loyal fans will continue the innovation we began."
The company says it is also committed to ensuring that users' data would be accessible to them so they could export it onto other formats, while it incorporates some of Wave's features into other Google products such as Gmail and Google Docs.
- Sydney Morning Herald