Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Power of Pull- Introduction

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook.

My previous post on The Power of Pull dealt mainly with the conditions around the concept of Pull in an overview of a specific report on the material. What follows is based on the Introduction in the book The Power of Pull by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davidson (Copyright 2010 by Deloitte Development LLC, published by Basic Books). 

The authors have created a map (Pull Framework) showing the three levels of pull (access, attract, and achieve); the three domains in which they apply (individual, institutional, and societal); and the three elements of the journey that follow toward pull (trajectory, leverage, and pace):

This diagram is located in a document on John's website that provides an excellent overview of the material. (John Seely Brownʼs Stanford Entrepreneur's Corner Talk of April 14 2010 and Thoughts on The Power of Pull by John Hagel, JSB and Lang Davison- © 2010 Cook Network Consultants)

This post will cover briefly the nine concepts in the Pull Framework.

The First Level of Pull: Access-The first level of pull is all about being able to flexibly find and get to people and resources as we need them. Another aspect of Access is the idea that knowledge flows, not knowledge stocks, are necessary to get better faster than the competition. This change from valuing knowledge flows over knowledge stocks is presenting severe challenges to our existing institutions (such as the education system) which were designed to protect valuable stocks of knowledge. Technology-enabled pull platforms (especially search engines) allow everyone to access these knowledge flows to enhance their understanding of any subject area wherever and whenever desired.

The Second Level of Pull: Attract- The central tenet of this level of pull is Serendipity. Success in finding new information and sources of inspiration depends on serendipity- the chance encounter with someone or something we didn't even know existed that proves to be incredibly relevant and helpful once we find it. The authors maintain that these serendipitous events are not totally chance, and that they can be shaped in various ways such as living in a certain area with a concentration of  particular people (spikes) or by being in online communities, such as those on Social Media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others. By being on the "edges" of our usual group of people we know and interact with, we can have these serendipitous encounters that add value to all parties concerned.

The Third Level of Pull: Achieve- While individuals can use access to find what they need and attraction to draw new people, ideas, and information to themselves (institutions can aid all of this) there is more to pull that just these ideas. In order to leverage pull to drive high performance, continuous improvement, and achievement "creation spaces" must be formed. These creation spaces involve large numbers of people across institutions that become ecosystems focused on testing and refining the practices required to master this level of pull. Knowledge flows are enabled and encouraged in creation spaces, as passionate individuals work in concert to enhance the achievement of all in the space.

Individual: Make Your Passion Your Profession- As change becomes more rapid (and stressful) it is important for individuals to be passionate about their profession. Passion in this context refers to a sustained, deep commitment to realizing our potential and increasing self-expression in a domain that engages us at a personal level. Being passionate allows us to handle change better and can also lead us to master all three levels of pull.

Institutional: Harness Your Ecosystems- Pursuing your passion naturally draws us toward situations and places where other passionate people are located. It will also lend itself to creating online social networks in order to increase serendipity. This enhances the edge of our social networks that allows us to generate the leverage that amplifies our own impact and the impact of others.

Societal/ Arena: Maximize Return on Attention- As the people and resources we can access through spikes and social networks proliferate, we need to adopt tools and services that can improve our return on attention- the value we get for the time and effort we invest in focusing on someone or something. Search tools can help increase the return on attention, but serendipity is actually more effective. These tools also work in both directions (like the reciprocity concept that is so important to pull) in that they help us maximize our return on attention and also bring us to the attention of others that can help us increase the value of our creations we generate.

Defining a Trajectory for Change- Institutions designed for push cannot easily accommodate pull. Instead of focusing on attracting and retaining talent, institutions must focus on accessing and developing talent. This may seem like a small change, but it re-frames the issue that changes the direction of the organization and creates a new trajectory. This new trajectory aligns the institution with the increased power that pull provides individuals, both as employees and customers. Unleashing the creative potential of individuals will become the basis of corporate profits, so it is incumbent on all organizations to make talent development their first priority.

Creating Leverage- Institutional leaders will not be able to successfully transform their organizations to this new environment with the help of passionate individuals both inside and outside the institution. It is important to connect these motivated individuals with the resources and encouragement in order to foster an environment where pull can happen. This will sometimes take the form of "reverse mentoring" where the leaders actually learn from more junior members of the organization, sometimes known as champions. The transformation that occurs is a result of these champions being able to overcome obstacles to change. 

