Friday, December 18th, 2009

EtherPad Goes Open Source

Category: Comet, Google, Server

Following their recent acquisition by Google, AppJet announced they would open source EtherPad, the collaborative, real-time, notepad. That’s now done, and you can find the project home at – surprise, surprise – Google Code.

Checkout Instructions

Browse the Source

What’s especially cool about this is that Etherpad is Javascript on both sides of the wire. In a new ReadWriteWeb article on Server-Side Javascript, I wrote that EtherPad is probably the most popular site powered by Javascript (anyone want to up the ante?). As server-side Javascript is getting interesting again, with Comet a major driver, it’s a big deal that we now have the entire source tree for a Comet-style, server-side Javascript, application that’s been proven in the real world.

AppJet also released appjet.jar when they discontinued the general server-side Javascript platform earlier this year. Unfortunately, the download link is broken on, so I don’t know if there’s any way to get hold of the official version. It does, however, live on as a cloud-hosted offering at JGate.

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 4:32 pm

3.7 rating from 27 votes


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Pardon my ignorance (maybe it is related to Comet), but if it is “all Javascript”, why it requires Java?


Java 1.6 (tested with 1.6.0_10)
Scala 2.7 (tested with 2.7.4)
MySQL Server 5.1 (tested with 5.1.41)
mysql-connector-java (tested with 5.1.0)

Various scripts make assumptions about environment variables:

JAVA should be set to the java executable.
JAVA_HOME should be set to the main jdk directory.
SCALA should be set to the scala executable.
SCALA_HOME should be set to the main scala distribution directory.
PATH should contain $JAVA, $SCALA, and mysql
MYSQL_CONNECTOR_JAR should be set to the mysql-connector JAR file included in the mysql-connector download.”

Comment by lmasanti — December 18, 2009

@lmasanti: It’s probably running on Rhino ( or another Javascript server built in Java.

Comment by pianoroy — December 18, 2009

True – let’s say “all Javascript” at application level, since EtherPad was originally hosted on AppJet, where the code base for the application had no choice but to be all-Javascript. Updated to make that clearer.

Comment by Michael Mahemoff — December 18, 2009

Does the source code also include the “Rhino virtualization engine”
that Appjet used to host user’s app?

Comment by zin — December 18, 2009

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