Community Principles

Google Wave introduces a new communication and collaboration platform built around hosted conversations called waves. The wave model enables people to communicate and work together in new and more effective ways. The Google Wave Federation Protocol is the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers. The protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together.


The Google Wave Federation Protocol is evolving as an open source project, and as the community and technology grows, here are the guiding principles:

  • Wave is an open network: anyone should be able to become a wave provider and interoperate with the public network
  • Wave is a distributed network model: traffic is routed peer-to-peer, not through a central server
  • Make rapid progress, together: a shared commitment to contribute to the evolution and timely deployment of protocol improvements
  • Community contributions are fundamental: everyone is invited to participate in the public development process
  • Decisions are made in public: all protocol specification discussions are recorded in a public archive


The canonical instance of the protocol is maintained alongside the Operational Transformation algorithm and wave model at:

A basic prototype client/server has also been open sourced to encourage experimentation. You can get started by visiting the introductory documentation. If you have ideas or suggestions for the protocol, please contribute in the Wave Protocol discussion forum. Patches to the protocol are reviewed by the project committers, and will be discussed in the same forum.

Later on, in addition to the protocol, this project will grow to maintain a production-quality reference implementation. Google plans to open source the lion's share of the code behind the Google Wave implementation. After that point, the proper way to submit protocol improvement will be to provide both a patch to the specification as well as a production-quality patch for the reference implementation. Providing both is the best way to ensure rapid progress for the entire community, and avoid ambiguity. 

Get Involved

If you'd like to get involved, please join the conversation in the the Wave Protocol discussion forum. That group is used for discussing protocol changes, enhancements, and extensions.

Contributor License Agreements and Intellectual Property

The technology behind Google Wave is licensed under a liberal patent license to help implementers and contributors be comfortable implementing the protocol.

Before we can accept a patch from you, you must sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). The CLA protects you and us.
  • If you are an individual writing original source code and you're sure you own the intellectual property, then you'll need to sign an individual CLA.
  • If you work for a company that wants to allow you to contribute your work to the Google Wave Federation Protocol, then you'll need to sign a corporate CLA
Follow either of the two links above to access the appropriate CLA and instructions for how to sign and return it.