Accelerating Pace- Passionate people supported by a committed institutional leader can have a lot of success, until the entrenched forces of push begin to resist the transformation. The technology platforms of pull, primarily collaboration or Social Media tools can create a pace of change that is harder to resist. Also, these platforms enable the connections with other passionate people outside the institution that can enhance pull. There are also other forms of accelerating pace that deal more with the people involved in the process, such as encouraging and rewarding individuals that display the desired characteristics of transformation and pull.   

The cumulative effect of these 9 concepts of the Pull Framework could transform the larger community in many fundamental ways. In some respects it seems like it is just too much to expect that big of a change to happen given some of the circumstances in the world today, but it also bears pointing out that a lot of the changes mentioned in the framework are already underway. The Big Shift seems to be happening. The text gives much better examples of this and points out how pull could change the world- in a positive way.

On a totally unrelated topic, there is an online community for Federal Wave (FedWave) located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve all reasonable requests for group access.Thanks to those of you who have already joined. FedWave and Apache Wave may be another transformational technology that could enable knowledge flows and creation spaces.

The opinions expressed above are strictly mine. Thanks for reading, and please comment in the space below if you are so moved.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Status of Wave at the beginning of 2011

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook. I have also started a new blog on the new online space for FedWave here, which is restricted access for the time being.  

As a reminder, there is an online community for Federal Wave (FedWave) located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve all reasonable requests for group access.

The Wave-in-a-Box (WIAB) initiative has made impressive progress, and now Wave has been accepted into the Apache Incubator. See also below for a current screen shot of the FedWave Working Model, which is running WIAB on a Windows 2003 Server.

Google's announcement regarding Waving in 2011 located here covers some key things about Wave. First and foremost, the main system (gwave) will continue to be operational until a suitable alternative is up and running. There is an export capability available for gwave, but currently there is no place to upload these waves. My guess is that this will not change for a few months yet.

The WIAB project is in transition from its current location to its new home in the Apache Incubator. The new location of the Apache Wave info page will be but this is not currently an active URL. You can subscribe to the Apache Wave email list- instructions are located here. Even when the software development project is moved to the Apache site, the Wave Federation Protocol (WFP) Site will still be operational, as it will continue to refine and promulgate the underlying protocol that Apache Wave and other products (Novell Vibe, SAP Streamwork, etc.) will use.

The FedWave initiative continues, and is still seeking a sponsor and funding. Please see above for how to join the online community at New content is being added, so check back to see the latest!

Here is that screenshot of the current version of the FedWave Working Model:

The key thing to note here is that the browser being used is Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, with no special add-ons, (such as Google Gears) unlike gwave which does not support native IE. I have been able to access the Working Model using IE from a Government computer, although the port will need to be opened to access the site from Government networks. It is set up to use an authorized port (8005) which is important. Overall very encouraging.

I will publish another update once the transition to Apache Wave is complete. Please post your questions and comments below. Thanks.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Power of Pull

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook.

I had heard of the book The Power of Pull back in October at the Army Operational KM Conference. Prior to that, there was a post on milBook about a video of a lecture by one of the book's authors John Seely Brown. I finally got around to watching the video earlier this week and was very impressed by the concept and Brown's presentation.

I will base much of this post on a document on John's website that provides an excellent overview of the material. (John Seely Brownʼs Stanford Entrepreneur's Corner Talk of April 14 2010 and Thoughts on The Power of Pull by John Hagel, JSB and Lang Davison- © 2010 Cook Network Consultants)

Even with all these great online resources, I plan to purchase the book in order to learn more on the topic.

Here is a collection of the high points from the Cook Report:

The world is broken. Business doesn’t work anymore. Across the S&P 500, return on assets is headed toward zero. Wall Street goes on an unregulated tear and tanks the economy. Washington steps in and bails everyone out pushing the deficit to unthinkable heights. A monetarily fueled recovery is knocking at the edge but once more it will be jobless. These events render pretty well impossible any future resurrection of the mass production, centralized, top down, economy-of-scale version of the petroleum fueled, assembly line based, push economy that powered the world up to the point of the popping of the internet and housing bubbles. Everyone would like to understand:‘why did all these things break?” The Power of Pull explains the seeming inexplicable.

