This morning at Google I/O we are unveiling a developer preview of Google Wave, a new collaboration and communication product. Google Wave introduces a new platform built around hosted conversations called waves--this model enables people to communicate and work together in new and more effective ways. On top of that, with the Google Wave APIs, developers can take advantage of this collaborative system by building on the Google Wave platform. We want to expand upon that platform, which is why we've put together the initial draft of the Google Wave Federation Protocol, the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers.

Yes, that's between wave providers: anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server. The wave protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together. If you're interested in getting involved, here are a few things you should check out on www.waveprotocol.org:
This is just the beginning. To help potential wave providers get started, our plan is to release an open source, production-quality, reference implementation of the Google Wave client and server, as well as provide an open federation endpoint by the time users start getting access.

We're eager to hear your feedback, so please tell us about your interest, and drop a note on the technical engineering forum with your feedback.

Beyond the federation protocol, you may also be interested in learning more about the Google Wave APIs, as described on the new Google Wave Developers blog.