Via Daring Fireball: EtherPad to Shut Down After Google Acquisition of Parent Company AppJet

Sad. I just discovered EtherPad and one of my favorite things is its ad-hoc nature. Want to start collaborating on a document right now? Just go to the site, start a new pad, and pass around the URL. You could even make up the URL path ahead of time! No account is required; it Just Works.1

Contrast this with Google Wave where I need to be signed into my account, everyone I want to share with must have a Google account, those accounts need to be in my contacts, etc.2 The risk is losing the momentum and the moment. It’d be faster and easier to jump onto an open wiki.

Is my weight on a quick & easy ad-hoc solution a geeky, open source enthusiast desire? Maybe I’m feeling similar to the way Zed Shaw is feeling about Google Groups. Maybe this is part of what we are warned about in The Web in Danger. At the very least, it makes me feel pretty good about having become a software developer: I can stop bitching and start coding.

Update: Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was upset. In response to its user base, EtherPad is Back Online Until Open Sourced.

  1. Of course, I’m speaking of the free and open portion of EtherPad, as that’s what I’m interested in. ↩︎

  2. Let’s just skip the poor “everyone has a Google account” argument. ↩︎