The book’s thesis is that a ‘big shift’ from push based, mass production, top down, economy of scale kinds of organizations is taking place. The digital micro-processor, internet based economy that has matured over the past 30 years has insinuated itself into the old style companies and enabled them to make changes that squeeze more efficiency out of the old models but that is in pursuit of a diminishing returns strategy as The Power of Pull explains. It shows how the productivity enhancements of our new digital infrastructure enable what he calls creative edge that can pull the no longer productive aspects of the core to innovative projects at the edge. Edge based skunk-works transform the core in this new world.

The Shift Index consists of three indices that quantify the three waves of the Big Shift - Foundation Index, Flow Index and Impact Index - each measured by a set of indicators:

The authors presume a very fluid economy rather than static one. If new knowledge gained through productive friction is the new fuel the new raw material and therefore the new currency then, in tracking it, you have a lot more to consider than you would if you were only tracking bags of cement from the quarries to the warehouse to the construction site. Knowledge “flows.” Amplifiers of these flows are found in indices of worker passion and social media activity.

Problem solving and strategy building is a central foundation for all business. With the very complex changes brought about by the Internet and the continuing exponential advance of computing (often involving new architectures) that the authors describe throughout their entire book, the old top-down ways, “push” based ways of doing this, are no longer very productive.

The authors say that the on going practice of business depends both on accessing resources and attracting new people and their passions. Doing this is of little value unless coupled with a third set of actions "that focus on driving performance rapidly to new levels. These practices involve participation in, and sometimes orchestration of, something we call “creation spaces” -- environments that effectively integrate teams within a broader learning ecology so that performance improvement accelerates as more participants join." [p.18]

To quote the authors: “we need to marry our passions with our professions in order to reach our potential... Passion in this context refers to a sustained deep commitment to achieving our full potential and greater capacity for self-expression in a domain that engages us on a personal level. As we make our passions of our professions, we may find our dispositions shifting ... Rather than dealing change as a threat and something to be feared we will find ourselves embracing change, recognizing its potential to drive us to even higher levels of performance.” [p. 21-22]

The new world that is emerging is one made almost inevitable by the technology but it is also a world where information is used very differently than in the pre-internet world. It is shared but the sharing is done with reciprocity. If the recipient doesn't get something in return eventually the sharing ceases.

The scalable efficiency of the 20th century (pre-digital) corporation is fundamentally at odds with the way that knowledge flows in an internet connected world. It creates a world where rewards, on the one hand, are gained by capturing, hoarding and controlling stocks of knowledge. This conflicts with the digitally enabled ability to use the new Internet based tools to capture, duplicate, distribute and create new information. In the 20th century economy rewards are based on hoarding and hierarchy rather than on problem solving. The closed proprietary model needed to protect the old style corporation helps to ensure that benefits of new tools and technologies are tied up in keeping people bound to old closed proprietary systems where lawyers are used to protect fortresses and kingdoms and to bar the creation of new wealth, this return on assets goes down because emphasis on billing systems and maximum extraction from “customers” goes up.

The digital internet creates alternative models and delivery mechanisms that permit disintermediation of corporations that spend money fighting change. The economy of scale in a pre-digital age becomes diseconomy of scale leading to the declining return on assets noted above.

All of this has a tremendous implications to the theory and practice of Knowledge Management. With knowledge flows being a key ingredient in a pull economy, the people that can put efficient processes in place to leverage the technology to outperform other organizations are the ones that are going to be successful. Another key part of KM that the concept of Pull affects is the idea of KM practitioners are going to be important agents of change. The transition from Push to Pull and the attendant Big Shift are going to require the ability to effectively manage change, and that is going to fall to the KM personnel in many cases. 

While most of the examples given throughout the Power of Pull material center around the Corporate world, these concepts are just as applicable to the Government and the Military. Fostering the "creation spaces" mentioned above is important for all types of organizations. Collections of passionate, talented individuals are going to form into the teams that will ensure organizational success.

This is just a general, brief overview of a very important concept. I anticipate posting more on this topic as I continue to study it. Once again, the Cook report cited above is an excellent source for more information.

On a totally unrelated topic, there is an online community for Federal Wave (FedWave) located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve all reasonable requests for group access.Thanks to those of you who have already joined. FedWave and Apache Wave may be another transformational technology that could enable the Big Shift.

This has been a good year for me blog-wise as this is my 33rd post- a personal best. I know this isn't one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, and I do appreciate everyone that takes the time to read my online musings.

I wish you a wonderful 2011.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Novell Vibe- The Latest in Enterprise Collaboration

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook. I have also started a new blog on the new online space for FedWave here, which is restricted access for the time being.  

As a reminder, there is an online community for Federal Wave (FedWave) located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve all reasonable requests for group access.

Novell Vibe is a new enterprise collaboration offering from Novell. Vibe is the combination of the Novell Pulse and Novell Teaming projects. It incorporates the Wave Federation Protocol in order to foster inter-operation with systems such as Apache Wave/ Wave in a Box (open source version of Google Wave) and SAP StreamWork.Vibe Beta was rolled out at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference on November 9, 2010. Here are some of the articles on Vibe that were published in conjunction with the announcement.

Novell revealed on November 22nd that it was being acquired by Attachmate. This should not affect Vibe product development.
This blog post will give a brief overview of the system. This is not a commercial endorsement for Novell or Vibe, but I will use their promotional material and documentation in different places throughout this post.

The Vibe User Guide definition: Novell Vibe cloud service is a real-time collaboration Web application that unites common communication, authoring, and social messaging tools. You can use Vibe to share documents, jointly have digital conversations, and interact through social media. At present, Novell only plans to offer Vibe in a Cloud version (Software as a Service -SaaS). An on-premise version is provisionally on the product roadmap for 2011.

The basic components of Vibe are as follows:

1. Profile/ Feed: One of the central pieces of Vibe is the user profile. This is a core concept in all Social Media, and Vibe does a good job combining profiles with enterprise authentication/ authorization (see also below).

When you first launch Novell Vibe, you see the Home view, which consists of the following sections:

As evidenced by the image, Vibe has a simple interface that should be easy for most users to understand and manipulate. Another important concept in Vibe is the idea of feeds, with your personal feed being where you can provide status updates similar to other Social Media tools (see also below). Also, Vibe can be configured to provide notifications on various types of activities using email or other methods.

2. Messaging: Messages are the method to communicate with other Novell Vibe cloud service users.Depending on who you want to view your message, Vibe enables you to send messages in various ways.To communicate on a broad level to all Vibe users who are following a given person (see below), a message can be sent to that user's personal feed.Like e-mail, Vibe enables you to send messages directly to specific users. When you send a direct
message, only message recipients can view the message.A message can be sent to a group by posting a message on any group feed. Users can combine these different modes as needed to get messages to desired combinations of users.

3. Following: Individuals can follow users and groups that interest them. When following users and groups, the most recent messages from those users and groups are displayed in the BigList. Depending on the user’s permission settings, they might need to approve followers. These followers can be organized in a variety of ways configurable by the user. This is another characteristic of Social Media addressed in Vibe.  

4. Groups: Groups in Novell Vibe cloud service consist of various users who share a common purpose. Many aspects of groups are configurable by users, and permissions can be set for various group members. Permissions define who can do what in connection with the group.Users can have a variety of roles in a group, such as administrator.

5. Working together in real time: Novell Vibe cloud service enables you to see when other users are online, when they are away, and when they are offline. Knowing when users are available makes real-time collaboration more efficient.Vibe enables multiple users to simultaneously edit the same message. Gadgets can enhance the functionality of messages, making them more rich and useful.

6. Find and Organize Information: Novell Vibe cloud service provides various ways that to organize user data.Tagging functionality in Vibe enables users to create different types of virtual containers for messages. Like using folders in e-mail, information can be categorized, and then retrieved and reviewed at a later time. Important messages can be marked with a star. Users can then filter the BigList to display only messages that have been marked with a star. Tables of contents enable individuals to create links to messages in the Vibe site. You can create tables of contents on a personal profile page, or on a group profile page. There are also various ways to filter and view messages based on multiple criteria.

7. Managing Files: Novell Vibe cloud service enables users to upload, share, and manage your personal and group files. Documents can be tagged and organized in different ways, and can be the subject of messages using functionality mentioned earlier. 

8. Selectively Limiting Access to Information: Some users might find that the default access rights in Novell Vibe cloud service are too open. They can limit access rights to messages and groups. In general all messages that are posted to a personal feed are visible to all users who are currently following that individual. Furthermore, users can edit messages if they are direct recipients of the message. There is a capability to send a private message to one or more Vibe users. This ensures that only those users you specifically send the message to are able to read it. In addition, users can make messages not editable. Only the message creator is able to edit the message. By default, all files that are added to the Files tab in the Home view are visible only to the user. One user cannot generally view another user’s files. When creating or editing a group, users can restrict access to the group by setting up the group permissions. There are properties that restrict who can see the group, who can follow the group, who can contribute to the group, and so forth.By default, anyone in the organization or anyone a user is currently following can follow that user. This setting can be changed to require users to get permission before they are added to the follower list. Also by default, anyone in the organization can send messages directly to a user, unless they modify a setting restricting this activity. All of this is very important to Enterprise and Government users.

However, one of the key attributes of Vibe is its ability to foster collaboration between different organizations. Vibe leverages the Wave Federation Protocol to provide interoperability with Google Wave, Apache Wave, SAP Streamwork, and other emerging Wave-based technologies. This has already been demonstrated in this video
that shows both how a typical use case for this inter-organization collaboration and how it looks from the user perspective. This will allow large organizations using an Enterprise system such as Vibe or StreamWork to work effectively with small entities using the open source Apache Wave or a similar system.

Again, this does not constitute a commercial endorsement of this product, and is strictly the opinion of the author. Please post your questions or comments below, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apache Wave Proposal (Apache Incubator)

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook. I have also started a new blog on the new online space for FedWave here, which is restricted access for the time being.  

As a reminder, there is an online community for Federal Wave (FedWave) located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve all reasonable requests for group access.

The Wave in a Box project has submitted a proposal to the Apache Foundation to be admitted into the Apache Incubator. The proposal itself is located here, and an extract follows below.


Apache Wave is the project where wave technology is developed at Apache. Wave in a Box (WIAB) is the name of the main product at the moment, which is a server that hosts and federates waves, supports extensive APIs, and provides a rich web client. This project also includes an implementation of the Wave Federation protocol, to enable federated collaboration systems (such as multiple interoperable Wave In a Box instances).


A wave is a hosted, live, concurrent data structure for rich communication. It can be used like email, chat, or a document.
WIAB is a server that hosts waves. The best analogy for this is a mail server with a web client. WIAB is comprised of a few high-level components: the client and the server. They have the following major functionality (though this is not an exhaustive list):
  • Client
    • A dynamic web client for users to create, edit, and search waves. Users can access this client by directly visiting the server in a browser.
    • Gadgets provide the ability to insert, view, and modify the UI -- exposing the Wave Gadgets API (
    • A console client that can create and edit waves via a command-line-like interface.
  • Server
    • Hosts and stores waves. WIAB comes with a default storage mechanism. The administrators of the server may configure it to use alternative storage mechanisms.
    • Indexing, allowing for searching the waves a user has access to.
    • Basic authentication, configurable to delegate to other systems.
    • Federation, allowing separate Wave in a Box servers to communicate with each other using the Wave Federation Protocol (
    • Robots, using the Wave Robots API, ( may interact with waves on a WIAB instance.


Wave expresses a new metaphor for communication: hosted conversations. This was created by Lars and Jens Rasmussen after observation of people's use of many separate forms of communication to get something done, e.g, email, chat, docs, blogs, twitter, etc.

The vision has always been to better the way people communicate and collaborate. Building open protocols and sharing code available in an open and free way is a critical part of that vision. Anyone should be able to bring up their own wave server and communicate with others (much like SMTP).

We hope this project will allow everyone to easily gain the benefits of Wave with a standard implementation of Wave – in a box.


Wave has shown it excels at small group collaboration when hosted by Google. Although Wave will not continue as a standalone Google product, there is a lot of interest from many organizations in both running Wave and building upon the technology for new products.

We are confident that with the community-centric development environment fostered by the Apache Software Foundation, WIAB will thrive.

Initial Goals

The initial goals of the project are:
  1. To migrate the codebase from and integrate the project with the ASF infrastructure (issue management, build, project site, etc).
  2. To quickly reach a state where it is possible to continue the development of the Wave In a Box implementation under the ASF project.
  3. To add new committers to the project and grow the community in "The Apache Way".

Current Status

The open source Wave in a Box project has existed in various forms for approximately 16 months (starting out life as the FedOne open source project).

FedOne began in July 2009 in order to accelerate adoption of the wave federation protocol, and serve as a proof of concept that a non-Google implementation of the wave federation protocol could interoperate with the Google production instance. It worked. FedOne's existence lead to a prototype by Novell that demonstrated federation between Google Wave and Novell Pulse (now known as Vibe). In addition, in May of 2010, SAP unveiled a prototype version of SAP StreamWork that federated with both Novell Pulse and Google Wave. All three systems interoperated, sharing real-time state, and gadget updates. In May 2010 Google released significantly more code (including the cross-browser rich text editor) to connect with other components that were built from scratch, resulting in a simple web client.

The project has grown over the last year to include many Google and non-Google contributions. The project has picked up steam in recent months as the direction of the standalone Google Wave product has shifted. At this time the Wave in a Box project enjoys very active development, with new features and functionality being added almost daily. The first Wave Protocol Summit was recently held and included developers from a variety of countries, companies, and organizations.

The code base is a mixture of mature core code from Google Wave, and somewhat immature integration code forming WIAB. WIAB is quickly becoming highly functional and is already in a very "demoable" state. The development mailing lists are very active indicating wide community support. We recognize that now is a good time to migrate to the Apache Foundation while the codebase and community is a manageable size. Assuming the current momentum continues, we expect strong growth in the code and community in the near future.


The initial set of committers includes many Google employees, and there is an active and growing community outside Google contributing to WIAB already today. Google culture itself encourages meritocracy, and the community has always grown – and will continue to grow – in this fashion.

As shown by the initial committers list below, several members from outside of Google have already demonstrated interest, skill, and commitment to contributing to the project. These individuals have been recognized on those merits by the initial committers. Their selection as the first wave of new committers is a sign of the burgeoning meritocracy.


Wave currently has a healthy community around, with conversations hosted at We plan to move this community to the Apache Software Foundation incubator.

Core Developers

The initial committers comes from a variety of backgrounds and includes many from Google. There are a few existing Apache committers amongst this initial group. We anticipate early future committers coming from places like Novell, SAP, companies related to the US Navy's usage of wave, startups in the wave ecosystem, and many independent individuals.


The developers of WIAB want to work with the Apache Software Foundation because Apache has proven to provide a strong foundation with good infrastructure and support for developing projects in an open community. As WIAB continues to grow, the community will look to both reuse available Apache projects as well as look for opportunities to contribute back to the larger Apache community.

Known Risks

Orphaned products

Wave is a new means for communication, and thus it is still maturing. While the initial implementation (Google Wave) did not gain sufficient traction for it to continue as a standalone Google product, there are other related projects (e.g. Novell Vibe, SAP StreamWork), and several startups in the space that are continuing to build on the technology. In addition, the US Navy has contracted with four companies as part of evaluating using wave technology on every ship. The community itself is still growing, with several new contributors recently added.

Inexperience with Open Source

The initial committers have varying degrees of experience with open source projects. Many from the community are familiar with open source.

Homogeneous Developers

The initial set of developers does include many from Google. However, the project has accepted many patches from independent individuals, and some have already gained committership. Several companies have expressed interest and forty individuals participated in the Wave Summit.

Reliance on Salaried Developers

Following Google's change of focus for Wave in August, some of Wave's Google developers have chosen to continue working on Wave, but it is imperative that we continue to grow the community larger in the coming months.

Relationships with Other Apache Products

We currently use the following libraries from Apache
  • Commons CLI
  • Commons Codec
  • Commons HttpClient
  • Commons Logging
  • Velocity
  • Ant
We've also contributed the Wave Gadget implementation into the Apache Shindig project.


Entry point for documentation of all the specs and designs.

Initial Source

The initial source will come from This consists of the Java code necessary for the client and server. These are already open source repositories licensed under the Apache Public License.

Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan

Beginning with the initial unveiling, Google published a liberal patent license:
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Google and its affiliates hereby grant to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this License) patent license for patents necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If you institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the implementation of the specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses for the specification granted to you under this License shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.


Google retains all rights to the trademarks "GOOGLE WAVE" and the wave design logo, neither of which will be used in the Apache Wave project.

External Dependencies

In addition to the previously mentioned Apache dependencies, the initial code relies on the following libraries that have Apache compatible licenses:
antlr, aopalliance, asm, bouncycastle, cglib, dom4j, emma, gson, guava, guice, gwt, gxp, hamcrest, jackson, jdom, jetty, jline, jmock, joda_time, jsr305, junit, libidn, mockito, mongo-driver, oauth, protobuf, protobuf-format-java, protostuff, stringtemplate, websocket, whack, xpp3


We use standard crypto library methods available in*. Wave federation plans to uses encryption for sending deltas to remote Wave servers.

Required Resources

Mailing lists

  • wave-dev
  • wave-commits
  • wave-private
It is possible that if the project does grown to include many sub project that we would split the mailing list up by sub project. Again we have flexibility.

Subversion Directory

Issue Tracking

Please help us setup a JIRA instance for both issue tracking and code review.

Other Resources

Initial Committers

  • Alex North (Google)
  • Anthony Watkins (SESI)
  • Christian Ohler (Google)
  • Dan Danilatos (Google)
  • Dan Peterson (Google) 
  • David Hearnden (Google)
  • David Wang (Google)
  • Ian Roughley (Novell) 
  • James Purser
  • Joseph Gentle
  • Lennard de Rijk
  • Michael MacFadden (Solute)
  • Soren Lassen (Google)
  • Tad Glines
  • Torben Weis (University Duisburg-Essen)



  • Paul Lindner

Nominated Mentors

  • Santiago Gala
  • Ben Laurie
  • Upayavira
  • Brian W. Fitzpatrick (emeritus on the Incubator PMC)

Sponsoring Entity

The Apache Incubator.

Comments are being sought on the proposal at this time. Please post questions or comments regarding the blog entry below.

UPDATE: Wave was accepted into the Apache Incubator on December 3, 2010. This will be the subject of a subsequent post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

HyLighter- Advanced Document Collaboration

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook

HyLighter ( is a new technology that has some unique and very useful functionality.This blog post will give an overview of the system and some of potential use cases. This is not a commercial endorsement for Hylighter, but I will use their promotional material in different places throughout this post. 

Today, it is common to have documents that require input from 10, 20, 30 or more contributors. The most common practice for managing document reviews for large groups is for the owner of the document to send out emails with attachments to contributors. Each contributor makes changes and adds comments, usually with track changes, and then emails the file back to the owner. The owner has the time-consuming and frustrating task of maintaining version control and reconciling all the changes manually. Once complete, the owner recycles the draft for another round of reviews.

HyLighter is an easy to learn web annotation and hypermedia system for collaborative analysis and review of documents. Supported file types include HTML, Word and, soon, images, PowerPoint, PDF, and Excel. In general, Web annotation systems enable users to add, modify or remove information from a Web resource without modifying the resource itself. The information can be thought of as a layer of annotation displayed on top of the existing resource. Depending on how the owner of the resource configures permissions, users who share the same annotation system can see all or parts of the annotation layer.

The name, HyLighter, is a combination of the terms hypermedia + highlighter (i.e., a felt-tip pen which is used to draw attention to sections of documents by marking them with a vivid, translucent color). Hypermedia refers to graphics, audio, video, and text that are intertwined through hyperlinks. A user following hyperlinks is said to navigate or browse the hypermedia. The most familiar example of a hypermedia system today is the World Wide Web which is a system of interlinked hypermedia documents contained on the Internet.

What is unique about HyLighter as a Web annotation and hypermedia system is that it enables almost any number of reviewers to engage in threaded discussions tied to selected locations or fragments within a document in an organized and efficient manner. It also enables users to copy a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for any annotation (i.e., a highlighted section of a document and associated commentary and other metadata) to a clipboard in order to (a) send or post a link to a selected annotation to one or more individuals through various applications for exchanging information over the Internet (e.g., chat, instant messaging, microblogging, and email) and (b) create a link from a selected annotation to one or more annotations within the same document or a different document either on the same machine or different machine(s).

In addition to creating a bridge between social networking applications and specific locations within various file types, HyLighter has public APIs available for integrating with content management systems and other types of applications. For example, HyLighter offers a plugin for SharePoint that enables a user to push a document from a SharePoint library to a browser with HyLighter installed. Once the review activity is completed, HyLighter provides various mechanisms for analysis of input and editing in Word or other native application and checking the document back into the SharePoint library for maintaining version history.

HyLighter is straightforward to use. Simply import the document into the system (or use something like the SharePoint plugin shown above), access the document using a browser with the proper plugin, and begin editing or making comments. For example:

The key to the technology is the use of XML and XHTML that allows for the formation of the annotation layer mentioned above. There are also many other ways that the XML in HyLighter can be leveraged, such as metadata, and other integrations with XML-based technologies. While the use of HyLighter and Google Wave had been discussed (and Wave is mentioned in the HyLighter literature) it has not been actively pursued. 

HyLighter solves three major challenges that are relevant to expertise location and knowledge mining that are not adequately addressed by any other available technology. The challenges:

- How can large groups of reviewers (that is, 5-50 or more) engage in collaborative discussions tied to specific sections of a document or source in an organized and efficient manner?

- How can the potential of collective intelligence or crowd sourcing be harnessed to increase the value of existing content?

- How can knowledge workers collaboratively link related ideas and objects together or “connect the dots” across increasingly large repositories of unstructured data in order to make associations, discover patterns, and create new knowledge and innovations?

Here are some potential use cases for HyLighter:

- Policy Creation: Most organizations have a need to create policy documents, especially in Government. There is usually a review and approval process when writing policy, in addition to multiple authors of the content. HyLighter would allow for many authors and reviewers, and it automatically creates an audit trail for changes on the document.

- Technical Writing: This seems a logical use for the system. Often technical writing requires peer review or input from multiple experts, and HyLighter would allow for these individuals to easily review and/or provide input on specific parts of a document.

- Proposal Management: Writing proposals is another natural use case for HyLighter. Collective authoring and review is generally a requirement when writing proposals. Having different authors and reviewers for each section of the proposal is much easier to manage with HyLighter. 

- Training: HyLighter can be used for both training development (collaborative creation of content and programs of instruction) and also as part of the learning experience where learners can interact with instructors on collaborative online documents.

- Enhance capabilities of wikis and blogs: Sometimes on wikis and blogs there is content that lends itself to a collaborative effort. Placing links on the original site to a HyLighter document allows for the development of the content in a more organized fashion than most Social Media systems.

- Support online communities of learners and practitioners: Online social networks around specific areas of interest can benefit from HyLighter in that they can use the system to collaboratively create content to enhance the building of knowledge on the specific topics involved.

There are trial instances of HyLighter accessible from their website, and there is also a military-focused test instance as well. The technology is sophisticated and the best way to understand it is to give it a try.

Again, this does not constitute a commercial endorsement of this product, and is strictly the opinion of the author. Please post your questions or comments below, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FedWave Update

This is a cross-post from my blog on the Military Social Networking system milBook. I have also started a new blog on the new online space for FedWave here, which is restricted access for the time being.  

Three months have passed since Google announced that they would discontinue development on Wave. From my post in August:

On August 4, 2010, Google announced that they were going to discontinue development on Google Wave. This came as a surprise to much of the community of users and supporters of Wave, and sparked an outpouring of commentary on the topic in the Blogosphere. These postings included how Google doesn't do Social Media, how Google botched the rollout of the system, and how Google did the right thing by cutting their losses. All of these missed one point: the value of the technology itself.

In these three months, the Wave in a Box project has made impressive strides, with the current version looking much like the main Google product (see also below). There is still a lot to do, but much has been accomplished. In addition, all the information has been consolidated in one place. This project is moving fast, as the plan is to have a fully functional open source WIAB server ready for general release by the end of 2010. I will continue to monitor (and contribute) and will post updates like this one on a regular basis. 

The FedWave effort has made progress as well, with a Working Model of FedWave now operational in a limited mode. More information on this working model is in the FedWave group located here. You must apply for membership first at I will approve most requests for group access.

This virtual space is designed to facilitate online collaboration between different government agencies and with non-government entities as well. It has many different capabilities including blogs, wikis, document upload, and others. I selected this platform to enable collaboration with a wide group and to consolidate information in one place online. The site is a little sparse now, and I would welcome contributions and content.

Here is a current screenshot of the Working Model: 
FedWave Working Model as of 4 Nov 2010

I have let a long time pass between posts, but I will work harder to post more frequently. As always, please enter your questions and comments below.